Health Care

FiscalNote’s Wendy Martinez Killed in Logan Circle Stabbing
Police seek suspect caught on video

Wendy Martinez

FiscalNote Chief of Staff Wendy Martinez was killed Tuesday night in a stabbing near Logan Circle, according to the Metropolitan Police Department.

“The entire FiscalNote family is shocked and deeply saddened to learn that Wendy Martinez, our Chief of Staff, was killed last night,” CEO Tim Hwang said in a statement. “Wendy was an invaluable member of our team and a vibrant member of the community. Our thoughts and prayers are with Wendy’s family and friends.”

Spending Splurge
CQ Budget Podcast, Episode 78

A little girl and a man look through the windows of the Capitol dome miniature model in the Capitol Visitors Center Monday afternoon Sept. 10, 2018. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

House and Senate lawmakers made a deal to give the Pentagon a huge spending boost and defy President Donald Trump's call to cut various health, education and labor programs. CQ Defense reporter John M. Donnelly and Health reporter Andrew Siddons unpack the mammoth spending package now making its way through Congress.

Show Notes:

Trump’s FDA Takes on Tobacco
CQ on Congress Podcast, Episode 120

The FDA wants e-cigarette manufacturers to take steps to curb youth use or “face regulatory consequences.” (Matt Cardy/Getty Images file photo)

In an administration proud of its deregulatory approach, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb has defied the trend. He's proposed to mandate lower nicotine levels in cigarettes and suggested a willingness to crack down on electronic cigarette products popular with kids. Matthew L. Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, and CQ health reporter Andrew Siddons assess the proposals and the likelihood Gottlieb will follow through.

 

Health Groups Sue Over Short-Term Insurance Plans
Critics warn plans would yield discriminatory practices

The U.S. Capitol building is seen behind two ambulances Friday, June 15, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Seven health care groups sued Friday to invalidate the Trump administration’s plan to expand the sale of short-term health insurance plans, arguing they don’t actually meet the definition of “short-term.”

The plans would harm patients and disrupt insurance markets nationwide, the groups say. Under the rule, it could become more difficult for patients with pre-existing conditions to obtain health coverage. The administration’s “justifications for this rule are directly contrary to the congressional determinations embodied in the text and structure of the ACA,” they argue.

Cramer Counters Health Care Attacks With New Ad
North Dakota Republican is on defense in Senate race over pre-existing conditions

Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., is challenging Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., in a high-profile Senate race. Here, the two attend an event with National Guardsmen in Bismarck, N.D., in August. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

North Dakota Rep. Kevin Cramer is taking to the airwaves to combat Democratic ads that spotlight the Republican Senate candidate’s health care positions.

The new Cramer ad features images of three Democratic spots — two of them from outside Democratic groups and one from Democratic incumbent Heidi Hetikamp’s campaign. Cramer has been calling on Heitkamp to take down her own campaign’s ad, saying she is citing inaccurate information about how his health care votes would have affected people with pre-existing conditions.

FDA Threatens to Stop Sales of Flavored E-Cigarettes
Agency gives companies 60 days to present strategy to curb youth use

The FDA wants e-cigarette manufacturers to take steps to curb youth use or “face regulatory consequences.” (Matt Cardy/Getty Images file photo)

The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday announced it may force e-cigarette manufacturers to stop selling flavored products, citing what Commissioner Scott Gottlieb called an “epidemic” of youth use.

Five companies, including JUUL Labs, Inc., maker of the popular, USB-drive shaped device with nicotine flavors, will have 60 days to give the FDA a strategy on how they will curb youth use — “or face regulatory consequences,” Gottlieb said.

Rep. Chris Smith Brought Up Orphanages After Same-Sex Parenting Question
High school senior asked if her gay sister would be less of a legitimate parent

Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 7:27 p.m. | Rep. Chris Smith’s views on gay marriage were thrust into the spotlight again Wednesday after the New Jersey Republican brought up orphanages when asked about same-sex parenting, according to an audio recording of the exchange.

But Smith told Roll Call those comments were taken out of context.

As Primaries End, Jayapal Launches Medicare For All PAC
Health care idea has not attracted universal support among party

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., announced the formation of a Medicare for All PAC. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

On the day of the final primary election of the midterm cycle, Washington Democratic Rep. Pramila Jayapal announced she was launching a PAC focused on helping candidates who support Medicare For All, an idea that divided Democratic candidates.

