Health Care

Opinion: ‘Medicare for All’ Is the New ‘Repeal and Replace’
Why Democrats may be in danger of repeating the GOP’s mistake

The fine print on “Medicare for All” is much more complex than some Democrats make it out to be, Murphy writes. (ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images file photo)

Even before the horrible events in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend, President Donald Trump was having a bad August.

He had already single-handedly escalated tensions with North Korea to the point that a nuclear strike suddenly seemed like a possibility for the first time in many Americans’ lifetimes.

Health Care Backlash With a Side of Charlottesville Outrage at GOP Town Halls
Constituents ask senators to push Trump to fire Bannon, other aides

Sen. Cory Gardner said he wouldn't ask President Donald Trump to fire Steve Bannon. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Coloradans pressed Sen. Cory Gardner on health care during the Republican’s first solo, in-person town hall in more than a year.

Gardner wasn’t the only Republican senator who faced angry constituents this week, as Sen. Johnny Isakson held a contentious town hall in Georgia on Monday. The two Republicans heard a similar tune from their respective crowds, as people voiced concerns over healthcare.

Trump Labels CEOs Who Left Advisory Panel as ‘Grandstanders’
President used same insult to describe fired FBI Director James Comey

President Donald Trump says he has many potential replacements for the CEOs who quit his American Manufacturing Council. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump labeled as “grandstanders” the corporate executives who left a White House advisory council after he opted against quickly disavowing white supremacist groups following the weekend’s race-based violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The president used a late-morning post Tuesday on his favorite social media site to lash out at the chief executives of Merck, Under Armor and Intel. All three a day earlier announced they were leaving the President’s American Manufacturing Council in protest after Trump did not immediately — and clearly — condemn the Klu Klux Klan, neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups.

Las Vegas Man Arrested for Heller Burglary, Threat
Said in note, ‘If I’m going to die so are you’

Richard Holley faces charges of burglary, extortion, and intimidating a public officer. (Las Vegas Metro Police Department)

A 62-year-old man was arrested Monday in relation to a threatening message for Nevada Sen. Dean Heller over his vote on the Republican health care bill. 

Richard Holley was arrested and booked at the Clark County Detention Center on charges related to a July 16 burglary at the senator’s office, where police found a note threatening Heller's life, the Las Vegas Review Journal reported.

‘Right to Try’ Bill Could Face Slower Action in House
Changes to measure possible during Energy and Commerce markup

Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson’s "Right to Try" legislation faces an uncertain future in the House. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A Senate-passed bill intended to help dying patients access experimental drugs will likely face lengthier deliberations in the House. While the Senate fast-tracked the bill on Aug. 3, the House will likely subject it to a hearing and markup before bringing it up to a vote, according to congressional aides and a lobbyist.

The bill would reduce some of the paperwork involved in getting access to experimental treatments, and would offer protections to the drug companies who choose to make drugs available outside of a clinical trial. It’s the federal version of “Right to Try” measures that have been passed in 37 states with support from libertarian-leaning Republicans who say the Food and Drug Administration prevents dying patients from getting treatments.

House Sends Veterans' Appeals Bill to Trump's Desk
Measure aims to pare down backlog appeals for disability benefits

House Veterans Affairs Chairman Phil Roe, R-Tenn., right, seen here earlier this year with Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., left, and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., applauded passage of the veterans' measure Friday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The House during a pro forma session Friday cleared a bipartisan bill aimed at paring down a massive backlog of appeals for veterans’ disability benefits.

Passage of the measure brings to three the number of major veterans’ bills that now await President Donald Trump’s signature. In addition to the appeals bill, Congress before leaving for the August recess cleared a $2.1 billion funding patch for a private medical care access program, and the “Forever GI Bill,” which extends education benefits to future veterans for an entire lifetime instead of the current 15-year window.

Merkley’s Mild Town Hall in a Red County
Oregon Democrat talks health care to a receptive audience

Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkeley chat with constituents after a town hall in Dallas, Oregon, on Wednesday. (Nathan L. Gonzales/CQ Roll Call)

DALLAS, Ore. — With a divided country and two divided parties, town halls are supposed to be ground zero for angst, anger, and animosity, but not in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Donald Trump carried Polk County in the last presidential election but Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley found a largely sympathetic audience Wednesday at his town hall meeting here in its county seat.

