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 TrumpWHCA calls on Trump to denounce video depicting him shooting media outlets Video of fake Trump shooting members of media shown at his Miami resort: report Trump hits Fox News's Chris Wallace over Ukraine coverage 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 BecerraTrump administration ends five-year oil and gas drilling moratorium in California  Feds won't pursue charges against Sacramento officers who fatally shot Stephon Clark Overnight Energy: 17 states sue Trump over weakening of Endangered Species Act | Federal land agency chief releases 17-page recusal list | UN climate report warns of warming oceans, sea level rise 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 RyanAmash: Trump incorrect in claiming Congress didn't subpoena Obama officials Democrats hit Scalia over LGBTQ rights Three-way clash set to dominate Democratic debate 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 CoffmanBottom Line Koch political arm endorses Colorado Sen. Gardner 20 years after Columbine, Dems bullish on gun reform MORE (Colo.) Peter Roskam Peter James RoskamEx-GOP Rep. Roskam joins lobbying firm Blue states angry over SALT cap should give fiscal sobriety a try Illinois Dems offer bill to raise SALT deduction cap MORE (Ill.), Andy BarrAndy Hale BarrThe Hill's Campaign Report: Impeachment fight to take center stage at Dem debate McGrath raises nearly million in third quarter for bid to unseat McConnell Farm manager doubts story horse bit Pence: report MORE (Ky.), Bruce PoliquinBruce Lee PoliquinThe Hill's Morning Report - Mass shootings put spotlight on Trump, Congress Ex-GOP lawmaker from Maine says he won't run for his old seat in 2020 Making the case for ranked-choice voting MORE (Maine), Claudia Tenney (N.Y.), Steve ChabotSteven (Steve) Joseph ChabotConsequential GOP class of 1994 all but disappears Judiciary approves new investigative powers with eyes on impeachment Republicans pour cold water on Trump's term limit idea MORE (Ohio), and Brian FitzpatrickBrian K. FitzpatrickThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by USAA — Ex-Ukraine ambassador testifies Trump pushed for her ouster GOP group calls out five House Republicans to speak up on Ukraine On The Money: Senate confirms Scalia as Labor chief | Bill with B in wall funding advanced over Democrats' objections | Lawyers reach deal to delay enforcement of NY tax return subpoena MORE (Pa.) 

An ad will also air in the district of Rep. Greg WaldenGregory (Greg) Paul WaldenCBO: Pelosi bill to lower drug prices saves Medicare 5 billion Trump official declines to testify on trade protections for tech platforms House panel asks Trump trade official to testify on legal protections for tech platforms 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 ClarkMassachusetts Democrats call for 100 percent fentanyl screening of international mail from 'high-risk' nations Ten notable Democrats who do not favor impeachment The Hill's Morning Report - Trump searches for backstops amid recession worries MORE (Mass.) and Mark DeSaulnierMark James DeSaulnierDemocrats have to choose between saving children's lives and hurting Trump politically Trump's 'death sentence' for immigrant who followed the law merits private bill Here are the 95 Democrats who voted to support impeachment 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)