Overnight Health Care: Trump officials want more time to reunite families | Washington braces for Supreme Court pick | Nebraska could be next state to vote on Medicaid expansion

Overnight Health Care: Trump officials want more time to reunite families | Washington braces for Supreme Court pick | Nebraska could be next state to vote on Medicaid expansion
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Happy Friday, and welcome to Overnight Health Care. Congress returns from recess next week and will quickly turn its focus to health care. Here are today's big stories so that you are up to date.

 

The Trump administration is asking for more time to reunite the children and parents it separated at the border as it runs up against a court-imposed deadline of July 10. 

The Department of Justice asked a federal judge Friday to extend the deadline, arguing that it does not take into account the time needed to verify and vet each parent. 

"The government does not wish to unnecessarily delay reunification," lawyers for the Justice Department said in their response to the court.

"At the same time, however, the government has a strong interest in ensuring that any release of a child from government custody occurs in a manner that ensures the safety of the child."

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar expressed similar concerns in a call with reporters Thursday, noting that it had to use an expedited process of reviewing parents rather than a more "comprehensive one." 

Azar also said HHS is using DNA tests to speed up reunifications, but the Justice Department said Friday that inconclusive tests can lead to delays. 

Why it matters: The court ordered HHS to return children under the age of 5 to their parents by Tuesday. With the DOJ asking for more time, it's unclear how many of those children are ready to go.

Read more here.

 

Nebraska could be the next red state to consider Medicaid expansion. 

Insure the Good Life, an activist group pushing for Medicaid expansion in the state, said Thursday it had gathered more than 133,000 signatures in support of a ballot initiative to get the question on the ballot in November.

Voters in Idaho and Utah will also decide in November if they want to expand Medicaid, while Maine voters approved a similar ballot measure last year. 

Why it matters: Many Republican leaders in red states have rejected Medicaid expansion. But taking the issue directly to the voters is a way to work around that. Currently, 34 states, including DC, have expanded Medicaid. If these ballot initiatives are successful, it could inspire similar expansion campaigns in other states. 

Read more here.

 

Happening next week: 

Monday: 2 p.m. at the Omni Shoreham Hotel. HHS Secretary Azar will deliver remarks at the 340B Coalition Summer Conference. 

Wednesday: 10 a.m. in Rayburn House Office Building room 2123. The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing on the 340B Drug Pricing program. 

1 p.m. in Rayburn 2123. The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection will hold a hearing on drug impaired driving. 

Thursday: 2 p.m. in Rayburn 2200. The House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations will hold a hearing on tuberculosis in Southern Africa.

 

Also coming next week: President TrumpDonald John TrumpJustice Department preparing for Mueller report as soon as next week: reports Smollett lawyers declare 'Empire' star innocent Pelosi asks members to support resolution against emergency declaration MORE says he will announce his pick to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court. 

The health angle: Expect plenty of fighting between Democrats and Republicans about the nominee's position on Roe v. Wade. Groups on the left have been buying up ad space all week urging Democrats to vote against any nominee that doesn't support access to abortion. 

But Trump has said he will only nominate "pro-life" justices to the Supreme Court. 

 

Republican attorneys general hit back at the Trump administration in an ongoing lawsuit targeting ObamaCare.

Texas, and 19 other states, filed a lawsuit earlier this year arguing that Congress' repeal of ObamaCare's individual mandate penalty makes the entire law unconstitutional. 

Last month, the Department of Justice sided in part with the states, but said aside from the law's protections for people with preexisting conditions, the rest of the law can stand. 

The states disagree and asked in a brief Thursday evening for a judge to place an immediate injunction on the enforcement of ObamaCare. 

