Overnight Health Care: GOP senator says drug price action unlikely this year | House panel weighs ban on flavored e-cigs | New York sues Juul
Overnight Health Care: Major doctors group votes to oppose single-payer | Panel recommends wider use of HIV prevention pill | New lawsuit over Trump 'conscience protection' rule
Welcome to Tuesday's Overnight Health Care.
Today, the American Medical Association (AMA) voted to oppose single payer, a federal panel has new recommendations on an HIV prevention treatment, Texas legalized hemp production, and there's a new lawsuit against the administration's "conscience" rule.
We'll start with the AMA...
Major doctors group votes to oppose single-payer health care
The nation's largest doctors group on Tuesday voted against a measure that would have dropped its decades-long opposition to single-payer health care proposals.
The American Medical Association's (AMA) House of Delegates voted 53 percent to 47 percent against the measure but adopted a slate of proposals to shore up the Affordable Care Act.
Why it matters: The AMA is part of a coalition of insurers, drug companies and hospital groups aggressively lobbying against "Medicare for All" proposals in Congress.
But the narrow vote shows its members aren't all on the same page.
The effort to drop the decades-old opposition was largely led by medical students, according to Modern Healthcare.
Influential health panel recommends daily HIV prevention pill
People at highest risk for HIV will soon have access to daily preventive medication at no additional cost through their private insurance plans, because of a provision in ObamaCare.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommended Tuesday that doctors offer patients at high risk of acquiring HIV the daily preventive medication known as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).
The influential health panel gave the recommendation an "A" rating. Under ObamaCare, most private plans are required to cover any "A" rated services without any patient cost-sharing.
Medicaid beneficiaries in states that have expanded Medicaid will also gain access to PrEP without charge, while people in non-expansion states will gain free access if their state has decided to cover all USPSTF preventive services.
Full impact unclear: AIDS groups praised the decision but expressed some concern that insurance companies might still try to impose barriers to coverage, like requiring prior authorization. The recommendation also didn't include a recommendation for a specific drug.
PrEP was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2012 and first recommended by the CDC in 2014, but access and cost challenges have prevented a large uptake. Only one brand -- a two-medication combination pill called Truvada -- has been approved for preventive use in the U.S. While many insurers already cover the drug, the cost is around $21,000 a year.
Advocates sue Trump administration over 'conscience protection' rule
A coalition of advocacy groups on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration, becoming the latest organizations to challenge the administration's new rule that allows health care providers to refuse to provide care because of their religious beliefs.
The groups, which include the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association (NFPRHA), argued that the rule "encourages and authorizes discrimination by unlawfully granting a wide swath of institutions and individuals broad new rights to refuse to provide health care services and information."
The lawsuit asks a federal judge in the Southern District of New York to declare the rule unconstitutional and block it from taking effect.
Reminder: The rule, personally announced by President Trump last month, would finalize broad rules to protect health workers and institutions from having to violate their religious or moral beliefs by participating in abortions, providing contraception, sterilization or other procedures.
Lawsuits upon lawsuits: A coalition led by New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) filed a similar lawsuit last month, as did California Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D). Additional challenges have come from Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the National Women's Law Center, and Democracy Forward.
Texas governor signs law legalizing hemp, CBD products
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed legislation creating a state-regulated hemp industry, which will allow farmers to grow hemp and hemp-derived products, such as CBD.
The law makes it legal for Texas farmers to grow and cultivate hemp, and for the Texas Department of Agriculture to regulate the process, including inspections, fee collections, and issuing licenses. The law will allow hemp and hemp-derived products are now allowed to be sold so long as they contain less than .03 percent of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive element in marijuana.
The new is an attempt to clarify the gray area surrounding hemp and hemp-based cannabidiol (CBD) products. Hemp is a lucrative agricultural product for farmers, and 42 other states have legalized industrial hemp production.
Last year, Congress removed hemp from the list of controlled substances, and legalized hemp production nationwide. That legalization has allowed a booming market of CBD, which is derived from hemp.
Democrats scuttle attempt to strike Hyde Amendment from spending bill
The House Rules Committee on Monday quashed an effort to strike the Hyde Amendment, a 40-year-old ban on federal funding for abortions, from a government spending bill.
The amendment offered by Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) and other progressive Democrats was not included in a list of amendments that will receive votes on the House floor.
Pressley's amendment would have removed the Hyde Amendment from the Department of Health and Human Services funding bill and ensured coverage for abortions in public health programs like Medicaid.
The amendment would authorize new policies, a violation of House rules for spending bills. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) could waive the rules, but such an occurrence is rare.
Context: Eliminating the Hyde Amendment is just not a fight Democratic leadership wants to start right now, with Republicans in control of the Senate and White House. It would put the passage of the massive Labor-HHS spending bill in jeopardy, which would be bad for both parties this close to an election year.
From Rep. Katherine Clark (D-Mass.), vice chair of the House Democratic Caucus: "Let me be clear on the Hyde Amendment: I would repeal it tomorrow... but repealing it "would become a focal point that could collapse everything in the Labor-H bill that is so good for American families."
The Hill event
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 Cusack will sit down with Reps. Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.) and Doris Matsui (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
Dan Lipinski: The last pro-life liberal Democrat (National Review)
FDA overlooked red flags in drugmaker's testing of new depression medicine (Kaiser Health News)
Opioid crackdown could lead to more drug company bankruptcies (NPR)
State by state
California is shoring Up ObamaCare, even as Trump is sabotaging it (HuffPost)
Maine takes step toward allowing Canadian prescription drug imports (Bangor Daily News)
Cheaper prescription drugs from Canada could be heading Florida's way, but it's not a done deal (Orlando Sentinel)