Health Care

House, Administration Settle Lawsuit Over Health Law Payments
Separate health law case upholds ability for attorneys general to intervene

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., applauded a court ruling that settled a lawsuit over the powers of the House and executive branch. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House of Representatives, the White House and several states on Wednesday settled a lawsuit over appropriations for the 2010 health law, resolving years of fighting over the balance of powers between the branches of government.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit dismissed an appeal of an earlier ruling, which found that the Obama administration had been illegally spending money under the 2010 health care law without an appropriation from Congress. The settlement confirmed that ruling and left open the question of whether the House has standing to sue the executive branch.

Trump Call to Curb August Recess Picks Up Steam
Republican senators seem eager to keep Democrats off campaign trail

President Donald Trump leaves the Senate Republican policy lunch in the Capitol on Tuesday afternoon. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump did most of the talking Tuesday during a lunch-hour meeting with Senate Republicans, but lawmakers said he did not prod them to cancel their August recess. He did not have to. 

That’s because the idea appears to be gaining steam for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that the large number of Democratic incumbents running for re-election could find themselves off the campaign trail and in Washington at a prime time for campaigning.

Health Officials Hit Back at Critics of Trump’s Drug Price Plan
As Democrats say the president’s plan is weak, Azar calls it a ”fundamental potential restructuring” of the American economy

Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, shown here at the White House last week, defended the president’s drug plan on Monday. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Top administration health officials on Monday defended President Donald Trump’s plan to address high prescription drug prices, which has drawn criticism from both the industry and those who see it as a capitulation to drug companies.

In a speech Monday in the foyer of the Health and Human Services Department, Secretary Alex Azar, a former pharmaceutical company executive, took direct aim at the industry. He said drug companies were offering the American people a false choice between the development of life-saving innovations and affordability.

Questions Surround ‘America First’ Plan on Overseas Drug Prices
Trump calls overseas costs unfair compared to U.S.

President Donald Trump speaks to supporters at a campaign rally on May 10 in Elkhart, Indiana. The crowd filled the 7,500-person-capacity gymnasium. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump took aim at “global freeloading” in his Friday speech on drug prices, putting an “America First” angle on a complicated policy issue. Although Trump’s rhetoric in the speech was fairly tough on the pharmaceutical industry, this issue was one area where Trump was borrowing a page from the Big Pharma playbook.

For all the resonance this part of the drug pricing debate might have with Trump and his political supporters, the administration’s accompanying policy blueprint had few details on how to address what other countries pay for prescription drugs. Questions remain over whether higher prices overseas would translate into lower prices in the United States.

All of a Sudden, a Busy House Floor Schedule
Legislative to-do list grows ahead of 2018 midterms

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., left, and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., have a lot of bills they’re planning to bring to the floor in the coming weeks. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House’s legislative wheels are kicking into high gear this week.

After four months of mostly sleepy floor activity — not counting the protracted fiscal 2018 spending fight that led to two partial government shutdowns and a few other bills, like a reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration — the House has enough major legislation coming out of its committees to fill the floor schedule for the next two to three months.

Opinion: From the Vatican, a Challenge to Bring Promise to Patients
Conference urges support for innovations in science and medicine in a collaborative, safe and ethical manner

The Pontifical Council for Culture and the Cura Foundation hosted the “Unite to Cure” conference at the Vatican last month. (Courtesy the Cura Foundation/Unite To Cure: Fourth International Vatican Conference)

The power of medical research is rapidly moving from the lab to the patient.

Since the 21st Century Cures Act was passed in 2016, we’ve seen exponential progress in personalized, data-driven medicine and regenerative and gene therapies that will help prevent and treat disease, and even cure patients. Swift advances in science hold great promise for patients in need. At the same time, we must maintain our national standards for safety and ethical responsibility.

Trump Targets Drug Pricing in Trade Agreements
‘It’s unfair, it’s ridiculous and it’s not going to happen any longer’

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar testifies during a Ways and Means Committee hearing on the FY2019 budget for HHS in Longworth Building on February 14, 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump has instructed trade ambassador Robert Lighthizer to grant the drug industry’s wish of making pharmaceutical prices a “top priority” in negotiations with other countries.

Trump revealed the instruction during a Friday announcement unveiling the administration’s overall strategy for lowering drug costs.

Podcast: Opioid Legislation on Deck
CQ on Congress, Episode 101

Legislation to combat the nation's opioid crisis has moved through the Senate's Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee chaired by Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., who is with ranking member Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash.

Liberal Groups Release Polls Showing Health Care Could Hurt GOP Incumbents
Release comes one year after House Republicans passed their health care bill

Members of the New Jersey Citizen Action group protest outside the Capitol on July 26, 2017, as the Senate held a second day of voting on health care legislation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A coalition of liberal groups is releasing new polling to show that health care could be a key issue in the midterms,  and that a vote for the Republican health care plan last year could come back to hurt  GOP incumbents. 

