Overnight Health Care: Dem chair seeks CBO report on single-payer | Democrats demand answers on Trump short-term insurance plans | Drugmaker Eli Lilly to publish drug list prices

Welcome to Tuesday's Overnight Health Care.

It's Day 18 of the government shutdown. The nation will be closely watching President TrumpDonald John TrumpPapadopoulos claims he was pressured to sign plea deal Tlaib asking colleagues to support impeachment investigation resolution Trump rips 'Mainstream Media': 'They truly are the Enemy of the People' MORE's prime-time address as he makes his case for $5 billion for a border wall.

 

On the health care front, Democrats are making some initial oversight moves on Trump health policies. They're also taking some initial steps on Medicare-for-all legislation.

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On the industry side, Juul has a new marketing campaign, and Lilly will let consumers find the price of the company's drugs.

We'll start with the Democrats...

 

Dem chairman requests CBO report on design of single-payer bill

House Budget Committee Chairman John YarmuthJohn Allen YarmuthGOP surprise raises new questions for Trump budget Senate GOP budget ignores Trump, cuts defense The politics and practicalities of impeachment MORE (D-Ky.) on Tuesday requested information from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) about single-payer health care proposals, a step forward in consideration of the idea.

In a letter to the CBO, Yarmuth requested a report on the "design and policy considerations lawmakers would face in developing single-payer health system proposals."

Getting input from the CBO is an important step forward for consideration of single-payer health care, sometimes also known as "Medicare for all." The idea has gained new momentum with Democrats taking control of the House.

Flashback: Republican Sen. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoSenate gears up for Green New Deal vote Trump: Green New Deal 'the most preposterous thing' and 'easy to beat' This week: Trump set for Senate setback on emergency declaration MORE (R-Wyo.) in the last session of Congress requested a CBO analysis of Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersHere's why Biden, Bernie and Beto are peaking Senate gears up for Green New Deal vote Overnight Energy: Green New Deal vote set to test Dem unity | Renewables on track to phase out coal, study finds | EPA chief reportedly recuses himself from mine review MORE’s (I-Vt.) single-payer proposal, with the hope that it would hurt the effort by highlighting its high costs.

Difference this time: Yarmuth is not requesting an analysis of a specific bill, so it will not carry a headline cost number the way a score of Sanders’s bill would. Instead, Yarmuth is looking for information on various important decisions Democrats will have to make on single-payer.

The CBO report is a precursor to hearings in the Budget Committee.

We've got more on the request here.

 

Democrats demand answers on Trump short-term insurance plans

House and Senate Democrats want answers about the Trump administration's decision to expand the availability of short-term insurance plans that are not required to meet ObamaCare requirements.

letter sent Tuesday is the third time Democratic health care leaders have written to the administration about the short-term plan rule, but the first time since Democrats took control of the House.

The Democrats said they remain concerned about the administration's "flawed" economic analysis on the expansion of short-term plans, which they said appeared to significantly underestimate the number of individuals who would sign up for short-term plans, and the impact the proposal would have on premiums in the individual market.

Background: The Trump administration in August finalized rules expanding non-ObamaCare health insurance plans in an effort to provide cheaper health insurance options.

Short-term health insurance plans can now last up to a year, lifting a limit of three months imposed under former President Obama. Insurers can renew the plans for up to three years.

Between the lines: Democrats are starting to flex some of their oversight muscle. Sending letters and asking for information is the first step, and it may not move beyond that. But lawmakers want to highlight what they see as GOP "sabotage" of ObamaCare, so if nothing else, there will be many more letters. The administration doesn't have to respond, but now that Democrats have the power to call hearings and possibly subpoena for information, they might be more forthcoming.

More on the letter here.

 

Washington governor pushes public option legislation

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) on Tuesday said Democratic lawmakers will be introducing legislation to offer residents of the state a public health insurance option, which would be a step toward single-payer health care.

Inslee, a potential 2020 presidential candidate, said the bill will direct the state's Health Care Authority to contract with health plans across the state to offer coverage on the Washington Health Benefit Exchange, which guarantees coverage to anyone in the individual insurance market across the state.

The plan would be designed with transparent and consistent deductibles, copays and coinsurance, according to a summary, and would "compete on premium price, provider networks, customer service, and quality."

Reimbursement rates would be consistent with Medicare rates, Inslee said.

"Under the Obama administration and the Affordable Care Act, Washington was able to make tremendous progress in expanding coverage and start bringing down costs in our health care system. Under the Trump administration, all that progress is at risk," Inslee said in a statement.

More on the plan here.

