Overnight Healthcare

Overnight Health Care — Presented by National Taxpayers Union — Buttigieg targets Warren, Sanders on health care ahead of debate | Judge overturns ObamaCare transgender protections | Poll sees support drop for ‘Medicare for All’

Greg Nash

Welcome to Tuesday’s Overnight Health Care. 

Congress is back in session, and Democratic presidential candidates will hit the debate stage tonight. We’ll be watching to see what candidates say about health care. Check out TheHill.com for live coverage of the debate.

We’ll start with South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg who is throwing some jabs on health care.


Buttigieg targets Warren, Sanders on health care in new ad ahead of debate

It’s debate night! And if the earlier debates are any indication, there’s sure to be a lot of debate about Medicare for All…

Pete Buttigieg is going on the offensive early, presaging some possible fireworks tonight. 

His new ad, titled “Makes More Sense,” features a number of television anchors and analysts talking about the South Bend, Ind., mayor’s plan, and comparing it favorably to Sanders’s and Warren’s “Medicare for All” proposal. 

“Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren believe that we have to force ourselves into Medicare for All, where private insurance is abolished,” Joe Lockhart, a CNN political analyst and former press secretary to President Clinton, said in a video clip that was included in the ad. 

“Mayor Pete said, ‘Medicare for all who want it.’ That’s a much better formulation,” CNN political commentator Van Jones said in another clip in the ad. 

Bigger picture: Buttigieg is trying to rise in the polls in a more moderate lane than the progressive frontrunners, Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and he clearly thinks health care is a way to do that. 

Read more here



Federal judge overturns ObamaCare transgender protections

A federal judge on Tuesday overturned ObamaCare protections for transgender patients, ruling that a 2016 policy violates the religious freedoms of Christian providers.

Judge Reed O’Connor in the Northern District of Texas vacated an Obama-era regulation that prohibited providers and insurers who receive federal money from denying treatment or coverage to anyone based on sex, gender identity or termination of pregnancy.

It also required doctors and hospitals to provide “medically necessary” services to transgender individuals, as long as those services were the same ones provided to other patients.

O’Connor said the rule violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. 

The case has been on and off since 2016, when O’Connor first issued an injunction to stop the Department of Health and Human Services from implementing the parts of the rule that prohibited discrimination based on gender identity and termination of pregnancy.

The Trump administration has issued a proposed rule that would scrap ObamaCare’s definition of “sex discrimination” to remove protections for gender identity. 

O’Connor, a George W. Bush appointee, is same judge who last year ruled the entire Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional.


Support drops for ‘Medicare for All’ but increases for public option 

Support is dropping for Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-Vt.) “Medicare for All” health care plan, according to a poll released Tuesday.

The Kaiser Family Foundation tracking poll found that 51 percent of those surveyed in October favored Medicare for All, a proposal in which all Americans would get their insurance from a single government plan, compared to the 53 percent who said they supported it last month. 

Conversely, 47 percent of those surveyed said they opposed Medicare for All, an increase of 2 percentage points from September. 

Support for Medicare for All has dropped 5 percentage points since April in the Kaiser Family Foundation tracking poll, and opposition has grown by 8 points. 

Why it matters: Support for Medicare for All is dropping the more debate time it gets. The hospital, insurance and drug industries have also poured millions of dollars into dampening public support for the proposal. 

The poll also found that support for the public option is increasing. Gradual changes to the health care system tend be poll better than complete overhauls, like Medicare for all. 

Read more here


Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) and advocates, deliver Medicare for All “petitions” to members

More than 2 million signatures were collected by groups that support Medicare for All, including Public Citizen and Be a Hero, and delivered to key House Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), Ways & Means Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) and Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) 

“I think we constantly need to shore up support,” Jayapal told reporters Tuesday at a briefing in her office. 

“It’s not an antagonistic move by any means, but it’s a delivery of constituent wishes — we in Congress are always wanting to know what our constituents think.”

Petitions were also delivered to the offices of Rep. Darren Soto (D-Fla.), Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Dela.), Mary Gay Scanlon (D-Pa.), Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.), Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa), Dwight Evans (D-Pa.) and David Trone (D-Md.). 

Context: Medicare for All supporters are trying to keep the issue atop everyone’s minds as a busy Congress focuses on other things, like keeping the government open and potentially impeaching the president. So far, 118 House Democrats have co-sponsored Jayapal’s bill. 

What’s next: Jayapal said she has a commitment from Pallone to hold a hearing in Energy and Commerce on Medicare for All but a date has not been set. She said she hopes to have a hearing by the end of the year, likely after the committee finishes its work on drug pricing legislation. 


March for Life announces 2020 theme 

March for life — the annual march against abortion that takes place in D.C. — announced Tuesday that next year’s theme will be “Life empowers: Pro-life is pro-woman.” 

Jeannie Mancini, president of March for Life, said the theme is a nod to the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which guaranteed women the right to vote. 

“Pro-lifers should be inspired by the early suffragists who understood the true dignity of women, and that every person, born and unborn, deserves equal rights,” Mancini said. 

 The theme aims to push back on arguments from abortion rights supporters who argue that feminists must be “pro-choice.”

“It has been said politically and culturally to be pro-woman, one must be pro-choice,” Mancini said Tuesday at a briefing on Capitol Hill, but “abortion hurts women.” 

The march, which has been addressed by President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence in recent years, will take place Jan. 24. 



What we’re reading

Trump Is Trying Hard To Thwart Obamacare. How’s That Going? (NPR

The good, the bad, and the unknown in the House plan to lower drug costs (Vox.com)

Documents reveal hospital industry is leading fight against Medicare for All (The Intercept)  

An 18-year-old died after becoming addicted to vaping. Now his mom is going after Juul (Buzzfeed News)


State by state

Your Guide To The Massive (And Massively Complex) Opioid Litigation (NPR

Study: Texas and Oklahoma Have Highest Uninsured Rates Among All States (High Plains Public Radio)  

Michigan judge blocks state’s ban on flavored e-cigarette ban (Fox2Detroit)


The Hill op-eds

Promising lower health care costs doesn’t fly with women — who will vote

Why Latinos need paid family leave

Tags Bernie Sanders Darren Soto Dave Loebsack David Trone Donald Trump Dwight Evans Elizabeth Warren Jim Cooper Mary Gay Scanlon Mike Pence Nancy Pelosi Pete Buttigieg Pramila Jayapal Richard Neal Steny Hoyer

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