Medicaid

Candidates Get Candid About Their Cancer Diagnoses in TV Ads
Democrats open up about personal medical struggles to talk about health care

Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill is just the latest candidate to talk about her own cancer diagnosis in a campaign ad this year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill got personal in a recent ad, talking about something that she’s never addressed in a political spot before: cancer — specifically, her own diagnosis.

“Two years ago, I beat breast cancer,” the two-term Democrat says to camera. “Like thousands of other women in Missouri, I don’t talk about it much.”

Pelosi, Dems Slam Trump Over Hurricane Response
A year after Maria and Irma, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands still need help, they say

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., says the Trump administration has a moral obligation to do better than it has in its response to Hurricanes Maria and Irma last year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi had long been planning to convene a press conference Friday to talk about the ongoing recovery needs in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands a year after two hurricanes hit the American territories. She didn’t know President Donald Trump would fire off tweets Thursday accusing Democrats of inflating the hurricane’s death toll.

But the president choosing to “add salt to the wounds,” as Pelosi described it, only underscored her message that the federal response to Hurricane Maria has been woefully inadequate.  

Trump Wants to Freeze It. But Federal Pay Isn’t Driving Deficits
‘There’s a misconception that federal employees are all affluent,’ one advocate says

Rep. Barbara Comstock and other vulnerable House Republicans might have difficulty explaining a federal pay freeze to their constituents. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Federal worker compensation, repeatedly used as a piggy bank to fund other priorities earlier this decade, is once again in budget cutters’ crosshairs. The latest catalyst is President Donald Trump’s desire to shrink costs associated with the “administrative state,” both by freezing civil workers’ pay next year and making them contribute more to their pensions.

The pay freeze issue is coming to a head as soon as this month, when Congress decides whether to incorporate Trump’s proposal or allow a 1.9 percent boost to federal worker pay next year, as contained in a bipartisan Senate spending package approved on a 92-6 vote last month.

At the Races: Who's in Trouble Two Months Out
Our weekly newsletter on congressional campaigns

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Welcome to At the Races! You can keep track of House and Senate races with this weekly newsletter by subscribing here. We want to hear what you think. Email us at attheraces@cqrollcall.com with your questions, tips or candidate sightings. — Simone Pathé, Bridget Bowman and Stephanie Akin

What John McCain and That Thumbs-Down Meant to One Family
After covering the Arizona senator for years, one vote stood out more than others

As a reporter, Megan Scully, right, covered Sen. John McCain for years, but it was one vote in particular she will remember him by. (CQ Roll Call)

OPINION — I have spent so much time chasing Sen. John McCain around the Capitol that I joked my kids could recognize his voice from the womb. I regularly grabbed him in the Senate basement or outside the chamber to ask about overruns on the F-35 fighter jet or progress on the massive annual Pentagon policy bill.

He was usually more than happy to oblige. My beat, after all, was his sweet spot: oversight of the country’s massive security apparatus.

House Committee Pledges to Roll Back More Medicare Regulations
Regulatory burdens now come at expense of patient care, Roskam says

Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., says regulatory burdens placed on health care providers by Medicare is compromising patient care. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The House Ways and Means Committee said it would continue exploring ways to reduce regulations in Medicare, after issuing a report last week on its conversations with health care providers.

While light on specifics, the committee said it is engaging in “ongoing dialogue” with the Trump administration over where legislative solutions are needed to reduce what it deems unnecessary regulations.

Red-State Democrats Zero In on Opioid Epidemic
Issue could buoy vulnerable incumbents in West Virginia, Missouri

Sens. Claire McCaskill and Joe Manchin III are two vulnerable Democrats looking to highlight their work on opioids. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Vulnerable red-state Democrats are highlighting their work to address the opioid crisis in an effort to hold on to their congressional seats, even as it remains unclear whether the Senate will take key action before the midterm elections.

While the opioid epidemic is a priority for much of Congress, candidates in especially hard-hit states, such as West Virginia, have made it a core issue in their re-election bids.

Road Ahead: Senate Returning to DC for the Ides of August
Floor agenda will look familiar: judicial nominations and appropriation bills

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I.,left, jokes with Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, as he walks down the Senate steps on Aug. 1 after the chamber’s last vote of the week. Risch was posing for photos with interns on the steps. Senators return Wednesday from their truncated district work period. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Thank goodness the Senate has “manufactured weather.”

That’s what Carrier called the system that was first installed to cool the chamber in the early 20th century. The modern air conditioning will be in full use this week as the Senate returns for a rare mid-August session.

Young Voters Don’t Like Being Called Millennials, Or Too Much Trump-Bashing
Millennials and Gen Z to make the largest demographic come 2020

Darren Scioneaux, center, and other Dillard University students march to their polling place on campus to vote in New Orleans, La., November 8, 2016. Caroline Fayard, Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate from Louisiana, walked with the students. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

By Election Day 2020 Millennials and Generation Z will make up 40 percent of eligible voters. 

Right now, only 23 percent of that demographic turns out to vote, according to Ben Wessel, director of NextGen Rising. His organization is aiming to change that.

Trump Plan: Consumers Could Keep Short-Term Health Plan Skirting Federal Rules
Rule could take effect in 60 days, but ‘slow ramp-up’ anticipated

The Trump administration is seeking to finalize a rule that would allow consumers to purchase plans that don’t comply with all the regulations in the 2010 health care law.  (Scott Olson/Getty Images file photo)

The Trump administration on Wednesday moved to finalize a rule that would let consumers maintain a short-term health insurance plan that skirts federal rules for just under a year, a step officials say will provide more affordable insurance options to more Americans.

The rule, which will be prepared Wednesday for publication in the Federal Register, is part of the administration's effort to allow people to purchase health care plans that don't comply with all of the regulations set by the 2010 health care law , and are typically less expensive than plans sold in the individual market exchanges.