Overnight Health Care: Judge blocks Ohio's 'heartbeat' abortion law | GOP sees potent attack line over health care for immigrants | Trump abortion referral ban allowed to take effect in Maine, Maryland

Overnight Health Care: Judge blocks Ohio's 'heartbeat' abortion law | GOP sees potent attack line over health care for immigrants | Trump abortion referral ban allowed to take effect in Maine, Maryland
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Welcome to Wednesday's Overnight Health Care.

There's a holiday coming up but the health care news won't stop. A federal judge temporarily blocked Ohio's 'heartbeat' abortion law and President TrumpDonald TrumpUkraine's president compares UN to 'a retired superhero' Collins to endorse LePage in Maine governor comeback bid Heller won't say if Biden won election MORE is seizing on Democrats' support for health care for undocumented immigrants. 

And a quick programming note: Overnight Health Care will be off Thursday and Friday, but we'll be back after the long Fourth of July weekend on Monday. Let's start in Ohio...


Judge blocks Ohio's 'heartbeat' abortion law

A federal judge on Wednesday temporarily blocked an Ohio law that would have banned abortions after six weeks of pregnancy.

The law, which bans abortions after a "fetal heartbeat" is detected, was signed earlier this year by Gov. Mike DeWine (R) and challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood.

It was slated to take effect this month, but U.S. District Judge Michael Barrett, a George W. Bush, appointee, issued a preliminary injunction, blocking it from taking effect while it is being challenged in court. 


"Today the Court has upheld the clear law: women in Ohio (and across the nation) have the constitutional right to make this deeply personal decision about their own bodies without interference from the State," said Freda Levenson, legal director for the ACLU of Ohio.

From the ruling: Barrett wrote that the law places an "undue burden" on a woman's right to obtain an abortion before the fetus is viable, violating Supreme Court precedent. Abortion rights groups also argue many women do not yet know they are pregnant at that point. 

"A woman with irregular periods likely will be denied the opportunity to seek an abortion altogether because she will not realize that she is pregnant in time to choose her fate," Barrett wrote. 

Why this matters: Five other states have also passed "heartbeat" abortion bans this year, and most are being challenged in court. 

Anti-abortion groups have been clear in their intent: to force the Supreme Court to revisit Roe v. Wade, the landmark ruling that established a woman's right to abortion. 

From Ohio Right to Life, an anti-abortion group involved in the law's passage: 

"While it is certainly disappointing that Judge Barrett would issue a preliminary injunction, it is certainly not surprising. The heartbeat bill has the potential to be the vehicle that overturns Roe v. Wade," said Mike Gonidakis, president of the organization. 

"We know that this preliminary injunction is just a step in the process to finally seeing Roe reconsidered." 

Read more here.


GOP sees potent Trump attack line on health care for immigrants

Democrats running for president handed Donald Trump a potent attack line last week when they promised that their government health insurance plans would cover undocumented immigrants.

It merged two of President Trump's favorite campaign issues -- health care and immigration -- and could help him in battleground states where white, middle-class voters are worried about both.

"It gives Donald Trump's campaign a very simple message when it comes to health care: Your plans are getting worse, your premiums and deductibles have gone up, and these Democrats say they want to raise your taxes to pay for free health care for illegal immigrants," said Scott Jennings, a GOP strategist who advised former President George W. Bush and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOn The Money — Democrats rush to finish off infrastructure Biden employs flurry of meetings to unite warring factions GOP senators say Biden COVID-19 strategy has 'exacerbated vaccine hesitancy' MORE (R-Ky.).

"The Democrats are living in a bubble on illegal immigration. They don't quite understand how it's being viewed in Middle America," Jennings added.

All 10 Democrats raised their hands during one of last week's debates when asked by moderator Savannah Guthrie if their health care plans would cover people who are in the country illegally.

Why it matters: Trump has already seized on this, telling reporters Monday that Democrats want to treat "the illegals" "better than they treat the citizens of our country." 

