Overnight Health Care: Trump vows to veto bills expanding abortion rights | Abortion foes march into divided Washington | Medicaid work requirements approved in Arizona

Overnight Health Care: Trump vows to veto bills expanding abortion rights | Abortion foes march into divided Washington | Medicaid work requirements approved in Arizona
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Welcome to Friday's Overnight Health Care.

Anti-abortion marchers came to Washington, where the government is divided and still partially shut down. There's also news on Medicaid work requirements and a new warning about teen vaping. But we'll start with the big march...

Programming note: We'll be off Monday for MLK Day and back Tuesday.

 

Trump vows to veto bills expanding abortion rights in video address to March for Life.

Amid the shutdown and Russia probe drama in Washington on Friday, it was also time for the annual March for Life.

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"If they send any legislation to my desk that weakens the protection of human life, I will issue a veto and we have the support to uphold those vetoes," Trump said in a message displayed to the crowd gathered for the annual anti-abortion march in Washington.

"Every child is a sacred gift from God," Trump said in the message.

Vice President Pence spoke in person at the march, calling Trump a "champion" for abortion opponents.

"President Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpAverage tax refunds down double-digits, IRS data shows White House warns Maduro as Venezuela orders partial closure of border with Colombia Trump administration directs 1,000 more troops to Mexican border MORE is the most pro-life president in American history," Pence told the crowd.

Flashback: Trump and anti-abortion groups were not always on the same page. Trump took heat during the GOP presidential primary for saying in 1999 that he is "pro-choice in every respect."

He has since changed his position and been embraced by anti-abortion groups during his presidency.

"Let me be clear -- I am pro-life," Trump wrote in 2016. "I did not always hold this position, but I had a significant personal experience that brought the precious gift of life into perspective for me."

Read more here.

 

We took a broader look at where things stand for the anti-abortion movement.

With Democrats back in control of the House, some anti-abortion activists are downgrading their ambitions and focusing on executive action.

"The sad part about that, for many of us who believe that defunding Planned Parenthood is appropriate, is that more should have been done when we had the majority in the House, the Senate and the White House," said House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsFive takeaways from McCabe’s allegations against Trump The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the American Academy of HIV Medicine — Trump, Congress prepare for new border wall fight Winners and losers in the border security deal MORE (R-N.C.).

"I don't see anything being done. I don't see any legislative actions that will be considered substantial," he added. "Most of the work on that would be done through the executive branch."

Read more here.

 

Trump administration approves Medicaid work requirements in Arizona

The Trump administration's Medicaid work requirements have long been controversial-- and now they're approved in another state.

Arizona is the eighth state to receive permission to impose work requirements on Medicaid beneficiaries, but will be the first to allow an exemption for members of federally recognized tribes.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said the tribal exemption "is consistent with the unique status of tribal governments."

The work requirements can take effect beginning January 1, 2020 and will impact about 120,000 people.

Bigger picture: The approval suggests that Trump administration health officials are determined to push ahead on a key priority for conservatives, despite criticism from Democrats and experts who warn of people losing coverage as a result of work requirements.

Read more here.

 

FDA: Level of young people addicted to vaping may require drug therapies

The Trump administration's Food and Drug Administration commissioner says levels of e-cigarette use among young people are reaching new heights even as traditional cigarette use drops to historic lows.

Commissioner Scott Gottlieb remarked at a public hearing Friday in Silver Spring, Md., that it was shocking to him that the rate of young people addicted to e-cigarettes use, commonly referred to as "vaping," had reached levels where FDA-approved methods for quitting e-cigarettes could be necessary.

"A few years ago, it would've been incredible to me that we would be here today discussing the potential for drug therapy to help addicted young people quit," Gottlieb told FDA officials at the Friday meeting.

The current number of middle and high school students who regularly use e-cigarettes sits at 3.6 million, he added, an increase of about 1.5 million from the previous year.

Read more here.

 

What we're reading

ObamaCare premiums could increase next year under proposed rule changes (Associated Press)

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Anti-abortion activists play defense in Congress while waiting for Supreme Court decisions (USA Today)

Why infants may be more likely to die in America than Cuba (The New York Times opinion)

 

State by state

Georgia governor pitches Medicaid waiver in State of State (Associated Press)

Planned Parenthood could be kicked out of Medicaid in Texas after federal court ruling (KFOX)

Federal shutdown brings chaos to legal fight over governor's plan for Kentucky Medicaid (Lexington Herald-Leader)