Overnight Health Care: Juul's lobbying efforts fall short as Trump moves to ban flavored e-cigarettes | Facebook removes fact check from anti-abortion video after criticism | Poll: Most Democrats want presidential candidate who would build on ObamaCare

Overnight Health Care: Juul's lobbying efforts fall short as Trump moves to ban flavored e-cigarettes | Facebook removes fact check from anti-abortion video after criticism | Poll: Most Democrats want presidential candidate who would build on ObamaCare
© Getty Images

Welcome to Thursday’s Overnight Health Care.

The administration’s move to ban flavored vaping is bad news for Juul; a poll finds Democrats support building on ObamaCare; and Facebook removed a fact-check from an anti-abortion video.

We’ll start with some fallout from yesterday’s vaping news:

Juul's lobbying efforts fall short as Trump moves to ban flavored e-cigarettes

A recent lobbying and spending blitz by Juul Labs was dealt a serious blow this week when the Trump administration announced it would move to ban flavored e-cigarettes.

The company spent $1.95 million on lobbying in the first two quarters of 2019, surpassing last year's total of $1.64 million.

Juul's PAC has donated more than $64,000 to Democratic candidates and $105,000 to Republicans so far in 2019, according to Federal Election Commission figures.

The company has also gone on a hiring spree of former lawmakers, staffers, and government regulators. Among the big-name hires: 

  • Josh Raffel, a former Trump White House deputy communications director
  • Tevi Troy, George W. Bush’s deputy secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
  • Jim Esquea, an assistant HHS secretary during the Obama administration
  • Jerry Masoudi, a former chief counsel for the Food and Drug Administration under Bush

So is there a lesson to be learned?

“It shows you that just spending money on lobbying doesn’t create magic results. This is an un-exact science when it comes to lobbying and Juul has found that out. Anything can happen at any time no matter how many resources you put into lobbying,” said David Williams, president of the Taxpayers Protection Alliance.

No love lost: The American Vaping Association, a nonprofit that advocates for sensible regulation of vaping products, had harsh words for Juul.

“JUUL behaved like spineless losers desperately searching for any sort of friendship and they were treated like losers by elected officials in D.C. as a result. No politician wants to stand up for a company that has shown time and time again that they will fold and sell their customers down the river when things get tough,” President Gregory Conley told The Hill.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpThis week: House kicks off public phase of impeachment inquiry Impeachment week: Trump probe hits crucial point Judd Gregg: The big, big and bigger problem MORE's announcement from the Oval Office on Wednesday came on the heels of new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which found that nearly 1 of every 5 high school students reported in 2018 that they used electronic cigarettes in the past 30 days—an increase from just 1.5 percent in 2011. 

Read more here

Meanwhile, a bipartisan group of senators met with FDA’s acting commissioner Ned Sharpless on Thursday to keep pressure on the agency. 

Led by Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinSenate fight derails bipartisan drug pricing bills Senators push for deal on impeachment trial rules to avoid political brawl Democrats unifying against Joe Kennedy Senate bid MORE (D-Ill.), the senators pressed Sharpless to ensure that e-cigarette flavors are removed from the market without delay, and to use his authority to immediately remove illegal vaping devices from the market.

Lawmakers largely applauded the announcement yesterday that the FDA intends to ban flavored e-cigarettes. Members of Congress have been pressuring the agency to act in the wake of a record number of underage teens using e-cigarettes, and want to make sure FDA follows through quickly. Many said the ban is long overdue, and may be coming too late to stop a new generation from becoming addicted to e-cigarettes. 

“Yesterday’s e-cigarette flavor ban announcement out of FDA was welcome news, but they should have acted years ago to get these flavors and illegal devices off the market,” Durbin said.

Others in the meeting: Sens. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiThis week: House kicks off public phase of impeachment inquiry GOP senators plan to tune out impeachment week Pay America's Coast Guard MORE (R-Alaska), Maggie HassanMargaret (Maggie) HassanHillicon Valley: Facebook launches 'News Tab' | Senate passes bill to take on 'deepfakes' | Schumer outlines vision for electric cars Senate passes legislation to combat 'deepfake' videos Hillicon Valley: Senators seek national security review of TikTok | TikTok denies claims of Chinese government influence | CNN chief rips Facebook policy on political ads | Dem questions DHS' handling of personal data MORE (D-N.H.), Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyThis week: House kicks off public phase of impeachment inquiry Falling investment revives attacks against Trump's tax cuts GOP senators plan to tune out impeachment week MORE (R-Utah), Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayRetirement bill blocked in Senate amid fight over amendments Senate Democrats call on White House to abandon plan to collect DNA from migrants Overnight Health Care: Judge temporarily blocks Alabama near-total abortion ban | Sanders dismisses calls for 'Medicare for All' funding plan | Dems urge Trump not to back down on vaping flavor ban MORE (D-Wash.), Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleySenate committee advances budget reform plan Harris proposes keeping schools open for 10 hours a day Overnight Energy: Dems ask Trump UN ambassador to recuse from Paris climate dealings | Green group sues agencies for records on climate science | Dem wants answers on Keystone oil spill MORE (D-Ore.), Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoRand Paul blocks Senate resolution backing protection for whistleblowers Overnight Energy: Senate eyes nixing 'forever chemicals' fix from defense bill | Former Obama EPA chief named CEO of green group | Senate reviews Interior, FERC nominees criticized on ethics Senate reviews Interior, FERC nominees criticized on ethics MORE (D-Hawaii), and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.)

