Overnight Health Care — Presented by Coalition Against Surprise Medical Billing — Planned Parenthood plans $45M campaign for 2020 | Dem candidates embrace aggressive step on drug prices | Officials propose changes to encourage 'value-based' care

Overnight Health Care — Presented by Coalition Against Surprise Medical Billing — Planned Parenthood plans $45M campaign for 2020 | Dem candidates embrace aggressive step on drug prices | Officials propose changes to encourage 'value-based' care
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Welcome to Wednesday's Overnight Health Care. Planned Parenthood is making a big move in next year's campaign, Democratic presidential candidates are threatening executive action on drug prices and the Trump administration is rolling out its latest health care move.  

We'll start with Planned Parenthood...



Planned Parenthood announces $45M campaign to defeat Trump, flip Senate

Planned Parenthood is weighing in with a major effort in next year's campaign. 

Planned Parenthood's super PAC announced a $45 million electoral campaign on Wednesday to defeat President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says his advice to impeachment defense team is 'just be honest' Trump expands tariffs on steel and aluminum imports CNN's Axelrod says impeachment didn't come up until 80 minutes into focus group MORE and Republicans in key Senate races. 

The investment will fund a "large-scale" grassroots organization and canvass, digital, television, radio and mail programs. 

"The stakes are higher than ever, and we're coming out more powerfully than ever with the largest investment we've ever made," said Kelley Robinson, executive director of Planned Parenthood Votes, in an interview with The Hill. 

The campaign will focus on Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. 

Context: The campaign comes at a time when many Democrats fear that abortion rights are under threat from the Supreme Court with Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughCollins walks impeachment tightrope Supreme Court sharply divided over state aid for religious schools How Citizens United altered America's political landscape MORE on the bench. The campaign will tell voters there is a "coordinated attack" among Republicans in state legislatures, Congress and the White House to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court ruling that established the right to an abortion.


Read more here.



2020 Democrats embrace aggressive step on drug prices 

If Republicans hold the Senate in 2020, it will doom the chances for a lot of liberal action even if Democrats retake the White House. But not all. There's a step to lower drug prices that a Democratic president could take even without Congress. 

The move involves invoking an obscure section of a 1980 law to break the patent on a drug when it is priced too high. The idea, known as "march-in rights," would allow the government to "march in" and break a patent to allow a cheaper version of a drug to be made by another company.

The move has long been controversial and the authority to use it has never been invoked before. But Democratic presidential candidates are increasingly embracing the idea. 

Who's for it: Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenKlobuchar plans campaign rallies across Iowa despite impeachment trial Hillicon Valley — Presented by Philip Morris International — Wyden asks NSA to investigate White House cybersecurity | Commerce withdraws Huawei rule after Pentagon objects | Warren calls on Brazil to drop Greenwald charges Warren pledges to release Trump records if elected MORE (D-Mass.), Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders to Clinton: 'This is not the kind of rhetoric that we need' Conservative reporter on Sanders: He's not a 'yes man' Human Rights Campaign president rips Sanders's embrace of Rogan endorsement MORE (I-Vt.) and Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisHarris on 2020 endorsement: 'I am not thinking about it right now' Panel: Is Kamala Harris a hypocrite for mulling a Joe Biden endorsement? The Hill's Morning Report — Dems detail case to remove Trump for abuse of power MORE (D-Calif.), as well as South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegPoll: 68 percent of Democrats say it 'makes no difference' if a candidate is a billionaire CNN to host two straight nights of Democratic town halls before NH primary Poll shows tight general election battle between Trump and top Democrats MORE all back the idea, at least in some cases. 

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenSchiff closes Democrats' impeachment arguments with emotional appeal to remove Trump Conservative reporter on Sanders: He's not a 'yes man' Democrats feel political momentum swinging to them on impeachment MORE's campaign, though, did not respond to a request for comment. 

Contrast with Trump: Candidates have also touted the idea as a way to one-up President Trump on drug prices, an issue which is a top priority for voters.  While Trump has railed against high drug prices and proposed some steps to address the issue, he has yet to oversee any major action that has gone on to lower prices.

Read more here.


Trump officials move to ease doctor anti-fraud rules in modernization bid


Today in wonky but potentially important news: 

The Trump administration announced proposed changes to ease regulations targeting fraud by doctors in what it says is an effort to remove barriers to some legitimate innovative payment arrangements.

The proposed rules would create certain exceptions to regulations around two laws, the Physician Self-Referral Law and the Federal Anti-Kickback Statute. Those laws are intended to prevent doctors from referring patients for services that would financially benefit them, or taking bribes to generate new business.

But the administration argues those rules can sometimes have unintended consequences by blocking some legitimate payment arrangements as well.

The very technical changes in the new proposed rules would create exceptions that allow for "value-based" payment arrangements, which is where doctors get paid more if their patients get better results. Officials say there would still be rules against actual fraud.

The politics: Be prepared for lots of health care announcements! The Trump administration is trying to keep up a drumbeat of health care announcements as it seeks to show progress on an issue that Democrats used to great political advantage in the 2018 midterm elections. 

Read more here





What we're reading

This is the strongest argument against Medicare for All (New York Times opinion)

Bennet hits Warren on cost of Medicare for All (WMUR)


Americans now spend twice as much on health care as they did in the 1980s (CNBC)


State by state

Federal court to hear arguments in case over Kentucky's Medicaid work requirements plan (Louisville Courier-Journal)

New state database helps patients figure out health care costs (Connecticut Public Radio)


The Hill op-ed

2019 flu season will be deadlier -- here's why