Overnight Health Care: House panel advances legislation on surprise medical bills | Planned Parenthood, ACLU sue over Trump abortion coverage rule | CDC identifies 13th US patient with coronavirus

Overnight Health Care: House panel advances legislation on surprise medical bills | Planned Parenthood, ACLU sue over Trump abortion coverage rule | CDC identifies 13th US patient with coronavirus
© iStock

Welcome to Tuesday's Overnight Health Care.

Surprise medical billing took center stage in the House where the Education and Labor legislation on the issue advanced through committee. The CBO also scored the Ways and Means bill, and the White House issued a warning. We break it all down below.

 

ADVERTISEMENT

Big day for surprise medical bills! 

First the Education and Labor Committee advanced its bill out of committee 32-13, but not before some divisions were exposed. 

Unusual alliances: The different coalitions on surprise medical billing are fascinating to watch, as they don't follow the usual partisan alignments. 

Both committee Chairman Bobby ScottRobert (Bobby) Cortez ScottLack of child care poses major hurdle as businesses reopen Unions worry Congress is one step closer to a liability shield Victim advocacy groups, Democratic lawmakers slam new campus sexual assault policies MORE (D-Va.) and the top Republican on the panel, Rep. Virginia FoxxVirginia Ann FoxxThe Hill's Coronavirus Report: BIO CEO Greenwood says US failed for years to heed warnings of coming pandemic; Trump: Fauci won't testify to 'a bunch of Trump haters' Hillicon Valley: Amazon VP resigns in protest | Republicans eye university ties to China | Support rises for vote by mail Republicans seek information on Chinese ties to US universities MORE (R-N.C.), supported the bill. 

But a bipartisan group of lawmakers opposed the measure, instead supporting a rival bill from the House Ways and Means Committee that is more favorable to doctors and hospitals, who have lobbied hard against the Education and Labor approach, worrying they would see damaging cuts to their payments under it. 

Reps. Donna ShalalaDonna Edna ShalalaThe Hill's Coronavirus Report: Former NIC Director Greg Treverton rips US response; WHO warns of 'immediate second peak' if countries reopen too quickly Treasury has not disbursed B in airline support: oversight panel We can't afford to let local news die MORE (D-Fla.), Joe MorelleJoseph (Joe) MorelleNY, NJ lawmakers call for more aid to help fight coronavirus Overnight Health Care: House panel advances legislation on surprise medical bills | Planned Parenthood, ACLU sue over Trump abortion coverage rule | CDC identifies 13th US patient with coronavirus House panel advances bipartisan surprise billing legislation despite divisions MORE (D-N.Y.), Phil RoeDavid (Phil) Phillip RoeTennessee lawmaker bought stocks in Zoom, sold cruise line shares before market plunge House committees move toward virtual hearings for COVID-19 era As VA's budget continues to Increase, greater oversight is required MORE (R-Tenn.) and Kim SchrierKimberly (Kim) Merle SchrierGun control group rolls out House endorsements Human Rights Campaign rolls out congressional endorsements on Equality Act anniversary Washington state lawmakers press Boeing to accept aid MORE (D-Wash.) were among the lawmakers to rebel against the Education and Labor legislation. Roe and Schrier are doctors themselves and warned about its impact on doctors.  

Read more here.

ADVERTISEMENT

 

Meanwhile, the White House weighs in

A statement from the White House warned against the overuse of arbitration to resolve billing disputes, saying it could drive up health care costs. 

That means the White House is raising concerns with the approach from the House Ways and Means Committee in favor of a rival approach favored by both the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the House Education and Labor Committee. 

Strange bedfellows: The administration is siding with consumer groups and unions, traditional Democratic allies. The White House is now more aligned with the AFL-CIO on the issue than some Democratic lawmakers, including House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard NealRichard Edmund NealHouse Democrats press Treasury on debit cards used for coronavirus relief payments House Democrats' bill would create a second round of direct coronavirus relief payments Lawmakers question why dead people are getting coronavirus checks MORE (Mass.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerVA hospitals mostly drop hydroxychloroquine as coronavirus treatment Democrats call on FTC to investigate allegations of TikTok child privacy violations Lawmakers introduce bill to invest 0 billion in science, tech research MORE (N.Y.).

Read more here.

 

On the coronavirus front...

 

Testing mistake leads to coronavirus patient being discharged from hospital

An error mistakenly led to a patient being discharged from a San Diego hospital, despite testing positive for the novel coronavirus.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the individual was an evacuee from Wuhan, China, who was under federal quarantine.

But the patient had been allowed to leave UC San Diego hospital and return to the quarantine site after a "mix-up" with the testing results, a CDC official told reporters Tuesday. 

The patient was the 13th confirmed case of the virus in the U.S. 

ADVERTISEMENT

"It turns out there was probably a mix-up, and the original test wasn't negative," said Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC. 

"There has been a new test collected in order to understand whether the person is still symptomatic, so there was just a little bit of a mix-up there." 

Schuchat did not provide any information about how the mix-up happened. 

