Overnight Health Care: 'Medicare for All' gets boost from high-ranking Democrat | Anti-abortion group vows to spend $41M in 2020 election | Dems make Medicaid center of Kentucky governor fight

Overnight Health Care: 'Medicare for All' gets boost from high-ranking Democrat | Anti-abortion group vows to spend $41M in 2020 election | Dems make Medicaid center of Kentucky governor fight
© Greg Nash

Welcome to Tuesday's Overnight Health Care.

A busy Tuesday. A top House Democrat threw his support behind Medicare for all, Kentucky Democrats want to make the state's governor's race about Medicaid, the head of an anti-abortion group promised to pour big money into the 2020 election, and lawmakers traded barbs over state abortion laws.

We'll start with Medicare for All:


'Medicare for All' gets new boost from high-ranking House Dem

A boost for Medicare for all: The No. 4 House Democrat, Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (D-N.M.), announced his support on Tuesday.

"Despite the incredible progress we've made because of the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion, we continue to see Americans crushed by the health insurance industry, and health care remains a right that far too many New Mexicans and far too many Americans struggle to gain," Luján said in a statement.


Political context: Lujan is running for Senate in New Mexico.

His position also stands in contrast to the top three Democratic leaders, who have not backed Medicare for All.

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiObjections to Trump's new immigration rule wildly exaggerated Latest pro-democracy rally draws tens of thousands in Hong Kong Lewandowski on potential NH Senate run: If I run, 'I'm going to win' MORE (D-Calif.) supports hearings on Medicare for All, but she has declined to voice support for the legislation itself and has raised doubts about the bill, including its price tag. She has also noted she wants to build on her signature legislation, the Affordable Care Act.

Read more here.


Head of anti-abortion group promises to spend $41M during 2020 election cycle

The president of the nation's largest anti-abortion advocacy group is pledging to pour big money into the next election cycle.

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, said at the organization's annual fundraising dinner Monday night in Washington her group would spend $41 million in the 2020 cycle to reelect President TrumpDonald John TrumpO'Rourke: Trump driving global, U.S. economy into recession Manchin: Trump has 'golden opportunity' on gun reforms Objections to Trump's new immigration rule wildly exaggerated MORE and "pro-life" members of Congress, while also advocating for more abortion restrictions at the state level.

The goal, she said, is to eventually overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision that established a woman's right to abortion.

The Susan B. Anthony List is one of the most powerful anti-abortion groups in the country, supporting the campaigns of lawmakers opposed to abortion at the federal and state levels.

Dannenfelser herself is a close ally of the Trump administration and served as the chair of the Trump campaign's 2016 anti-abortion coalition, helping build support for him among voters who oppose abortion.

Lay of the land: Her speech comes as a host of red states, emboldened by a conservative majority on the Supreme Court, have passed laws banning abortion often before most women even know they're pregnant, culminating in Alabama's near-total ban. Going into 2020, Republicans and the Susan B. Anthony List will paint Democrats as extreme on abortion, pointing to recently passed bills in states like Illinois and New York that would ease restrictions on the procedure, Dannenfelser said.

Read more about her plans here.


Democrats make Medicaid center of Kentucky governor fight

Kentucky Democrats want to make the state's 2019 gubernatorial race ground zero in the battle over Medicaid expansion and work requirements.

Democratic challenger Andy Beshear's campaign is looking to take a page from his party's 2018 midterm win, highlighting health care to upset the Republican incumbent Gov. Matt Bevin, who recently polled as the most unpopular governor in the country.

Democrats believe Bevin is vulnerable because of his efforts to roll back health coverage by imposing work requirements and monthly premiums on Kentucky's Medicaid expansion population. Bevin also opposes ObamaCare and has praised efforts by congressional Republicans to try to dismantle it.

Democratic strategists said highlighting health care is one of the main keys for the Beshear campaign to pull off an improbable victory.

But it's still Kentucky: Bevin is unpopular, but he's still a Republican in a state that President Trump carried by almost 30 points in 2016. If he gets bogged down on social issues, Beshear is projected to be much more vulnerable to GOP attacks. Bevin is expected to lean heavily on his close relationship with Trump and will have the full support of the White House. He has already been using Trump's name in campaign ads. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellAre Democrats turning Trump-like? House Democrat calls for gun control: Cities can ban plastic straws but 'we can't ban assault weapons?' Churches are arming and training congregants in response to mass shootings: report MORE (R-Ky.), who defeated Bevin in a 2014 primary, and is up for reelection next year, will reportedly help Bevin if needed.

Read more on the fight over Medicaid in Kentucky here.


