Overnight Healthcare

Overnight Health Care: Judge temporarily blocks Trump abortion rule | CBO report on single-payer coming next week | Warren plan would reward hospitals that make childbirth safer for black women

Welcome to Thursday’s Overnight Health Care.

A federal judge has temporarily blocked President Trump’s new abortion rule. Also in the news, we’re looking ahead with the CBO planning to release a report on single-payer health care next week ahead of the House hearing on Medicare for All. Also, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), a 2020 contender, unveiled a new policy on maternal mortality to protect black mothers.

We’ll start with the court ruling…


Breaking – Judge temporarily blocks Trump abortion rule

A federal judge in Washington has temporarily blocked the Trump administration from implementing a ban on abortion referrals at federally funded family planning clinics.

Judge Stanley Bastian, an Obama appointee, granted a nationwide preliminary injunction Thursday after hearing arguments in a suit challenging the changes.

What the Trump rule would do: The changes to the Title X family planning program, scheduled to go in effect May 3, would have banned providers receiving the grants from referring women for abortions. The rule issued by the administration also would have lifted a requirement that clinics counsel women on abortion as an option.

{mosads}Other parts of the rule that take effect later would have required that grant recipients be financially and physically separate from abortion providers, making hundreds of Planned Parenthood clinics across the country ineligible for funding.

What Thursday’s injunction means: The preliminary injunction means the Trump administration can’t enforce the rules while lawsuits challenging them are moving through the courts.

More on the ruling and what’s next here.


CBO to release report on single-payer health care next week

Get excited, health wonks: A CBO report on single-payer health care is coming next week (May 1), the agency announced today.

BUT, there may not be a specific price tag in the analysis, a key figure, given that the CBO will not be releasing a full score. Instead they are releasing a “qualitative” analysis of options around single payer.

There will also be a hearing in the Budget Committee sometime in May.

The politics: Republicans are eager to have this hearing and discussion. Attacking Medicare for All is congressional Republicans’ main health care message these days, as they pivot away from attacking ObamaCare.

“House Budget Republicans look forward to this discussion and to hearing from Democrats how they plan to pay for a radical, multi-trillion-dollar proposal that would upend our nation’s health care system and leave Americans with bad health care, a weaker economy, and loads of debt,” said Lauren Blair Aronson, a spokesperson for House Budget Committee Republicans.

Read more here.   


Poll: About two-thirds of public blames drug companies for opioid crisis

About two-thirds of U.S. adults blame drug companies a “great deal” for the epidemic of opioid addiction, according to a new poll.

How it broke down:

  • 63 percent of the public blame drug companies
  • 58 percent blame people who use opioids
  • 46 percent blame doctors and dentists
  • 34 percent blame the government

Scrutiny of pharma’s role in the crisis: Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, pleaded guilty in 2007 to misleading the public about its drug’s addictive qualities. Facing a wave of lawsuits, the company is now exploring bankruptcy, Reuters reported last month.

Read more here.


Warren unveils plan to reward hospitals that make childbirth safer for black women

“Bundled payments” for hospitals is usually something reserved for health policy professors. But Elizabeth Warren gave the idea one of its most high-profile airings when she brought it into the Democratic presidential primary.

Warren proposed giving bonuses to hospitals who lower maternal mortality rates and taking money away from hospitals who do not.

“The hospitals are just going to get a lump of money, and if they bring down those maternal mortality rates then they get a bonus, and if they don’t then they’re going to have money taken away from them,” she said while speaking at the She the People forum.

Background: Maternal mortality a problem in the U.S.: The U.S. has the highest rate of maternal deaths among developed countries, with 26.4 deaths per 100,000 births.

About 60 percent of these deaths are preventable, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate. Black women are four times as likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women, according to a study published in The Lancet, a general medical journal.

Read more here.


What we’re reading

Single-payer advocates worry ‘Medicare for All’ hearing could be a ‘farce’ (HuffPost)

Over 20 million children a year miss out on first dose of measles vaccine (The New York Times)

Association insurance pushes on despite court ruling (Kaiser Health News)

Cornyn to launch bill against ‘patent thickets’ (Modern Healthcare)


State by state

Revelations cast doubt on Missouri’s claim that ‘improved economy’ shrunk Medicaid rolls (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Florida lawmakers seek compromise on hospitals’ Medicaid reimbursements in healthcare budget talks (Tampa Bay Times)

Tennessee House and Senate disagree on funding Medicaid for children with severe disabilities (Nashville Public Radio)

Calling teen vaping an epidemic, Colorado governor proposes new tobacco tax (Denver Post)


From The Hill’s opinion page:

New malaria vaccine: A new biotechnology for the children of Africa

A new age for tobacco — raising the age to 21 is a smart move

Tags Donald Trump Elizabeth Warren

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