Welcome to Friday's Overnight Health Care. It was a gripping day in the Senate with new developments in the fight over Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination. Over in the House, though, there was an under-the-radar moment of rare bipartisanship.
House overwhelmingly passes bill to fight opioid crisis.
Amid the fierce debates overtaking Congress, the House showed some bipartisanship on Friday, passing a bill they worked on for months to fight the opioid crisis. The bill passed in a 393-8 vote.
Some major provisions in the bill:
- It lifts some limits on Medicaid paying for care at treatment facilities, known as the IMD exclusion, addressing restrictions that lawmakers called outdated.
- It cracks down on illicit opioids being imported by mail from other countries and fueling the crisis across the United States.
- It lifts limits on nurse practitioners and other providers being able to prescribe buprenorphine, a drug used in addiction treatment.
What Dems are saying: "This bill is an important step, but we must do a lot more, the opioid crisis continues to get worse, a lot more needs to be done to provide treatment and expand the treatment infrastructure," said Rep. Frank Pallone Jr.Frank Joseph PalloneHouse Democrats ramp up probe of FDA approval of Alzheimer's drug Intercept bureau chief: Democrats dropping support of Medicare for All could threaten bill's momentum House Democrats reintroduce road map to carbon neutrality by 2050 MORE (D-N.J.), the top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. "And more resources are needed to support the families and communities impacted by this crisis."
Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenTreasury says more rental aid is reaching tenants, preventing evictions 11 senators urge House to pass .5T package before infrastructure bill Senate Democrats seeking information from SPACs, questioning 'misaligned incentives' MORE (D-Mass.), for example, has a bill to provide $100 billion to fight the crisis over 10 years, which she says is closer to what is necessary to truly address the crisis.
What's next: The Senate is expected to soon approve the bill, sending it to President TrumpDonald TrumpJulian Castro knocks Biden administration over refugee policy Overnight Energy & Environment — League of Conservation Voters — Climate summit chief says US needs to 'show progress' on environment Five takeaways from Arizona's audit results MORE's desk.
Trump signs Labor-HHS spending bill.
It includes $180 billion in funds, including programs to combat the opioid epidemic, funding increases for the National Institutes of Health, increases for Pell Grants, and a variety of community block grants.
Among the highlights:
- A $2 billion increase for medical research at the National Institutes of Health
- $3.8 billion to fight the opioid crisis
Why it matters: It's the first time in 20 years Congress has passed the Labor-Health and Human Services bill before the end of the fiscal year. Usually, the bill is held up by efforts to defund Planned Parenthood, but Republicans wanted to avoid a government shutdown ahead of the midterms.
Planned Parenthood launches ad campaign to educate people on how to respond when someone shares that they've been assaulted.
The ads come after Christine Blasey Ford testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee about her allegation that Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her.
"Millions of women and countless survivors watched the Senate testimony, and for many, it was painful to witness," said Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
"Sexual assault can be a traumatic, life-changing event. Thursday's hearings will remind many survivors of their own trauma, and the shame and doubt that prevents far too many from coming forward. And the unfortunate truth is that too many people who do come forward with an experience of sexual assault suffer further hurt and humiliation by having their story dismissed, their integrity doubted, or their motives questioned."
The ads, called "believe survivors of sexual assault," will air Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Maine, North Dakota, New York and Washington, D.C. Planned Parenthood is spending six figures on the buy.
What we're reading
Drugmakers play the patent game to lock In prices, block competitors (NPR)
Fight over fetal tissue splits HHS, anti-abortion allies (Politico)
"Contraception deserts" likely to widen under new Trump policy (Kaiser Health News)
State by state
Northam, health care providers gather at Virginia's first behavioral health summit (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
Nebraska to hold public meetings over Medicaid expansion (AP)