SPONSORED:

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 ScottVirginia attorney general survives primary challenge OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden suspends Arctic oil leases issued under Trump |  Experts warn US needs to better prepare for hurricane season | Progressives set sights on Civilian Climate Corps Progressives set sights on Civilian Climate Corps program: exclusive MORE (D-Va.) and the top Republican on the panel, Rep. Virginia FoxxVirginia Ann FoxxGOP's Gohmert, Clyde file lawsuit over metal detector fines House GOP fights back against mask, metal detector fines Sixth House member issued ,000 security screening fine 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 ShalalaPelosi, Schumer must appoint new commissioners to the CARES Act oversight panel Stephanie Murphy won't run for Senate seat in Florida next year Crist launches bid for Florida governor, seeking to recapture his old job MORE (D-Fla.), Joe MorelleJoseph (Joe) MorelleHouse GOP campaign arm adds to target list NY, 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 MORE (D-N.Y.), Phil RoeDavid (Phil) Phillip RoeHouse Republicans who didn't sign onto the Texas lawsuit Illinois Republican elected to serve as next ranking member of House Veterans' Affairs Committee Here are the 17 GOP women newly elected to the House this year MORE (R-Tenn.) and Kim SchrierKimberly (Kim) Merle SchrierOmar feuds with Jewish Democrats The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the National Shooting Sports Foundation - At 50 days in charge, Democrats hail American Rescue Plan as major win Democrats spar over COVID-19 vaccine strategy 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 NealBiden moves to undo Trump trade legacy with EU deal Republicans open new line of attack on IRS Ireland, loved by Biden, is obstacle to tax deal MORE (Mass.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerSenate panel unanimously advances key Biden cyber nominees Overnight Energy: Schumer to trigger reconciliation process Wednesday | Bipartisan bill would ban 'forever chemicals' in cosmetics | Biden admin eyes step toward Trump-era proposal for uranium reserve GOP senator: I want to make Biden a 'one-half-term president' 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 KlobucharHillicon Valley: Big Tech critic Lina Khan named chair of the FTC | Lawmakers urge Biden to be tough on cyber during summit with Putin | TSA working on additional security regulations following Colonial Pipeline hack Big Tech critic Lina Khan named chair of the FTC Senate confirms Lina Khan to the FTC 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 SandersSanders opposes Biden Interior nominee in procedural vote Briahna Joy Gray on how Sanders changed the healthcare conversation Sanders 'delighted' DeSantis asked White House to import Canadian prescription drugs MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenThe Hill's Morning Report - Dems to go-it-alone on infrastructure as bipartisan plan falters Democratic patience runs out on bipartisan talks NYC progressives anxiously watch Maya Wiley's ascent 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 JoycePorter urges increased budget for children's National Parks program Against mounting odds, Biden seeks GOP support for infrastructure plan Boehner finally calls it as he sees it MORE (R-Ohio), Rep. Paul TonkoPaul David TonkoOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden suspends Arctic oil leases issued under Trump |  Experts warn US needs to better prepare for hurricane season | Progressives set sights on Civilian Climate Corps House GOP campaign arm adds to target list Unleashing an American-led clean energy economy to reach net-zero emissions 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 McConnellLoeffler meets with McConnell amid speculation of another Senate run Manchin opens door to supporting scaled-down election reform bill Pelosi, Schumer must appoint new commissioners to the CARES Act oversight panel 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