Medicare

States Face Children’s Health Coverage Uncertainty
Federal funding could soon run out

Oregon governor Kate Brown recently wrote to her state’s two Democratic senators warning that federal funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program will  run out in December. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

About two months after federal funding lapsed for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, state officials still don’t know exactly when they’ll run out of money or when Congress will renew funding — leaving families that depend on the program increasingly anxious about their benefits.

At least a few states say that they could exhaust funds as soon as next month. States are growing more concerned about the program with just a few days left on the congressional calendar until December and no signs that lawmakers plan in the immediate future to renew funding. 

Judge Declares Mistrial in Menendez Case
Jurors said they were deadlocked on all counts

Sen. Robert Menendez has occasionally been at the Capitol while on trial in New Jersey. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A federal judge is declaring a mistrial in the federal corruption case against Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez, after a New Jersey jury was declared hopelessly deadlocked on all counts.

That’s according to a defense attorney, who informed reporters at the courthouse.

Van Hollen Urges Freedom Caucus to Protect Medicare
‘Sequestration would harm Americans across the country’

Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen is reaching out to the Freedom Caucus on automatic spending cuts. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House Freedom Caucus should raise the issue of automatic spending cuts that would occur to the Medicare program should Congress pass a sweeping tax overhaul, Sen. Chris Van Hollen wrote in a Wednesday letter to the group.

“While I did not always agree with Freedom Caucus positions when I served in the House of Representatives, the Freedom Caucus has been a strong supporter of debt reduction,” the Maryland Democrat wrote.

CBO: Tax Plan Could Cut Medicare By $25 Billion
OMB would be required to order sequestration 15 days from end of session

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., leaves the Capitol after the last votes of the week on October 5, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Some members are concerned the GOP tax overhaul would lead to mandatory multi-billion dollar cuts to programs such as Medicare.

There’s not enough mandatory spending up for grabs under current law to execute the full automatic, across-the-board spending cuts to entitlement programs that would be triggered if Republicans push through deficit-increasing tax cuts by year’s end.

Report: Menendez Jury Deadlocked, Judge Orders Further Deliberation
Relieved juror predicted hung jury

Sen. Robert Menendez. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A judge in the Sen. Robert Menendez trial ordered a deadlocked jury Monday to deliberate further, according to CNN.

The judge asked the seven women and five men to go home for the day and clear their heads before returning Tuesday, the report said.

Trump to Nominate New HHS Secretary Alex Azar
Former pharmaceutical president vocal Obamacare opponent

Tom Price (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Trump announced on Twitter he plans to nominate Alex Azar to be the next secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Azar will be “a star for better healthcare and lower drug prices,” Trump wrote in his tweet announcing the coming nomination.

Menendez Trial Jury to Resume Deliberations After Juror Replaced
Judge might question jurors if they heard former juror’s comments that they were leaning toward acquittal

Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., has been on trial for 11 weeks on 17 counts of bribery. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Bob Menendez’s day of reckoning is back on track after a snafu with a juror in his trial halted deliberations last week. The juror has been replaced and deliberations are scheduled to resume today.

Evelyn Arroyo-Maultsby has been relieved of jury duty  because of a previously scheduled vacation U.S. District Judge William H. Walls knew about during jury selections in August. Walls assured Arroyo-Maultsby she could take the vacation under the premise that the trial would not last more than eight weeks. The trial is entering its 11th week.

Report: Juror Vacation Could Reset Menendez Deliberations
Judge promised juror she could take vacation

Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., talks with a reporter in the Capitol before a vote, March 15, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The jury in the corruption trial of New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez could require deliberations to begin anew if it does not come to a verdict today. 

One of the jurors is scheduled for a vacation that was planned before the trial, according to the New Jersey Star-Ledger.

Kevin Brady: A Low-Profile Tax Writer for the Highest-Stress Time
Texan may be the most obscure Ways and Means chairman in such a pivotal role

Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, places books of the current tax code on the dais, during a House Ways and Means Committee markup of the Republicans’ tax reform plan titled the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, in Longworth Building on Monday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Millions of taxpayers, not to mention seemingly all of K Street’s lobbyists, are focused this week on the work of a man precious few outside the Beltway have ever heard of — but who’s among the most powerful people at the Capitol at the moment.

Perhaps expecting Kevin Brady to be a household name is asking too much of the typical American household, where two out of three people can’t name their own member of Congress.

State Rep. Kaniela Ing Runs for Hanabusa’s Seat
First candidate to announce for a solidly Democratic seat

Kaniela Saito Ing (Courtesy Kaniela Saito Ing/Facebook)

Hawaii state Rep. Kaniela Saito Ing announced he will run for the seat Rep. Colleen Hanabusa is vacating as she runs for governor.

Ing, a Democrat, is the first candidate to announce his candidacy for Hanabusa’s seat, according to Maui Now. He has served in Hawaii’s statehouse since 2012 and was first elected when he was 23 years old.