The polls, commissioned by the Health Care Voter coalition, were conducted in seven House districts and statewide in Nevada and Tennessee. The results, shared first with Roll Call, come one year after House Republicans and President Donald Trump celebrated passing the GOP health care bill, which would have dismantled parts of the 2010 health care law. That effort stalled in the Senate and the bill did not become law.

4 of Congress’ Recent Anti-Abortion Actions, After Iowa Passes Measure
A look at Hill action after Iowa legislation passes both state chambers

Guests bow their heads in prayer near the Washington Monument during the annual March for Life on Jan. 27, 2017. Attendees march from the monument to Capitol Hill to oppose abortion. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Iowa state legislature this week passed a bill banning abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy, one of the stricter regulations in the U.S. should the governor sign the bill into law.Dubbed the “heartbeat bill,” the legislation aims to block abortions once a heartbeat is detected, which would essentially ban the procedure for most cases after a month and a half.More lawmakers across the United States started introducing anti-abortion legislation following President Donald Trump’s election. Nineteen states instated 63 restrictions in total to abortion procedures in 2017, the highest number of state laws on the issue since 2013, according to sexual and reproductive health research organization the Guttmacher Institute.States have successfully put more roadblocks in front of abortion, but federal lawmakers have not had such luck. Here are some recent attempts by Congress to limit abortions:

The Senate rejected a bill banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy in January after the bill passed the House in 2017.The “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act,” introduced by Sen. Lindsey Graham, failed to overcome a Democrat filibuster“To those who believe in this issue, we will be back for another day,” Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina and the chief sponsor of the bill, said in advance of the vote according to the New York Times.

White House Mum About Trump’s Unprecedented Call for Senator’s Resignation
President claims he knows ‘things’ about Tester but shares no details

President Donald Trump speaks to supporters during a campaign rally Saturday night in Washington, Mich. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Historians and analysts say President Donald Trump’s call for a sitting United States senator to resign over a dispute about a nominee is unprecedented — yet, White House officials are mum about the provocative move.

Two days after Navy Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, the former White House doctor, withdrew his nomination to be Veterans Affairs secretary due in part to allegations from whistleblowers released by Sen. Jon Tester’s office, Trump used a Saturday morning tweet to demand the Montana Democrat leave office. Later that night, he threatened Tester with information he said would end the senator’s political career.

John McCain Asked Son-In-Law to ‘Take Care Of’ His Daughter
Arizona senator released from hospital last week after surgery for intestinal infection

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer last July. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. John McCain asked his son-in-law over the weekend to “take care of” his daughter as he continues to receive treatment for complications connected to glioblastoma, a potent form of brain cancer.

“John hugged me tonight. He asked me to take care of Meghan. I said I would,” political pundit Ben Domenech, who is married to the Arizona Republican’s daughter Meghan McCain, tweeted Saturday.

Trump Calls for Sen. Tester’s Resignation Over VA Nominee Saga
Navy admiral may still face review of allegations

Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., attends a Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee hearing on Nov. 1. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump escalated his feud with Democratic Sen. Jon Tester on Saturday morning, using a tweet to call for the Veterans Affairs Committee ranking member to resign.

The Montana senator on Wednesday made public allegations from whistleblowers against Navy Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, Trump’s military physician and nominee to run the Department of Veterans Affairs, that helped him decide to step aside.

Veterans Affairs Nominee Jackson Bows Out Amid Firestorm
Trump says he has another nominee in mind, but declines to identify his second choice

Navy Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, President Donald Trump’s nominee for Veterans Affairs secretary, leaves the Dirsken Building after a meeting with Kansas GOP Sen. Jerry Moran on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Ronny Jackson, President Donald Trump’s nominee for Veterans Affairs secretary, announced Thursday he was stepping aside amid new allegations of abusing alcohol and handing out prescription drugs.

Jackson’s withdrawal comes two days after Trump publicly advised him to bow out and just hours after a report surfaced, citing Senate Democrats’ summary of allegations against him, that he once got intoxicated and crashed a government automobile.

White House: No Red Flags In Multiple Jackson Background Checks
Despite Trump team's efforts, nomination appears stalled

Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, nominee for Veterans Affairs secretary, leaves Dirksen Building after a meeting on Capitol Hill with Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., on April 24, 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The White House on Wednesday continued defending embattled Veterans Affairs Secretary nominee Ronny Jackson, saying multiple background checks have turned up no red flags. And, for the first time, a senior official said an internal review could happen as his nomination appears stalled.

With his Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee confirmation hearing still on hold amid allegations he over-prescribed medication, was drunk on the job and fostered a hostile work environment, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters he has undergone four federal background checks since becoming a White House doctor.