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

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
© Getty Images

Welcome to Monday's Overnight Health Care.

A new report from the CDC shows the need to expand HIV testing, a pro-ObamaCare group is targeting vulnerable lawmakers over Trump's budget, and Democrats are shifting their strategy on gun violence research.

We'll start with the CDC data:

 

CDC: Most new HIV infections come from those not receiving treatment

Thirty-eight percent of people with HIV weren't receiving treatment and were linked to 81 percent of new infections of the virus, according to 2016 data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday.

Of the 1.1 million people living with HIV in the U.S. in 2016, 15 percent were unaware they had the virus and were linked to 38 percent of new infections, according to the data.

ADVERTISEMENT

Twenty-three percent of people knew they had HIV but weren't in care and were linked to 43 percent of new infections that year.

Why it matters: The CDC said the data prove the effort to end HIV in the U.S. needs to focus on quickly diagnosing those who have it, treating them as soon as possible and protecting people who are at risk of getting it.

Trump's goal: The Trump administration recently announced a plan to reduce new HIV transmissions by 90 percent in 10 years. The plan largely focuses on quickly diagnosing those who have it, treating them as soon as possible and protecting people who are at risk of getting it.

Read more here.

 

Trump AIDS council calls on administration to rescind budget cuts

The Trump administration's newly revamped advisory council on HIV/AIDS last week passed its first resolution, in support of the administration's initiative to end the HIV epidemic in 10 years.

The resolution, which was shared first with The Hill, calls on the administration to work with Congress to ensure the initiative is sufficiently funded until it meets the goal of ending the HIV epidemic.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden leads Trump by 36 points nationally among Latinos: poll Trump dismisses climate change role in fires, says Newsom needs to manage forest better Jimmy Kimmel hits Trump for rallies while hosting Emmy Awards MORE's budget requested $291 million toward that effort. The funding request includes $140 million for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for testing and prevention while "directly supporting states and localities in the fight against HIV."

The resolution also calls on the administration to rescind any "policies, programs and budgets" that will harm efforts to achieve that goal. That seems to be a mild rebuke of the administration's proposed budget.

Even though resources would be directed towards reducing HIV domestically, the budget called for deep cuts to the National Institutes of Health and CDC as well as global HIV/AIDS prevention efforts. It also proposed slashing Medicaid funding and ending ObamaCare's Medicaid expansion.

 

Democratic group launches ads attacking Trump's 'hypocrisy on Medicare and Medicaid cuts'

A leading Democratic health group is launching a national ad campaign against vulnerable 2020 lawmakers for supporting what the group calls President Trump's "blatant hypocrisy on Medicare and Medicaid cuts."

The five-figure ad from Protect Our Care targets four senators and six House members and calls Trump a hypocrite for proposing massive cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, despite his repeated promises on the campaign trail to save those programs.

"Trump is turning his back on seniors and families -- proposing over two trillion dollars in cuts to Medicare and Medicaid," the ad says. "Breaking his promise. Slashing our health care to the bone. And for what? Tax breaks for the wealthiest corporations."

The ad will run on cable TV in Washington, D.C., and online. The group is targeting GOP Sens. Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyMcConnell locks down key GOP votes in Supreme Court fight Will Republicans' rank hypocrisy hinder their rush to replace Ginsburg? Trump supporters chant 'Fill that seat' at North Carolina rally MORE (Ariz.), Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerMcConnell locks down key GOP votes in Supreme Court fight Will Republicans' rank hypocrisy hinder their rush to replace Ginsburg? Jeff Flake: Republicans 'should hold the same position' on SCOTUS vacancy as 2016 MORE (Colo.), Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisMcConnell locks down key GOP votes in Supreme Court fight Will Republicans' rank hypocrisy hinder their rush to replace Ginsburg? Trump supporters chant 'Fill that seat' at North Carolina rally MORE (N.C.) and Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsMcConnell locks down key GOP votes in Supreme Court fight Most Americans think winner of election should pick next Supreme Court justice: poll Murkowski: Supreme Court nominee should not be taken up before election MORE (Maine), along with GOP Reps. Brian FitzpatrickBrian K. FitzpatrickFlorida Democrat introduces bill to recognize Puerto Rico statehood referendum DCCC reserves new ad buys in competitive districts, adds new members to 'Red to Blue' program 2020 Global Tiger Day comes with good news, but Congress still has work to do MORE (Pa.), Rodney DavisRodney Lee DavisHouse passes legislation to boost election security research House Republicans investigating California secretary of state's contract with Biden-linked firm House Democrats' campaign arm releases ads hitting 10 Republicans on health care MORE (Ill.), Fred UptonFrederick (Fred) Stephen UptonOn Paycheck Protection Program, streamlined forgiveness is key Hispanic Caucus campaign arm endorses slate of non-Hispanic candidates Progressives soaring after big primary night MORE (Mich.), Jim HagedornJames Lee HagedornHispanic Caucus campaign arm endorses slate of non-Hispanic candidates Cook shifts 20 House districts toward Democrats Time to look at both sides of the medical ledger MORE (Minn.), Don Bacon (Neb.) and John KatkoJohn Michael KatkoThis week: House returns for pre-election sprint Hillicon Valley: Simulated cyberattack success | New bill for election security funding | Amazon could be liable for defective products Lawmakers introduce bill to help election officials address cyber vulnerabilities MORE (N.Y.).