Dems, Republicans in Congress spar over state abortion laws

The fight over state abortion bans moved to Congress Tuesday with Democrats holding a hearing to declare an ongoing "crisis" in states across the country.

"This country has reached a crisis point for women's constitutional rights to control their own bodies and their own reproductive choices," Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerGOP memo deflects some gun questions to 'violence from the left' House Democrats urge Trump to end deportations of Iraqis after diabetic man's death French officials call for investigation of Epstein 'links with France' MORE (D-N.Y.) said at a hearing Tuesday.

Nadler and Democrats blasted recently passed abortion bans in states like Alabama and Georgia as an effort to force the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling that established a woman's right to abortion.

Why it matters: It's the first hearing this year Democrats have dedicated to state abortion bans.

The hearing is unlikely to result in any congressional action while Republicans control the Senate, but showed how Democrats plan to expand abortion access should they win back the Senate in 2020 and defeat President Trump.

The hearing did not end without name calling. Nadler called Rep. Mike JohnsonJames (Mike) Michael JohnsonConservatives call on Pelosi to cancel August recess Nadler shuts down Republican point of order after impeachment question Live coverage: Mueller testifies before Congress MORE (R-La.) "arrogant" for wanting to "impose" his moral beliefs on others, the committee's top Republican Doug CollinsDouglas (Doug) Allen CollinsThe United States broken patent system is getting worse Democratic Women's Caucus calls for investigation into Epstein plea deal Activist groups push House Judiciary leaders to end mass phone data collection MORE (R-Ga.) accused Nadler of "hypocrisy" in response.

Read more here.


Former head of CDC pleads guilty to reduced charge in groping case

Former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) director Thomas Frieden pleaded guilty on Tuesday after he was accused of groping a woman in his New York apartment.

According to the Brooklyn District Attorney, Frieden pleaded guilty to a charge of disorderly conduct and will not serve any jail time. He was ordered to avoid contact with the woman, who was a longtime family friend, for a year.

Frieden was initially arrested in August 2018 and charged with misdemeanor forcible touching, third-degree sexual abuse and second-degree harassment after the police said he inappropriately touched the woman in October 2017.

More here.


Missouri judge throws out state subpoenas in Planned Parenthood case

An update in the ongoing lawsuit over the fate of Missouri's lone abortion clinic: a circuit judge threw out the state's subpoenas of four doctors who trained at Planned Parenthood.

The doctors' testimony is not needed and would cause an undue burden, Circuit Court Judge Michael Stelzer ruled Tuesday.

What's next: A hearing on Planned Parenthood's request for a preliminary injunction Wednesday.

Planned Parenthood sued the state's health department for refusing to renew its abortion license without interviewing doctors who work at the clinic as part of an ongoing investigation into potential violations of state laws and regulations.

Read more here.


The Hill hosts:

On Tuesday, June 25th, The Hill will host Cost, Quality and Care: The Medicare Equation at the Newseum in Washington, DC. The Hill's Editor-at-Large Steve Clemons and Editor-in-Chief Bob CusackRobert (Bob) CusackThe Hill's Editor-in-Chief: Biden's lack of energy is an issue The Hill's Morning Report — Trump and the new Israel-'squad' controversy The Hill's Morning Report — Will Congress do anything on gun control? MORE will sit down with Reps. Brett GuthrieSteven (Brett) Brett GuthrieOvernight Health Care — Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids — Poll finds Trump vulnerable on health care in battleground states | HHS must respond to petition on abortion referral ban by Thursday | Wyden presses health officials about CBD regulations Lawmakers map out path forward on Medicare Part D The Hill's Morning Report - In exclusive interview, Trump talks Biden, Iran, SCOTUS and reparations MORE (R-Ky.) and Doris MatsuiDoris Okada MatsuiLobbying World House bill would make World Cup funds contingent on equal pay Here are the 95 Democrats who voted to support impeachment MORE (D-Calif.) and an expert panel for a discussion on how leaders in Washington and the health industry can bring down drug costs for Medicare patients while continuing to ensure quality of care for those who depend on the program. RSVP here.


What we're reading

ObamaCare rate hikes appear modest for 2020 (Politico)

Congress revives ban on altering the DNA of human embryos used for pregnancies (Stat News)

Hospitals accused of paying doctors kickbacks in quest for patients (California Healthcare)


State by state

Republicans who helped expand Medicaid in Virginia mostly escape primary challenges (The Washington Post)

Wisconsin Republican lawmakers to vote on Medicaid budget (Wisconsin Public Radio)


From The Hill's opinion page

What mental health services can teach us about a consumer health-care model