 

Dem lawmaker back at March for Life

After skipping the March for Life last year, Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.) will speak at the anti-abortion rally Jan. 18.

Lipinski was scheduled to speak at last year's rally, but bailed amidst a tough primary challenge from Marie Newman, an abortion rights supporter.

Abortion rights groups fought to unseat Lipinski, one of the few remaining anti-abortion Democrats in Congress.

Lipinski will be joined by Sen. Steve DainesSteven (Steve) David DainesGreen New Deal vote tests Dem unity in Senate Hillicon Valley: Mueller delivers report, ending investigation | FEMA exposed info of 2.3M disaster survivors | Facebook asks judge to toss DC privacy lawsuit | Trump picks his first CTO | FCC settles lawsuit over net neutrality records JOBS for Success Act would recognize that all people have potential MORE (R-Mont.) and Rep. Chris SmithChristopher (Chris) Henry SmithThe 31 Trump districts that will determine the next House majority Tax Foundation: Bill to restore full SALT deduction would benefit high earners Trump should push to end persecution of Chinese Christians as part of trade negotiations MORE (R-N.J), chairman of the House Pro-Life Caucus.

President Trump addressed the rally via live video last year while Vice President Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceMan who vandalized more than 100 gravestones at Jewish cemetery in Missouri gets probation Why do so many Democrats embrace hate speech? Overnight Health Care: Trump officials sued over Medicaid work requirements in New Hampshire | Analysis contradicts HHS claims on Arkansas Medicaid changes | Azar signals HHS won't back down on e-cigs MORE spoke and attended in person in 2017.

More here.

 

Juul launches new ad campaign

E-cigarette company Juul, looking to fight back against criticism that it's been marketing to teenagers, will launch a new series of television ads aimed at adult smokers. The initial spend on TV spots is around $10 million, and the ads will begin to appear today, a company spokeswoman said.

The ads feature testimonials from former adult smokers who used Juul to switch from traditional combustible cigarettes. Juul noted that smoking combustible cigarettes is the number one cause of preventable death. In the U.S., half of cigarette smokers will die from a tobacco-related illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"We want adult smokers to hear directly from former adult smokers that Juul Labs provides a true alternative to combustible cigarettes and is showing unprecedented success," the company said in a statement.

Target audience: Juul, and e-cigarette companies in general, have been feeling pressure from federal regulators looking to crack down on an epidemic of teen vaping. Juul has essentially cornered the market on vaping products and is now flush with cash following a $13 billion investment from traditional cigarette-maker Altria.

The ads are a concerted effort to show regulators that the products are going to the people who are supposed to be using them. Juul's products feature fruity flavors, and flashy colors that have become increasingly popular among teenagers.

Grey area: Tobacco companies have long been restricted from most TV or print advertising. However, federal and state regulators haven't yet applied the same standards to e-cigarettes, and it's not clear if there are any plans to. Late last year, the company overhauled its social media presence. Juul shuttered its Facebook and Instagram accounts, and asked Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat to prohibit the posting of any content that promotes the use of cigarettes or e-cigarettes by underage users.

 

Eli Lilly begins sharing drug cost info

Drugmaker Eli Lilly on Tuesday began posting price information online for drugs it advertises on TV.

The company began running TV ads for Trulicity, a popular diabetes drug. The ads don't give the price info, but direct viewers to a new website or an 800-number, where they can learn about the list price, average out-of-pocket costs and patient assistance programs.

The company set a deadline by the end of February to do the same for the other medicines advertised on TV.

Lilly said it is the first company to adopt the revised marketing principles adopted by the industry group Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) in October. Under those principles, every television ad from a PhRMA member that mentions a prescription drug by name will include a voiceover or text telling patients to go to a company-sponsored website where they can find information including the list price, as well as a range of potential out-of-pocket costs and potential patient assistance.  

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"We recognize that the U.S. health care system has asked Americans to pay more out-of-pocket--including for prescription medicines. So people need new tools to help them," Lilly said in a statement.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, who is working to implement President Trump's efforts to lower drug prices, was previously an executive at the company.

 

What we're reading

U.S. cancer death rate hits milestone: 25 years of decline (Associated Press)

People who don't respond to HIV meds overlooked by pharma, researchers (STAT)

CVS Health just revealed a key piece of its plan to change how Americans get health care (Business Insider)

Health care industry spends $30 billion a year on marketing (NBC News)

 

State by state

California Gov. Gavin Newsom comes out swinging Day One for single-payer, immigrant coverage (Deseret Sun)

New York is seeing its worst outbreak of measles in decades (NBC News)

 

From The Hill's opinion page

Should we build a border wall or fund research that saves millions of lives?