Overnight Health Care — Presented by National Taxpayers Union — Trump, Dems open drug price talks | FDA warns against infusing young people's blood | Facebook under scrutiny over health data | Harris says Medicare for all isn't socialism

Welcome to Tuesday's Overnight Health Care.

There's plenty of health care news after the long weekend. There are bipartisan talks between Democrats and the Trump administration on drug prices, Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisJ.J. Abrams, Shonda Rhimes to host Kamala Harris fundraiser Warren, Klobuchar call on FTC to curtail use of non-compete clauses Pollster says 'it's certainly not looking good' for Trump ahead of 2020 MORE says Medicare for all is not socialism, and the FDA doesn't want you injecting the blood plasma of young people.

We'll start with drug pricing:  

 

High stakes as Trump, Dems open drug price talks

Talks are getting underway between Democrats and the Trump administration on drug pricing as the sides look for a rare area of common ground.

Signs of movement...

Some caveats: The prospects for any bipartisan deal are tough given how polarized the political environment is amid Democratic investigations of Trump and the approaching 2020 election.

"I think the administration needs to stand up to the drug lobby and they won't any more than they stand up to the gun lobby or Wall Street," said Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownWarren, Klobuchar call on FTC to curtail use of non-compete clauses The Hill's Morning Report - Trump, Dems put manufacturing sector in 2020 spotlight Trump faces political risks in fight over GM plant MORE (D-Ohio), a possible presidential candidate who attended a meeting with Azar last week.

Still, Brown called Azar "very smart" and said the administration had proposed "a few good things" on drug prices.

Read more here about the state of play.

 

 

 

 

 

Not a headline we thought we'd write today... FDA warns against infusing young people's blood to fight aging

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning against buying young people's blood in an attempt to fight aging and other diseases.

"Simply put, we're concerned that some patients are being preyed upon by unscrupulous actors touting treatments of plasma from young donors as cures and remedies," the FDA said in a statement on Tuesday.

For example, a company called Ambrosia charges $8,000 for people to receive an infusion of blood from young people.

While not naming any company, the FDA said "such treatments have no proven clinical benefits for the uses for which these clinics are advertising them and are potentially harmful."

"There are reports of bad actors charging thousands of dollars for infusions that are unproven and not guided by evidence from adequate and well-controlled trials," the agency added.

Read more here.

 

Anti-Medicare for all industry group launches new video

The video from the group, the Partnership for America's Health Care Future, warns of "trillions in higher taxes," among other things. Watch it here.

 

Harris: Medicare for all is not socialism

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) on Tuesday said "Medicare for all" is not a socialist idea.

"No, no. It's about providing health care to all people," Harris said in an interview with NBC News.

Harris, a progressive presidential candidate who has embraced Medicare for all, told NBC that rising costs are making health care unaffordable, and she wants to provide universal access to health care.

"It's about understanding that access to affordable health care should not be a privilege, it should be a right. It's about understanding that in a democracy, and the way we have constructed our democracy, we at least in concept have said that your access to public education, public health or public safety should not be a function of how much money you have," Harris said.

Last month, Harris attracted headlines when she told a CNN town hall she wants to eliminate private insurance in an effort to move fully toward Medicare for all.

Read more here.

 

Patients and health groups are accusing Facebook of exposing the personal health data of users

A group of patients and health data experts is accusing Facebook of misleading users about how their personal health information can be manipulated and exposed without patients' explicit permission.

In a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) complaint released publicly on Tuesday, the group alleges that Facebook prompts its users to join online medical support groups under the guise that they are "private" – but does not make clear that users could expose their health data when they join.

The claims: For example, if Facebook's algorithms suspect that a user is pregnant, the platform may prompt that user to join a pregnancy support group. Though many of those groups are advertised by their administrators as "private," "anonymous" or "confidential," the data shared in those groups can be shared with third parties.

And lawmakers are getting involved: House Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone Jr.Frank Joseph PalloneDems ask FTC if it needs more money to protect privacy Trump officials take bold steps on Medicaid Divisions emerge over House drug price bills MORE (D-N.J.) and Rep. Jan SchakowskyJanice (Jan) Danoff SchakowskyDems ask FTC if it needs more money to protect privacy Overnight Health Care: CDC pushes for expanding HIV testing, treatment | Dem group launches ads attacking Trump on Medicare, Medicaid cuts | Hospitals, insurers spar over surprise bills | O'Rourke under pressure from left on Medicare for all O'Rourke faces pressure from left on 'Medicare for all' MORE (D-Ill.), who chairs the commerce subcommittee, requested a staff briefing from Facebook in response.

Facebook's response: A Facebook spokesperson in a statement to The Hill said the company looks forward to "briefing the committee about how these products work."

"It's intentionally clear to people that when they join any group on Facebook, other members of that group can see that they are a part of that community, and can see the posts they choose to share with that community," the spokesperson added.

The Hill's Emily Birnbaum has more here.

 

Kaiser medical school in California to offer free tuition to first five classes of students

California-based health-care company Kaiser Permanente announced Tuesday that it will provide free tuition to the first five classes of students who attend its new medical school in Pasadena, Calif.

The Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine plans to begin offering classes in the summer of 2020 after recently receiving its preliminary accreditation.

The first five graduating classes at the school will have their entire four-year tuition waived, the company announced.

Students will then go on to do their clinical work at hospitals and clinics in the Kaiser Permanente network.

Students can begin applying for the school this June.

"The school will help shape the future of medical education and train physicians for medical excellence and the total health of their patients," Kaiser Permanente Chairman and CEO Bernard Tyson said in a press release Tuesday.

Read more here.

 

 

 

 

What we're reading

Voter initiatives, including Medicaid expansion, could get harder to pass (The Wall Street Journal)

FDA, drug companies, doctors mishandled use of powerful fentanyl painkiller (The Washington Post)

'Everyone is at fault': With insulin prices skyrocketing, there's plenty of blame to go around (Stat)

 

State by state

Bill expanding 'Insure Oklahoma' passes state Senate committee (KFOR)

ObamaCare sign-up for Georgia counties that were hit by hurricane about to end (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)