Overnight Health Care: Kansas leaders reach deal to expand Medicaid | California to launch own prescription drug label | Dem senator offers bill banning e-cigarette flavors

Overnight Health Care: Kansas leaders reach deal to expand Medicaid | California to launch own prescription drug label | Dem senator offers bill banning e-cigarette flavors
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Welcome to Thursday's Overnight Health Care.

Kansas is now on the verge of expanding Medicaid after a breakthrough deal, California's governor is proposing some drastic drug pricing policies, and Nebraska passed an abortion ban.

We'll start with the Medicaid news...



Kansas leaders announce bipartisan deal to expand Medicaid

Some good news for ObamaCare supporters and Medicaid backers after a years-long fight in Kansas: the state has a deal to expand Medicaid. 

Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly announced the deal at a press conference on Thursday with state Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning, a Republican. 

The deal would expand Medicaid to cover as many as 150,000 more people and make Kansas the 37th state to expand Medicaid under ObamaCare. But, the agreement still has to pass the state Legislature.

What's in the deal:

  • Medicaid expansion
  • A "reinsurance" program to lower private health insurance premiums
  • Medicaid enrollees would pay small premiums, around $25
  • Work referrals to help Medicaid enrollees get work, but no work requirements that strip coverage for noncompliance. 

Big picture: Momentum for Medicaid. The agreement is a sign of the weakening resistance to Medicaid expansion in red states that had been holding out. Voters approved Medicaid expansion in Utah, Idaho and Nebraska in 2018.


Read more here.


Dem introduces ban on e-cigarette flavors 

Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownSchiff sparks blowback with head on a 'pike' line Sunday shows - All eyes on Senate impeachment trial Senate Democrat: 'Fine' to hear from Hunter Biden MORE (D-Ohio) introduced a bill Thursday that would ban flavored tobacco products, including e-cigarettes. 

It's the Senate version of a House bill introduced last year by Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) and Donna ShalalaDonna Edna ShalalaOvernight Health Care: Kansas leaders reach deal to expand Medicaid | California to launch own prescription drug label | Dem senator offers bill banning e-cigarette flavors A solemn impeachment day on Capitol Hill Overnight Health Care — Presented by That's Medicaid — House panel unveils rival fix for surprise medical bills | Democrats punt vote on youth vaping bill | Pelosi drug bill poised for passage after deal with progressives MORE (D-Fla.).

The House bill is expected to get a vote on the floor early this year. But it's not clear if Brown's bill will get a vote in the Senate, where some Republicans oppose a flavor ban. The Senate bill is co-sponsored by Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Ben Carden (D-Md.), Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinIllinois senators meet with Amtrak CEO over ,000 price tag for wheelchair users Durbin pushes back on Dershowitz claims: 'Give me a break professor' Senators ready for question time in impeachment trial MORE (D-Ill.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisSanders allies in new uproar over DNC convention appointments Biden leads 2020 pack in congressional endorsements Harris on 2020 endorsement: 'I am not thinking about it right now' MORE (D-Calif.), Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyOvernight Defense: White House threatens to veto House Iran bills | Dems 'frustrated' after Iran briefing | Lawmakers warn US, UK intel sharing at risk after Huawei decision White House Correspondents' Association blasts State for 'punitive action' against NPR Senate Democrat demands State Department reinstate NPR reporter on Pompeo trip MORE (D-Ore.), Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedOvernight Defense: Veterans group seeks Trump apology for comments on brain injuries | Pentagon says dozens of troops suffered traumatic injuries after attack | Trump unveils Space Force logo Dozens of US troops suffered traumatic brain injuries after Iran missile strikes Six mayors making a difference MORE (D-R.I.) and Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseDemocrats urge Supreme Court to save consumer agency from chopping block Citizens United decision weathers 10 years of controversy Sanders defends vote against USMCA: 'Not a single damn mention' of climate change MORE (D-R.I.).

The bill would also prohibit online sales of tobacco products and place additional advertising restrictions on e-cigarettes. 


California plans to launch own prescription drug label

California has been at the forefront of some major health innovations, and Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin Christopher NewsomCalifornia faces federal lawsuit over its private prison ban Overnight Health Care: Trump becomes first sitting president to attend March for Life | Officials confirm second US case of coronavirus | Trump officials threaten California funding over abortion law Trump administration threatens to cut health funding for California over abortion insurance law MORE (D) is pushing for more in 2020. 

On Thursday morning, Newsom announced that he wants California to become the first state to create its own prescription drug label.

As part of his 2020-2021 budget, Newsom wants to create the first-ever state generic drug label as part of a series of sweeping proposals designed to lower the cost of health care in the Golden State.  

Newsom also wants to force drug companies to bid in order to sell their drugs in the state marketplace. California would invoke a "most favored nation" clause in the marketplace, which would mean manufacturers will have to sell drugs at the lowest cost offered anywhere else in the world. 

Will it work? Drug prices in other countries are often lower because governments directly negotiate with manufacturers. Newsom's proposal could be successful if the state has enough leverage to force drugmakers to make concessions. 


Read more here.


Trump brags about lower cancer deaths  

President TrumpDonald John TrumpCNN's Don Lemon explains handling of segment after Trump criticism NPR reporter after Pompeo clash: Journalists don't interview government officials to score 'political points' Lawyer says Parnas can't attend Senate trial due to ankle bracelet MORE on Thursday seemed to take credit for a record drop in the rate of cancer deaths that occurred during his first year in office.

Trump tweeted that cancer rates are the lowest in recorded history, and added there is "a lot of good news coming out of this Administration."

But a report from the American Cancer Society found that the 2.2 percent drop was driven largely from declining death rates from lung cancer, which is the leading cause of death from cancer. Better drugs, declining smoking rates and earlier detection of cancer have all contributed, rather than anything the administration has done.

While recent spending bills have included increases for the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute, President Trump has proposed cutting their funding. 



What we're reading

The most expensive health care option of all? Do nothing. (Politico

Two big drug flops show how health-care economics have changed (Bloomberg Businessweek

Trump international drug price plan would hurt bill in Congress (Bloomberg Law)

Faced with prescriber fears of OxyContin misuse, Purdue sales reps misleadingly played up drug's safety, documents show (Stat)



State by state

Details scarce on Cuomo's Medicaid deficit plan in New York (Albany Times-Union

Iowa auditor slams state Medicaid program for 'flawed' data (Associated Press

State of the state: Cuomo pushes to ban vape products and ads (News 10)