 

 

Facebook removes fact check from anti-abortion video after criticism

A controversy at the intersection of technology policy and the divisive issue of abortion: Facebook’s fact-checking of abortion claims. 

Facebook has removed a fact check from a video posted by an anti-abortion group after Republican senators accused the platform of censorship.

The moves comes after the group, Live Action, as well as Republican lawmakers, complained after Facebook’s third-party fact-checkers deemed that a video in which the group’s president, Lila Rose, claims that “abortion is never medically necessary” was inaccurate.

They argued that the fact check was not impartial because two of the physicians involved in reviewing the claim had ties to abortion rights groups.

After a group of Republican senators, including Sens. Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyGOP senator wants to know whistleblower identity if there's an impeachment trial Hillicon Valley: California AG reveals Facebook investigation | McConnell criticizes Twitter's political ad ban | Lawmakers raise concerns over Google takeover of Fitbit | Dem pushes FCC to secure 5G networks Critics fear Google's power in Fitbit deal MORE (R-Mo.) and Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzTrump has officially appointed one in four circuit court judges On The Money: Retirement savings bill blocked in Senate after fight over amendments | Stopgap bill may set up December spending fight | Hardwood industry pleads for relief from Trump trade war Retirement bill blocked in Senate amid fight over amendments MORE (R-Texas), wrote to Facebook CEO Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergHillicon Valley: Facebook to remove mentions of potential whistleblower's name | House Dems demand FCC action over leak of location data | Dem presses regulators to secure health care data Warren campaign launches 'a calculator for the billionaires' after Gates criticism Hillicon Valley: California AG reveals Facebook investigation | McConnell criticizes Twitter's political ad ban | Lawmakers raise concerns over Google takeover of Fitbit | Dem pushes FCC to secure 5G networks MORE on Wednesday with accusations of politically motivated censorship, the social media company removed the fact check from Live Action’s posts.

The GOP senators had argued that the incident fit a “pattern of censorship” from Facebook, echoing the Republican Party’s unproven accusations that the company and other social media platforms are seeking to silence right-wing voices.

Read more on the claims here

 

SPONSORED CONTENT

Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) save consumers an average of $941 each year and ensure better health outcomes for patients across the country. We’re #OnYourRxSide. Learn more at OnYourRxSide.org.

 

Poll: Most Democrats want presidential candidate who would build on ObamaCare

A majority of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents said they would prefer to vote for a presidential candidate who wants to build on ObamaCare rather than replace it with "Medicare for All," according to a survey released Thursday. 

The Kaiser Family Foundation poll found 40 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents prefer to vote for presidential candidates who would replace ObamaCare with "Medicare for All," while 55 percent said they prefer to support candidates who would build on ObamaCare.

And of the 40 percent who said they prefer to vote for a Medicare for All supporter, only 14 percent said they would only vote for such a candidate. 

Why it matters: The issue is all but certain to come up in the Democratic Party's presidential debate Thursday night, with front-runner former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenImpeachment week: Trump probe hits crucial point Trump DACA fight hits Supreme Court Juan Williams: Honesty, homophobia and Mayor Pete MORE in favor of building on ObamaCare, and Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersJuan Williams: Honesty, homophobia and Mayor Pete Democrats on edge as Iowa points to chaotic race Democrats debate how to defeat Trump: fight or heal MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenJuan Williams: Honesty, homophobia and Mayor Pete Trump DACA fight hits Supreme Court Democrats on edge as Iowa points to chaotic race MORE (D-Mass.) supporting Medicare for All, which would replace all private insurance with a single plan run by the government.

The poll showed 69 percent of the public supports a public option — a proposal similar to Biden's that would add a government-sponsored plan to compete with private insurance. 

Medicare for All has the support of 53 percent of the public, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation poll. 

Read more here.

What we’re reading

Historians push to create public archive of documents from massive opioid litigation (Stat News

Would a 'Medicare for All' plan help you save money on your family's health-care costs? It's complicated (CNBC)

Carcinogens have infiltrated the generic drug supply in the U.S (Bloomberg)

State by state

Missouri governor won’t ‘necessarily’ sign Medicaid petition, but expects question on 2020 ballot (St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Group aims to stop Illinois from becoming the "abortion capital of the Midwest" (CBS News

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy creates task force to investigate vaping health concerns (NBC Philadelphia)