The PAC will support both candidates and initiatives promoting universal health care. The announcement did not specify an initial investments.

GOP Super PAC Ad Hits California’s Katie Porter on Health Care
CLF has reserved nearly $3 million in air time in 45th District

Democrat Katie Porter is challenging GOP Rep. Mimi Walters in California’s 45th District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Congressional Leadership Fund is launching a new ad aimed at Democrat Katie Porter in California’s 45th District — this time targeting her on health care. 

Porter is challenging two-term Republican Rep. Mimi Walters in the Orange County district, which Hillary Clinton carried by 5 points in 2016. Democrats are hoping to repeat Clinton’s success in this part of Southern California, which has traditionally been a conservative stronghold. 

Advertising Arms Race in Maine Over Brett Kavanaugh
NARAL ups the ante with new half-million-dollar buy

Brett Kavanaugh adjusts his nameplate as he takes his seat for day three of his confirmation hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee to be Associate Justice of the Supreme Court on Thursday morning, Sept. 6, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A political advertising war related to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has broken out in Maine over abortion, aiming to influence the vote of its senior senator, Republican Susan Collins.

It comes after the circulation of “committee confidential” documents in which Democrats throw cold water on Kavanaugh’s statements about what he has maintained is his respect for precedent when it comes to Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court case that established a right to abortion.

Kavanaugh Denies Calling Roe v. Wade Unsettled in 2003 Email
Nominee says he was warning against blanket statement for all scholars

Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Sen. Kamala Harris at the Capitol. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Thursday again called landmark abortion case Roe v. Wade an “important precedent” and told senators he was not taking a stance on whether it is a settled legal matter in a 2003 email.

At the time, Kavanaugh commented on a draft opinion piece from supporters of a conservative federal court nominee. That draft op-ed stated “it is widely accepted by legal scholars across the board that Roe v. Wade and its progeny are the settled law of the land.”

Liberal Health Care Group Launches Seven-Figure Campaign
Will target vulnerable Republicans in more than 20 districts

Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., is one of the Republicans being targeted by a liberal advocacy group two months out from the midterms. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A liberal health care group is launching a seven-figure campaign targeting more than 20 congressional districts ahead of the midterm elections.

Health Care Voter announced the campaign on Thursday and said it will also release a 50-state voter guide for every candidate for federal office.

Kavanaugh Signals Landmark Abortion Case Roe Is ‘Settled’ Matter
‘I understand the importance of the issue,’ Supreme Court nominee says in confirmation hearing

Senate Judiciary ranking member Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., listens as Chairman Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, and Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., speak during the confirmation hearing of Brett Kavanaugh on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh signaled he views the landmark abortion case Roe v. Wade as a “settled” matter, coining the phrase “precedent on precedent” while noting it has been reaffirmed several times.

“As a judge, it is an important precedent of the Supreme Court,” he told Senate Judiciary ranking member Dianne Feinstein of California. “I said that it’s settled as a precedent of the Supreme Court under stare decisis,” a Latin term that means to “stand on the decisions.”

Ad War Over Drug Prices Goes One Step Forward, Two Questions Back
‘I undoubtedly will be sued,’ HHS chief Azar has predicted

Allies of the pharmaceutical industry, such as Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, have reservations about a plan to give HHS a green light on new regulations for drug price disclosure. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 11:04 a.m. | A spending bill passed by the Senate last week includes $1 million for the Trump administration to craft new regulations forcing companies to include prices in prescription drug ads.

But there’s still the question of how that would work — and whether the Department of Health and Human Services has the legal authority to make drug companies disclose prices in TV, radio and other advertisements to consumers.

As Dems Campaign on Pre-Existing Conditions, 10 Republicans Move In
Tillis touts ‘common-sense’ solution, Murray calls it a ‘gimmick’

As the 2010 health care law weathers its latest legal challenge, Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., has introduced a bill aimed at pre-existing conditions. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Ten Senate Republicans on Friday released a bill meant to guarantee the protections for patients with pre-existing conditions included in the 2010 health care law.

The measure is a response to the latest legal challenge to the health law, which seeks to invalidate the law after Congress effectively ended the so-called “individual mandate” that requires most Americans to maintain health insurance coverage or pay a fine.