According to a brief statement released by UC San Diego Health late Monday, four patients admitted to its isolation units last week were discharged back to their quarantine quarters at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar after the CDC said coronavirus tests came back negative.

Further testing revealed that one of the four patients tested positive for coronavirus, the statement said. The patient was readmitted after experiencing symptoms. 

Read more here.

 

ADVERTISEMENT

195 Americans released from quarantine 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released 195 Americans from quarantine Tuesday, two weeks after they were evacuated from Wuhan, China, the epicenter of a coronavirus outbreak. 

The individuals, who are mostly State Department employees and their families, were quarantined at March Air Reserve Base in Riverside, Calif.

"Today is the 14th day of the quarantine of the individuals who were on the first charter flight returning from Wuhan province and they are currently being assessed to make sure they remain symptom-free, and then we hope they will be released to travel to their home today," Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC, told reporters Tuesday ahead of the release.

The State Department had charted five flights to evacuate more than 800 Americans from China. Tuesday marks the first set of those passengers to be released from quarantine. 

Read more here

 

ADVERTISEMENT

Planned Parenthood, ACLU sue over Trump abortion coverage rule

Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union are suing the Trump administration over a new rule requiring insurers to send a separate bill for abortion coverage.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, claims the rule is designed to make insurance companies stop offering coverage for abortion.

Under the rule, insurance companies that sell plans on the Affordable Care Act individual marketplaces will be required to send two separate bills to customers -- one for the coverage of abortion care, and another for coverage of other health care.

The second bill won't be an add-on charge, but the administration acknowledged that the rule change will create extensive new burdens at a cost of more than $1 billion for the next decade. It would affect more than 3 million customers.  

Read more here.

 

In other abortion news..

 

Klobuchar: 'We need to build a big tent' for anti-abortion Democrats

Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharPolice killing in Minneapolis puts new scrutiny on Biden pick Cortez Masto says she's not interested in being Biden VP Voting rights, public health officials roll out guidelines to protect voters from COVID-19 MORE (D-Minn.) on Tuesday said that the Democratic Party should be a "big tent" for people of different beliefs, including those who oppose abortion rights.

Klobuchar, who is running as a centrist candidate and alternative to Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersGloves come off as Democrats fight for House seat in California Senate Democrats pump brakes on new stimulus checks The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Unemployment claims now at 41 million with 2.1 million more added to rolls; Topeka mayor says cities don't have enough tests for minorities and homeless communities MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenCOVID-19 workplace complaints surge; unions rip administration Gloves come off as Democrats fight for House seat in California Police killing in Minneapolis puts new scrutiny on Biden pick MORE (D-Mass.), said while she is "pro-choice" but she doesn't think the party should shut out Democrats who disagree.

"There are pro-life Democrats, and they are part of our party, and I think we need to build a big tent," she said.

Supporting abortion rights is a key part of the Democratic National Committee's platform. Campaign groups like the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee have faced pressure from progressives to stop supporting Democrats who oppose abortion rights. 

The Democratic Attorneys General Association announced in November it would only endorse candidates that support abortion access.

Read more here.

 

Upcoming event: 

Wednesday, February 26: America's Opioid Epidemic: Lessons Learned & A Way Forward 

Join The Hill on Wednesday, February 26th in downtown Washington, D.C. as we host a conversation exploring steps that can expand access to treatment and help those battling opioid addiction begin the journey toward long-term recovery. Our editors will be joined by Rep. David JoyceDavid Patrick JoyceThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by The American Investment Council - Trump takes his 'ready to reopen' mantra on the road GE cutting up to one-quarter of aviation unit's workers Boeing suspends Washington production, GE Aviation lays off thousands MORE (R-Ohio), Rep. Paul TonkoPaul David TonkoHouse coronavirus stimulus bill to include effort to limit political influence over science House coronavirus bill aims to prevent utility shutoffs OVERNIGHT ENERGY: More than 70 lawmakers join suit challenging Trump power plant rollbacks | Ranchers sue Trump administration, arguing water rollback is federal overreach |Democrats press Trump administration over plan to reopen national parks MORE (D-N.Y.) and many more. RSVP today

 

What we're reading

In Trump's budget, big health care cuts but few details (New York Times)

In reelection bid, a GOP lawmaker campaigns on Pelosi's drug pricing bill (Stat News)  

Some experts worry as a germ-phobic Trump confronts a growing epidemic (New York Times)

One defensive strategy against surprise medical bills: set your own terms (Kaiser Health News)

 

State by state

Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - George Floyd's death sparks protests, National Guard activation COVID-19 workplace complaints surge; unions rip administration Senate Democrats pump brakes on new stimulus checks MORE's challenger Amy McGrath looks to attract moderate voters in new ad (Courier-Journal)

In South Dakota, a budding transgender movement is taking on conservative lawmakers -- and winning (Washington Post)

 

From The Hill's opinion page

New cancer drug take-back program can reduce financial burdens and save lives

Health care reform takes a step in the right direction