Medicaid

Three States Get Ready to Vote on Abortion
Oregon, Alabama and West Virginia have measures on the ballot

Students protest abortion outside the Supreme Court in June. When voters in three states go to the polls this November, they’ll see abortion initiatives on the ballot. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Oregon, Alabama and West Virginia voters will face separate ballot initiatives next month aimed at restricting abortion access in those states.

These initiatives fit into a larger fight over abortion that continues to heat up. Anti-abortion advocates hope that changes at the state level can be used as test cases and later implemented more broadly, while abortion rights advocates hope to defeat them. A particularly contentious ballot initiative can be used as a messaging move to drive voters to the polls in tight elections such as this fall’s West Virginia Senate race.

Words and Deeds Can Come Back to Haunt Incumbents in Tight Races
Yoder, McCaskill and others face attacks on past votes, policy positions

Rep. Kevin Yoder, R-Kan., now finds himself in a “Tilts Democratic” race in Kansas’ 3rd District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Incumbency comes with benefits, but in a throw-the-bums-out kind of year, it also offers sitting lawmakers one potential major disadvantage on the campaign trail: a voting record on Capitol Hill.

Political opponents can, and do, weaponize one vote, one position on a hot-button policy such as health care, tax or immigration. They might target a pattern of partisanship or, more importantly this year, support for an unpopular president.

Health Care Exchange Premiums Dip, Finally
After steep increases in 2017 and 2018, states on the exchanges see a decline of 1.5 percent

Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, says the lower premiums are “encouraging,” but that the health care law is set up to fail over time. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Health insurance premiums in the 39 states that use HealthCare.gov will fall 1.5 percent on average for the most commonly purchased plans in 2019, marking the first time that rates have dropped since the 2010 health care law was implemented.

The decline is a significant departure from steep increases in 2017 and 2018. Premiums for HealthCare.gov plans grew by an average of 37 percent for plans this year, after rising by 25 percent the year before, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said Thursday.

New York Race Spotlights National Clash Over Health Care
Issue has shaped 19th District race between Faso and Delgado

Protesters stand outside of GOP Rep. John Faso’s Kingston, N.Y. office on Sept. 21. (Bridget Bowman/CQ Roll Call)

KINGSTON, N.Y. — When Republicans tried to repeal the 2010 health care law last year, Democrats knew they had an issue that would define this election cycle. A year and a half later, health care is still dominating Democratic messaging.

Take New York’s 19th District, which stretches  where GOP freshman John J. Faso faces Democratic lawyer Antonio Delgado. 

It’s Baaaccck! Health Care Law Again Front and Center in Midterms
As voters worry about health care, Dems flip the pre-existing script

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., speaks at a July 19 press conference in the Capitol on pre-existing conditions. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Missouri Democratic senator Claire McCaskill is taking an approach in her fight for re-election that would have been unthinkable in her race six years ago — she’s defending the health care law.

The two-term, red-state senator has attacked her opponent, Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, for joining a suit brought by conservative state officials seeking to overturn the law and has rebuked the Trump administration for undercutting its protections.

Wexton Ties Comstock to Trump in First Negative Ad
Ad accuses Comstock of siding with Trump on health care

Virginia Rep. Barbara Comstock is running for re-election in a district Hillary Clinton carried by 10 points. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

State Sen. Jennifer Wexton, the Democrat running in Virginia’s 10th District, is airing her first negative ad against GOP Rep. Barbara Comstock Saturday.

The ad, shared first with Roll Call, tries to tie the two-term Republican to President Donald Trump, who lost this suburban district by 10 points in 2016.

House Democrats, Republicans Unite Behind Opioids Bill
Bipartisan measure now heads to the Senate

Oxycodone pain pills prescribed for a patient with chronic pain lie on display in Norwich, Conn. (John Moore/Getty Images)

The House passed consensus legislation, 393-8, on Friday intended to help combat the opioid crisis. The legislative compromise was finalized earlier this week, and now heads to the Senate for a final vote.

The two chambers came to an agreement on Tuesday, but made additional changes to the bill after the Congressional Budget Office initially estimated that the bill would increase the deficit by $44 million over the next 10 years.

Kavanaugh Nomination Fate Is Still the Superunknown
Supreme Court battle is still a ways from being over

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testifies Thursday before the Senate Judiciary Committee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

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Well, that was a day. The lengthy hearing featuring testimony and questioning of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who has accused him of sexual assault, has resulted in Republicans’ decision to go ahead with a confirmation vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Friday

Hill Sends Big Chunk of Next Year’s Money to Trump, Minus His Border Wall
All eyes were elsewhere as House passed $855B measure for fiscal 2019

Speaker Paul D. Ryan says he’s confident the president will sign a widely supported spending bill. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

As President Donald Trump gave a stem-winding press conference Wednesday on refusing to meet with the Canadian prime minister, getting laughed at by the United Nations, and what will happen to his embattled Supreme Court nominee, the House was passing legislation.

The chamber voted, 361-61, in favor of a measure that would allocate most of the fiscal 2019 appropriations that Congress controls, along with a continuing resolution to keep much of the rest of the government operating into December.

Democrats Pan Proposal to Limit Green Cards for Poor Immigrants
Administration touts rule as moving toward ‘merit-based’ immigration

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said in a statement that “those seeking to immigrate to the United States must show they can support themselves financially.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic lawmakers are criticizing a new rule proposed by the Trump administration that would make it harder for immigrants who receive public benefits to obtain green cards.

The 447-page proposed rule, unveiled by the Department of Homeland Security on Saturday, would expand the government’s ability to deny a green card — and eventual citizenship — to applicants deemed likely to rely on programs including Medicaid, Section 8 low-income housing, and food stamps. The proposed rule represents a significant step in the administration’s efforts to move toward a “merit-based” immigration system, rather than the family-based system currently in place.