Not quite the whole story: Democrats have repeatedly slammed the administration's proposed cuts, but their attacks don't quite give the full picture. The attacks, and the ad, are an example of Democrats borrowing from the same Republican playbook they have previously criticized.

A recent analysis by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget found that the vast majority of the Medicare cuts in Trump's 2020 budget request are to payments to hospitals and doctors, not cuts to benefits for seniors on the program. Only about 11 percent of the proposed Medicare cuts would affect seniors, the analysis found.

However, Trump's proposed cuts would significantly affect Medicaid enrollees.

Read more on the attack ads here

 

More from Protect Our Care…

 

The group is planning events for ObamaCare anniversary

The pro-ObamaCare group is planning events this week to commemorate the ninth anniversary of the health law being signed into law, on March 23.

The group will have events in Alaska, Ohio, Colorado, Arizona, Iowa, Georgia, Maine and North Carolina, a list which includes some 2020 Senate battlegrounds.

The events will "urge Congress to take action to lower the cost of prescription drugs, rein in insurance companies, crack down on short-term junk plans and other steps necessary to improve our health care system," the group said. "The events will also serve as an opportunity to call out Republicans in each state for their continued acts of health care sabotage and support for repeal."

 

Hospitals hit back at insurers over surprise medical bills

It seems like everyone agrees that patients shouldn't get stuck with massive unexpected medical bills when they get emergency care... The only problem is figuring out who will end up paying for those bills.

In an effort to figure that out, on Monday, America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) sent a letter to congressional leaders laying out principles for surprise billing legislation.

They called for setting payment rates from insurers to medical providers based on a funding formula determined by current payment rates or off of the rate Medicare pays.  

Hospitals, worried about government setting payment rates hit back in a statement Monday, warning that was a "dangerous precedent."

Why it matters: Congress could pass legislation to protect patients from surprise medical bills in a bipartisan way this year. But that will be hard to do with two powerful industry groups fighting each other over it.

 

Dems shift strategy for securing gun violence research funds

Congressional Democrats are shifting tactics in their effort to secure gun violence research funds for the first time in 23 years by drawing on a decades-old policy initially backed by the National Rifle Association (NRA).

Congress stopped funding gun violence research at the CDC in 1996 when it first passed the Dickey amendment, which prohibits the agency from using federal funds to advocate for gun control.

House Democrats are abandoning their goal of getting rid of the Dickey amendment, a policy rider that's discouraged federal agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from studying ways to prevent gun-related deaths.

House Democrats who want to resume funding for gun violence research at the CDC now say the amendment can stay in place as a "guardrail," an attempt to allay concerns that the money could be used inappropriately.

Read more on the new approach here.

 

O'Rourke faces pressure from left on 'Medicare for all'

Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeJimmy Carter says his son smoked pot with Willie Nelson on White House roof O'Rourke endorses Kennedy for Senate: 'A champion for the values we're most proud of' 2020 Democrats do convention Zoom call MORE is backing off his support for full-scale single payer, and that's drawing fire from progressive activists.

"It's very disheartening and misleading because he did flirt with Medicare for all during his Senate race," said Waleed Shahid, communications director for the progressive group Justice Democrats and a former Sanders staffer.

What he has said in the past: O'Rourke previously supported a full-scale single-payer plan, writing in a 2017 Facebook post, "We need a single-payer health care system for all Americans."

What does he support instead? O'Rourke says he likes a plan from Reps. Jan SchakowskyJanice (Jan) Danoff SchakowskyAhead of a coronavirus vaccine, Mexico's drug pricing to have far-reaching impacts on Americans With Biden, advocates sense momentum for lifting abortion funding ban Hillicon Valley: Facebook removed over 22 million posts for hate speech in second quarter | Republicans introduce bill to defend universities against hackers targeting COVID-19 research | Facebook's Sandberg backs Harris as VP pick MORE (D-Ill.) and Rosa DeLauroRosa Luisa DeLauroTrump HHS official faces firestorm after attacks on scientists Ahead of a coronavirus vaccine, Mexico's drug pricing to have far-reaching impacts on Americans Shutdown politics set to collide with coronavirus aid MORE (D-Conn.) that allows anyone to buy into Medicare, while keeping private, employer-based coverage as an option.

It's worth noting even that plan is significantly to the left of what President Obama and Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBiden leads Trump by 36 points nationally among Latinos: poll Democratic super PAC to hit Trump in battleground states over coronavirus deaths Battle lines drawn on precedent in Supreme Court fight MORE supported.

Why it matters: The issue has become an important litmus test for those on the party's left and an early question for O'Rourke, who announced his presidential run on Thursday.

Read more here.

 

What we're reading

Medicare for America, Beto O'Rourke's favorite health care plan, explained (Vox.com)

Group with consumer-friendly vibe pushes drugmakers' message (Associated Press)

What Medicare for all means for doctors and hospitals (CNN.com)

Death by 1,000 clicks: Where electronic health records went wrong (Kaiser Health News)

 

State by state

After five years and $400M, TennCare quietly launches new application system (Tennessean)

Ohio attorney general accuses drug-pricing manager of bilking state (Toledo Blade)

Ohio Medicaid work rules: 5 things to know (Dayton Daily News)

 

From The Hill's opinion page

Let's make our babies a national priority

Older Americans will suffer if White House cuts HIV funding