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...

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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.

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Dem introduces ban on e-cigarette flavors 

Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownBipartisan praise pours in after Ginsburg's death Emboldened Democrats haggle over 2021 agenda Hillicon Valley: Russia 'amplifying' concerns around mail-in voting to undermine election | Facebook and Twitter take steps to limit Trump remarks on voting | Facebook to block political ads ahead of election 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 ShalalaShakespeare Theatre Company goes virtual for 'Will on the Hill...or Won't They?' Hillicon Valley: Dems seek to expand DHS probe after whistleblower complaint | DHS rejects House subpoena for Wolf to testify | Facebook rolls out new features for college students Democrats call for narrowing digital divide to help students during pandemic 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 DurbinMcConnell focuses on confirming judicial nominees with COVID-19 talks stalled Senate Republicans signal openness to working with Biden Top GOP senator calls for Biden to release list of possible Supreme Court picks MORE (D-Ill.), Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisSocial Security and Medicare are on the ballot this November Harris honors Ginsburg, visits Supreme Court The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump and Biden vie for Minnesota | Early voting begins in four states | Blue state GOP governors back Susan Collins MORE (D-Calif.), Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by The Air Line Pilots Association - Trump, Biden renew push for Latino support Sunday shows - Trump team defends coronavirus response Oregon senator says Trump's blame on 'forest management' for wildfires is 'just a big and devastating lie' MORE (D-Ore.), Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedWhen 'Buy American' and common sense collide Hillicon Valley: Russia 'amplifying' concerns around mail-in voting to undermine election | Facebook and Twitter take steps to limit Trump remarks on voting | Facebook to block political ads ahead of election Top Democrats press Trump to sanction Russian individuals over 2020 election interference efforts MORE (D-R.I.) and Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseLWCF modernization: Restoring the promise Restaurant owner defends calamari as 'bipartisan' after Democratic convention appearance Warren calls on McConnell to bring Senate back to address Postal Service 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 NewsomTrump dismisses climate change role in fires, says Newsom needs to manage forest better Evacuations ordered in California desert communities as wildfires burn Wildfire lectures from America's instructor-in-chief 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. 

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Trump brags about lower cancer deaths  

President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden leads Trump by 36 points nationally among Latinos: poll Trump dismisses climate change role in fires, says Newsom needs to manage forest better Jimmy Kimmel hits Trump for rallies while hosting Emmy Awards 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. 

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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)

 

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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)