And polls show the majority of Americans disagree with Democrats. A CNN poll conducted after last week's debates showed that only 38 percent of respondents said health insurance coverage provided by the government should be available to undocumented immigrants. 

What's next: Expect Trump to hit this message in his upcoming campaign rallies. 

Read more here.


Study finds California's vaccine laws helped reduce number of unvaccinated students

A medical journal study published Wednesday found California's laws limiting vaccine exemption restrictions has increased the number of vaccinated kindergartners. 

The number of unvaccinated students entering kindergarten decreased by nearly 5 percent between 2013 and 2017, after the state cracked down on restrictions, according to the study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

California lawmakers sought to modify exemptions after a 2013 measles outbreak.

California had seen an uptick from 7.8 percent of unvaccinated students in 2000 to 9.84 percent in 2013, according to the study.

The state passed bills limiting "personal belief exemptions" and launched an educational campaign surrounding vaccinations. 

Why it matters: The results are pertinent in 2019, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting the country's worst measles outbreak in more than 25 years. 

There have been 1,022 cases confirmed as of June 6 across 28 states. 

Read more here


Democratic voters cite health care, gun violence as top 'important' issues: poll

A new poll showed that health care and gun violence are top issues for Democrats.  

The Washington Post-ABC News poll found that 89 percent of respondents who are Democrats or who lean Democratic said that health care is either one of the single most important issues or a very important issue, followed by 85 percent who said that of gun violence.

These issues were trailed by issues of special concern to women, as well as immigration and climate change, which were labeled as a single most important or very important issue by 83 percent, 82 percent and 80 percent of respondents respectively. 

Health care and climate change led the poll when respondents were asked which were some of the issues of single-most importance, with 29 percent saying that health care was an issue of single-most importance while 25 percent said climate change was an issue of single-most importance.

Why it matters: Democrats running for their party's presidential nomination know their audience and have spent a lot of time on the campaign trail talking about how they would expand access to health care. Democrats have been less vocal about gun violence, though Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Warren11 senators urge House to pass .5T package before infrastructure bill Senate Democrats seeking information from SPACs, questioning 'misaligned incentives' UN secretary-general blasts space tourism MORE (D-Mass.) said during last week's debate that it is a "national health emergency" and should be treated like one. 

Read more here


Title X updates: Judges allow Title X rules to go in effect in Maine, Maryland 

District Court Judge Lance Walker, a Trump appointee, on Wednesday denied a request to block the Trump administration's Title X changes from going into effect in Maine. 

The changes would ban abortion providers from the federal family planning grant program and block providers from referring women from abortions. 

The Center for Reproductive Rights made an emergency request to block the rule after a federal appeals court overrode lower courts' preliminary injunctions. Walker denied that request. 

"We are disappointed that the court did not recognize the harms that this will cause to people in Maine," said Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights. 

"But this isn't the end - we will keep fighting this gag rule to protect the family planning clinics and the many low income and rural communities where these clinics are the only healthcare option."

And a panel of judges on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals lifted a lower court's injunction on the rule last night in Maryland. 

Why it matters: The administration can now enforce the rules in all 50 states, after a panel of judges on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals threw out lower courts' injunctions last week. Still, these rulings have been based on whether injunctions are appropriate, not on the merits of the case. The administration hasn't indicated when or if it will enforce the rules, but plaintiffs are seeking emergency relief from a larger panel of the ninth circuit court of appeals. 


What we're reading

Would Medicare For All mean hospitals for none?  (The Washington Post)

Some Democrats talk about cosmetic surgery insurance. It doesn't exist. (The New York Times)

Nonprofit Christian hospital suspends debt collection lawsuits amid furor over suing its own employees (ProPublica


State by state

For the first time, Delaware Highmark looks to lower its ObamaCare marketplace rates (Delaware News Journal

Newly blue Maine expands access to abortion (Kaiser Health News)


Op-eds in The Hill 

We want to change marijuana policy, but it's not always based on scientific knowledge

What the left gets wrong about health spending and outcomes