Roughly 150 people gathered at the Oregon National Guard’s Col. James W. Nesmith Readiness Center on the outskirts of Dallas (population: 16,345, according to a sign when you enter town), to hear from one of their senators and enjoy the air conditioning on a sweltering afternoon.

Phil Roe Says He’s Now Cancer-Free
Tennessee congressman underwent medical procedure last month

Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tenn., announced his prostate cancer diagnosis last month. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Phil Roe’s office said Friday the Tennessee Republican is cancer-free after a follow-up appointment to his treatment.

“At his follow-up appointment Congressman Roe’s scans were clear and he is now cancer-free,” a statement from Roe’s office said. “He looks forward to finishing his recovery and returning to a full-schedule soon.”

Sen. Boozman to Have Follow-Up Heart Surgery
Change in August recess delayed operation

Sen. John Boozman underwent emergency heart surgery in 2014 to fix a torn aorta. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. John Boozman was scheduled to have a follow-up heart operation during the first week of August. That all changed when the Senate pushed back the start of August recess.

Now the Arkansas Republican is set to have the procedure in northern Virginia Tuesday, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported.

Kaiser Study: Uncertainty Over Obamacare’s Future Increasing Rates
Millions face double-digit increases in 2018 from unclear Trump administration policies

President Donald Trump, center, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., have butted heads over health care blame this week. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Trump administration policies — or the murkiness surrounding them — will increase millions of Americans’ health care premiums by double digits in 2018, a new nonpartisan study found.

In Wilmington, Del., for instance, consumers can expect a 49 percent hike on their rates.

Trump Goes Back to Flogging McConnell Over Health Care
President’s attack Thursday afternoon comes after taking more encouraging tone

President Donald Trump has repeatedly attacked Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for the GOP’s recent failure to pass health care legislation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 4:27 p.m. | President Donald Trump took on a more threatening tone toward Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday after a meandering series of messages earlier in the day.

The president started the day with a tweet that criticized the Kentucky Republican for a second day for failing to pass a health care bill, before offering an olive branch of encouragement by lunchtime.

Bucshon Gets Democratic Challenger
William Tanoos said Obamacare, income inequality among his reasons to run against incumbent

Democratic candidate William Tanoos said Indiana Rep. Larry Buchson’s vote to repeal Obamacare was part of his reason to run against him. (William Tanoos for Congress via Facebook)

Disability attorney William Tanoos announced his candidacy Wednesday to challenge Indiana Republican Rep. Larry Bucshon

Tanoos told the Tribune Star of Terre Haute that his desire to challenge the four-term congressman was partially rooted in his work on disability cases and families using the 2010 health care law, which Bucshon voted to repeal.

Lobbyists Push GOP to Repeal Obamacare Fees in Tax Overhaul
Trade group is launching digital ad buys in key states

Senate Finance Chairman Orrin G. Hatch, seen here with Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow wants to look at a possible repeal of the 2010 health care law's taxes as part of a larger tax package. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Republican effort to repeal President Barack Obama’s signature health care law may have stalled, but lobbyists are pushing the GOP to continue to target the provisions the industry most despises: the law’s taxes.

House and Senate Republicans hope to push forward on a tax overhaul when Congress returns in September, an item they previously delayed in favor of health care. Repealing the 2010 health care law and its corresponding taxes would have helped simplify the GOP’s upcoming work, but those hopes were deflated when the Senate did not pass a repeal bill last month.

Podcast: Alabama's Strange Election Turns Anti-McConnell But Pro-Trump
The Big Story, Episode 66

GOP candidate for Senate Sen. Luther Strange, R-Ala., speaks with attendees after the U.S. Senate candidate forum held by the Shelby County Republican Party in Pelham, Ala., on Friday, Aug. 4, 2017. Sen. Strange is running in the special election to fill the seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

CQ Roll Call's senior political reporter Bridget Bowman says Republicans competing for Jeff Sessions’ Senate seat in Alabama are striving to tell primary voters just how much they support Donald Trump and, perhaps surprisingly, are using Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as a punching bag.

McCain’s Office Slams Wisconsin Republican for Tumor Remarks
Ron Johnson hinted at reasons for McCain’s health care vote

The office of Arizona Sen. John McCain, center, criticized Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, right, for implying McCain’s brain cancer might have affected his health care vote. Also seen, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. John McCain’s office is hitting back at Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson for suggesting that McCain’s brain tumor influenced his recent health care vote.

Johnson made the remarks speaking on talk radio in Chicago, as reported by CNN.