Overnight Health Care: House files motion to defend ObamaCare in lawsuit | Trump Medicaid director leaving after three months

Welcome to Friday's Overnight Health Care.

It's Day 14 of the partial government shutdown. Lawmakers met again with President TrumpDonald John TrumpUS-Saudi Arabia policy needs a dose of 'realpolitik' Trump talks to Swedish leader about rapper A$AP Rocky, offers to vouch for his bail Matt Gaetz ahead of Mueller hearing: 'We are going to reelect the president' MORE at the White House but failed to reach a deal. Trump said he would be willing to let the shutdown drag on for years to get his border wall.

In health care news, the Trump administration's Medicaid director is leaving and Rep. Steve KingSteven (Steve) Arnold KingYoung Turks reporter tricks Steve King into tweeting about 'A Few Good Men' villain Holocaust survivor who offered to tour Auschwitz with Ocasio-Cortez calls for her to 'be removed from Congress' Liz Cheney hits back at Ocasio-Cortez over concentration camp comments: 'This isn't model Congress' MORE (R-Iowa) has introduced a dead-on-arrival ObamaCare repeal bill. But first...


The House took the first legal step to defend ObamaCare against the GOP-led lawsuit

House Democrats have officially filed a motion to intervene in defense of ObamaCare in court against a Republican-led lawsuit.


The motion, filed Thursday, asks the court to allow the House to intervene as a defendant, alongside a group of Democratic states, since the Trump administration has declined to defend the law.

The filing notes the House "has a unique institutional interest in participating in this litigation to defend the ACA against the remaining challenges, and intervention should be granted."

What's next: There's no practical effect of the House becoming involved; in fact, some legal experts have been saying the House should legislate its way out of the problem, rather than getting involved legally. But the notion of intervening has always been about the politics. Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTrump telling aides to look at potential spending cuts if he wins reelection: report Budget talks between White House, Pelosi spill into weekend Trump says he won't watch Mueller testimony MORE (D-Calif.) is going to hold votes week next on intervening in the case. The votes are a formality and are meant to put Republican lawmakers on record.

More on the motion here.


Trump's Medicaid director is leaving after less than three months on the job

Mary Mayhew announced Friday her resignation as the director of the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services (CMS).

She will join the administration of Florida Gov.-elect Ron DeSantisRonald Dion DeSantisTo win over Midwesterners, Democrats should rethink school choice stance DeSantis wants statue of civil rights activist to replace Confederate figure on Capitol Hill Florida couple wins right to plant vegetables in front yard after years-long legal battle MORE (R).

Why it matters: Mayhew is an ardent opponent of Medicaid expansion, and advocates in Florida have been pushing for years to expand the program to more low-income adults. She'll likely be on the forefront of opposing those efforts in Florida.

Read more here.


Time is a flat circle: Rep. Steve King introduces bill to repeal ObamaCare

It's already attracted 14 co-sponsors -- mostly members of the conservative Freedom Caucus. But it illustrates that, while ObamaCare is experiencing record levels of popularity, some lawmakers are always going to call for its repeal.

Among the signers: Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsLawmakers request documents on DC councilman ethics investigation House Republicans dismissive of Paul Ryan's take on Trump The 27 Republicans who voted with Democrats to block Trump from taking military action against Iran MORE (R-N.C.) and Rep. Tom ColeThomas (Tom) Jeffrey ColeTrump faces new hit on deficit History in the House: Congress weathers unprecedented week White House, Congress inch toward debt, budget deal MORE (R-Okla.), former chairman of the House appropriations subcommittee on Labor and Health and Human Services.


Next week

The House and Senate are back in session Tuesday. Unless something happens during negotiations this weekend, the government shutdown is likely to continue.


The House will vote and hold a floor debate Wednesday on a motion to intervene in the ObamaCare lawsuit. They technically did that Thursday as part of a rules package but want another chance to put Republicans on the record. 


What we're reading

Democrats look to unlikely ally on drug pricing: Donald Trump (The Washington Post)

As hospitals post sticker prices online, most patients will remain befuddled (Kaiser Health News)

When medicine makes patients sicker (Kaiser Health News)

The $9 billion upcharge: how insurers kept extra cash from Medicare (The Wall Street Journal)


State by state

Thousands of SC parents would lose health insurance in Medicaid plan, study says (TheState.com)

Ellison to target prescription drug prices, housing costs in Minnesota (Minnesota Public Radio)