From California Attorney General Xavier BecerraXavier BecerraCalifornia has sued the Trump administration 46 times. Here are the lawsuits Dem lawmaker: 'The president has it in for California' The Hill's Morning Report - Can Bernie recapture 2016 magic? MORE, who is leading a coalition of Democratic states to defend the Affordable Care Act in court: 

"The Texas lawsuit is based on a dubious legal claim with the sole goal of stripping Americans of their healthcare. The proponents of the Texas lawsuit want to eliminate the preventive care and prescription drug benefits for working families, seniors and people with disabilities. To roll back the clock and risk the health of millions of Americans is irresponsible and dangerous. We can't and we won't go back."

 

A nonprofit aligned with Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Sanders set to shake up 2020 race McCabe: No one in 'Gang of Eight' objected to FBI probe into Trump Unscripted Trump keeps audience guessing in Rose Garden MORE is dropping $2 million on ads touting the House's efforts to combat the opioid epidemic. 

The ads will air in 10 congressional districts ahead of November's midterm election, including some with competitive races for Republican incumbents, including GOP Reps. Mike CoffmanMichael (Mike) Howard CoffmanTrump suggests Heller lost reelection bid because he was 'hostile' during 2016 presidential campaign Gardner gets latest Democratic challenge from former state senator Gardner, Portman endorse Trump for 2020 MORE (Colo.) Peter Roskam Peter James RoskamIllinois New Members 2019 Defeated Republicans mocked by Trump fire back at president House GOP returns to Washington after sobering midterm losses MORE (Ill.), Andy BarrGarland (Andy) Hale BarrSchumer urging ex-congressional candidate Amy McGrath to run against McConnell House Dems unveil initial GOP targets in 2020 Poll shows 25 percent view McConnell favorably, lowest among leaders in survey MORE (Ky.), Bruce PoliquinBruce Lee PoliquinMaine governor certifies Dem's win in disputed House race, but calls it 'stolen election' GOP lawmaker to drop challenge to Maine's new voting system GOP lawmaker to appeal judge's ruling upholding Maine's new voting system MORE (Maine), Claudia Tenney (N.Y.), Steve ChabotSteven (Steve) Joseph ChabotThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Sanders set to shake up 2020 race House Dems release 2020 GOP 'retirements to watch' for House Dems unveil initial GOP targets in 2020 MORE (Ohio), and Brian FitzpatrickBrian K. FitzpatrickDems escalate gun fight a year after Parkland House panel advances bill to expand background checks for gun sales Overnight Energy: Court rules for Trump in environmental case over border wall | House bill would stop Alaska refuge drilling | Ads target Dems over Green New Deal MORE (Pa.) 

An ad will also air in the district of Rep. Greg WaldenGregory (Greg) Paul WaldenDems ready aggressive response to Trump emergency order, as GOP splinters Former Ryan aide moves to K street Overnight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — Lawmakers pay tribute to John Dingell's legacy on health care | White House denies officials are sabotaging ObamaCare | FDA wants meeting with Juul, Altria execs on youth vaping MORE (R-Ore.), the chairman of the House subcommittee that led the work on the bills. 

AAN is also airing the ads in the districts of two Democrats running in uncompetitive races: Reps. Katherine ClarkKatherine Marlea ClarkWhy Omar’s views are dangerous House Dems rallying behind border deal with 55 miles of barriers Pelosi, Dem leaders urge Omar to apologize for 'anti-Semitic' tweet MORE (Mass.) and Mark DeSaulnierMark James DeSaulnierWhy Women’s March co-founders were drawn to Farrakhan’s lies Zinke on California fires: 'This is not a debate about climate change' Zinke takes forestry fight to fire-ravaged California MORE (Calif.) 

Read more here.

 

Odds & ends 

Health care jobs rose by 25,000 in the month of June, continuing strong growth for the industry, according to the jobs report released Friday.

The FDA announced revised guidance on the testing of donated blood for the Zika virus. 

 

What we're reading

What a U.S.-China trade war could mean for the opioid epidemic (Kaiser Health News)

In a rare success, Paraguay conquers malaria (The New York Times)

 

State by state 

New law preserves ACA measures for Hawaii residents (hawaiinewsnow.com)

What does a drug cost? It depends where you live. (The New York Times)