health-care

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.

John Katko Highlights Synthetic Drug Issue in New TV Ad
New York Republican is up for re-election in a district that backed Clinton

The campaign of Rep. John Katko, R-N.Y., has stressed his work to combat the opioid epidemic. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

New York Rep. John Katko is often listed among the Republican incumbents who could withstand a blue wave because he connects with his district and localizes his campaigns. And his new television ad is the latest example of that strategy.

Katko is launching an ad titled “Makes Things Happen,” featuring Teresa Woolson, whose 19-year-old son died after using synthetic marijuana. Woolson launched a foundation in her son’s honor and was Katko’s guest to the State of the Union this year.

Abuse Allegations Loom Over Minnesota Race to Replace Ellison
Female candidates dominate 5th District Democratic-Farmer-Labor primary

Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison vacated his 5th District seat to run for state attorney general. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic candidates running for Rep. Keith Ellison’s seat in Minnesota’s deep-blue 5th District are pushing voters to the polls Tuesday, as abuse allegations against the congressman threatened to send them off-message in the campaign’s closing hours.

The three front-runners for the Democratic-Farmer-Labor nod in Tuesday’s primary declined to take sides when asked at a candidate forum Monday about allegations that Ellison physically abused a former girlfriend — which he has denied. The six-term congressman vacated the 5th District seat to run for state attorney general. 

3 Eye-Popping Details in the Chris Collins Case Documents
Bad news at the White House, in-law joint indictments and prior knowledge

The events leading to Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., arrest are eye-catching. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

New York Republican Rep. Chris Collins was arrested Wednesday on charges including insider trading and lying to authorities. The indictment documents and related complaint from the Securities and Exchange Commission illuminate a wild chain of events that led to the arrest.

Here are three of the most eye-popping details from the documents:

Democratic Candidates Walk Political Tightrope on Drug Prices
Pharmaceutical industry employs many potential voters in some districts

Making the cost of prescription drugs an issue may be complicated for Democrats running in areas that are big pharmaceutical hubs. (John Moore/Getty Images file photo)

Democrats working to regain control in Congress this fall are making the cost of prescription drugs a centerpiece of the party’s message. The path to a majority, however, runs through some places where the pharmaceutical industry employs a lot of potential voters.

Southern California, New Jersey, and the Philadelphia suburbs are among the areas where Democrats have the strongest chances to turn red House seats blue. Yet since these states are some of the biggest pharmaceutical hubs in the United States — the industry estimates it directly employs 44,000 people in Pennsylvania, 65,000 people in New Jersey, and 131,000 in California — candidates there tread a little more cautiously on the issue of drug prices.

Republicans Made ‘Big Mistake’ on Trying Obamacare First, Heller Says
Dean Heller is running against Rep. Jacky Rosen

Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., and Rep. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., are running against each other in Nevada’s Senate race. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Dean Hellersaid Republicans in Congress made a “big mistake” when they tried repealing the 2010 health care law as their first legislative item of the Trump administration.

Republicans could have successfully repealed the law if they had passed tax and transportation legislation first, Heller told the Washington Examiner.

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.

Podcast: Left to Its Own Devices: Medical Tech, Congress and the Public
Political Theater, Episode 30

Director Kirby Dick and producer Amy Ziering discuss their movie "The Bleeding Edge" with Political Theater podcast host Jason Dick and CQ Health Editor Rebecca Adams. (Bian Elkhatib/CQ Roll Call)

Durbin Back on the Warpath Against E-Cigarette ‘Candy-Flavored Poisons’
Introducing new legislation to make e-cig manufacturers show benefits

Sen. Richard J. Durbin has new legislation designed to curtail flavored e-cigs. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Minority Whip Richard J. Durbin has launched a new offensive against a familiar foe: electronic cigarettes.

For years, the Illinois Democrat has been alarmed by the use of e-cigs by young adults — and flavorings that seem designed to appeal to kids, like gummy bear.

‘Undeterred’ Trump Administration to Push Ahead With Medicaid Work Rules
Despite Kentucky setback, Alex Azar says HHS is “fully committed” to work requirements

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar says the administration will continue to litigate the Kentucky case and is “fully committed” to work requirements in the Medicaid program. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Trump administration will continue to approve state Medicaid work requirement proposals, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Thursday, despite a federal court recently blocking Kentucky from implementing such rules.

The administration will continue litigating the Kentucky case and is “fully committed” to work requirements in the Medicaid program, Azar said during an address at The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.