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.



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 ScottPelosi urges early voting to counter GOP's high court gambit: 'There has to be a price to pay' Congress must finish work on popular conservation bill before time runs out House passes bill to allow private lawsuits against public schools for discriminatory practices MORE (D-Va.) and the top Republican on the panel, Rep. Virginia FoxxVirginia Ann FoxxHouse passes bill to allow private lawsuits against public schools for discriminatory practices Pelosi huddles with chairmen on surprise billing but deal elusive House fails to override Trump veto of bill blocking DeVos student loan rule 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 ShalalaOn The Money: Anxious Democrats push for vote on COVID-19 aid | Pelosi, Mnuchin ready to restart talks | Weekly jobless claims increase | Senate treads close to shutdown deadline Anxious Democrats amp up pressure for vote on COVID-19 aid Shakespeare Theatre Company goes virtual for 'Will on the Hill...or Won't They?' 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 RoeDiana Harshbarger wins GOP primary to replace Rep. Phil Roe We need to focus on veterans in need of service dogs Overnight Defense: Trump plan to pull troops from Germany gets bipartisan pushback | Top GOP senator says it's time to look at changing Confederate-named bases | GOP divided over renaming Army bases MORE (R-Tenn.) and Kim SchrierKimberly (Kim) Merle SchrierPelosi: House will stay in session until agreement is reached on coronavirus relief Washington Rep. Kim Schrier wins primary US ill-prepared for coronavirus-fueled mental health crisis 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.



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 NealCentrist Democrats got their COVID bill, now they want a vote On The Money: Half of states deplete funds for Trump's 0 unemployment expansion | EU appealing ruling in Apple tax case | House Democrats include more aid for airlines in coronavirus package House Democrats to include more aid for airlines in coronavirus package MORE (Mass.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerPelosi: Trump Supreme Court pick 'threatens' Affordable Care Act Will Democrats attempt to pack the Supreme Court again? Pelosi slams Trump executive order on pre-existing conditions: It 'isn't worth the paper it's signed on' 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. 


"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.



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



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 Klobuchar3 reasons why Biden is misreading the politics of court packing Social media platforms put muscle into National Voter Registration Day Battle lines drawn on precedent in Supreme Court fight 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 SandersTrump, Biden will not shake hands at first debate due to COVID-19 Sanders tells Maher 'there will be a number of plans' to remove Trump if he loses Sirota reacts to report of harassment, doxing by Harris supporters MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenOvernight Defense: Appeals court revives House lawsuit against military funding for border wall | Dems push for limits on transferring military gear to police | Lawmakers ask for IG probe into Pentagon's use of COVID-19 funds On The Money: Half of states deplete funds for Trump's 0 unemployment expansion | EU appealing ruling in Apple tax case | House Democrats include more aid for airlines in coronavirus package Warren, Khanna request IG investigation into Pentagon's use of coronavirus funds 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 JoyceRepublicans shrug off Kasich's Democratic convention speech The 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 MORE (R-Ohio), Rep. Paul TonkoPaul David TonkoOvernight Energy: Trump officials finalize plan to open up protected areas of Tongass to logging | Feds say offshore testing for oil can proceed despite drilling moratorium | Dems question EPA's postponement of inequality training Democrats question EPA postponement of environmental inequality training Clark rolls out endorsements in assistant Speaker race 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 McConnellHawley warns Schumer to steer clear of Catholic-based criticisms of Barrett Senate GOP set to vote on Trump's Supreme Court pick before election Harris slams Trump's Supreme Court pick as an attempt to 'destroy the Affordable Care Act' 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