health-care

Ocasio-Cortez grills CEO of pharma company making billions on government-patented HIV drug
Daniel O’Day faced scathing questions over taxpayers funding research and development for blockbuster drug

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., was among the Democrats on the House Oversight Committee grilling Gilead CEO Daniel O’Day on Thursday over the high price of the HIV prevention drug, Truvada. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Gilead CEO Daniel O’Day faced scathing questions at a House hearing Thursday, with Democrats demanding answers on how the drug manufacturer could charge $1,700 a month for an HIV prevention drug discovered through taxpayer-funded research.

“How can Gilead do this? How can our system allow a company to take a drug treatment that was developed with taxpayer funds and abuse its monopoly to charge such astronomical prices?” Oversight and Reform Chairman Elijah E. Cummings asked at the top of the hearing. “This lifesaving treatment would not exist but for the research funded by the CDC and the NIH.”

House vote combining drug, health law bills irks Republicans
Combining the two bills sets up a political minefield for Republicans who are torn between the two issues

Reps. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., center, Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, right, and Mark Meadows, R-N.C., are seen during a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing in Rayburn Building. The House is set to vote Thursday on legislation meant to lower prescription drug prices and strengthen “Obamacare” health insurance exchanges. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The House is set to vote Thursday on legislation meant to lower prescription drug prices and strengthen the individual health insurance exchanges, setting up a political minefield for Republicans who are torn between the two issues.

Democratic leaders’ decision to combine legislation that would make it easier to bring generic drugs to market with bills that would bolster the 2010 health care law does not damage the prospects of passage for the package of bills. But that does make it certain that most Republicans will vote against the bipartisan drug pricing legislation.

Legal battle heats up as more states test strict abortion bans
Other states are already pursuing and defending laws to ban abortion after six weeks of pregnancy

Pro-choice protesters shout at pro-life protesters outside of the Supreme Court June 26, 2018. Alabama’s new abortion law, which would essentially ban abortion in most cases, could open the door to restrictions in other states — even though they will all likely be challenged in court. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Advocates are preparing for a legal battle after Alabama passed the strictest abortion bill in the country late Tuesday, part of a growing national push by abortion opponents to test whether the courts will curb constitutional protections for the procedure.

Alabama’s move, which would essentially ban abortion in most cases, could open the door to restrictions in other states — even though they will all likely be challenged in court. Other states are already pursuing and defending laws to ban abortion after six weeks of pregnancy.

Rep. Trone calls for Naloxone training for House members and staff 

Rep. David Trone, D-Md., is asking that members of Congress and staff know how to administer Naxolone, the anti-opioid overdose medication. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. David Trone is calling on Congress’ Office of the Attending Physician to provide information and training about carrying and administering the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone.

“I urge you, in your capacity as Attending Physician, to provide naloxone information and training to interested congressional offices,” he wrote in a letter Wednesday to Dr. Brian P. Monahan, the attending physician.

House health care bill puts generic drug industry in bind
Low-cost generic drug makers expected a floor vote on a signature bill, but the law is being packaged with two measures industry opposes

Rep. Buddy Carter, R-Ga., attends a House Energy and Commerce Environment Subcommittee hearing in Rayburn Building. Carter is a sponsor of a bill that would make it harder to stretch out a six-month exclusivity period awarded to the first generic version of a brand-name drug. Generic drug pricing bills will be taken up by the House Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

This was supposed to be a good week for the makers of low-cost generic drugs, as a bill that is one of their top priorities gets a House floor vote. Instead, the industry finds itself clouded by allegations of price fixing, and its signature bill is being packaged with two measures they oppose.

The bill that the House will take up Thursday combines three drug pricing measures with bills to strengthen the individual health insurance market.

Road ahead: House health care week again, as Senate tackles contentious nominations
House Democrats also voting on Equality Act, which will mark passage of half of their top 10 bills

Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., is lead sponsor of the Equality Act. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

It’s health care week, part two, in the House as the chamber will vote on a package of seven bills designed to strengthen the 2010 law and lower prescription drug prices — after passing a measure last week that Democrats said would protect people with pre-existing conditions.

But the health care package won’t be the only marquee legislation on the floor this week. Democrats will be halfway through advancing their top 10 bills out of the House after a vote on HR 5, the Equality Act.

Trump aide sees room for talks on Democrats’ opioid bill
Trump’s top drug control official left the door open to a bipartisan deal on a bill authorizing billions to address opioid crisis

From left, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Reps. Peter Welch, D-Vt., Elijah Cummings, D-Md., and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., conduct a news conference in the Capitol on January 10, 2019. Cummings and Elizabeth Warren released a draft bill Wednesday that would authorize $100 billion over a decade to address the opioid crisis. Trump’s aide left the door open Thursday for a bipartisan solution with the bill’s sponsors. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats got a surprising compliment from the Trump administration’s top drug control official at a Thursday hearing as they discussed boosting opioid addiction treatment funding, while Republicans promoted efforts to stem illegal drugs through securing the southern border.

House Oversight and Reform Government Operations Subcommittee Chairman Gerald E. Connolly, D-Va., who presided at the full committee hearing, touted a draft bill that Chairman Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland released with Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Wednesday that would authorize $100 billion over 10 years to address the crisis. The bill, which is supported by all of the committee’s Democrats, faces a tough path to becoming law without Republican support.

Trump calls for end to surprise out-of-network medical bills

The leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, ranking member Greg Walden, R-Ore.,  left, and Chairman Frank Pallone, D-N.J., support the push to clamp down on surprise medical bills. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump on Thursday called on Congress to pass legislation intended to curb surprise medical bills, an issue with bipartisan interest on Capitol Hill but one that has stalled under intense industry lobbying.

Trump laid out core principles the White House wants in legislation, which officials hope Congress will send to the president later this year. Trump’s remarks came after lawmakers focused on the issue asked the White House to get involved to secure more support, a senior White House official said.

Trump says China would best Buttigieg even as his own trade talks slow
President returns to Florida, where polls show an uphill re-election battle

President Donald Trump greets supporters during a rally at the Van Andel Arena on March 28 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He was in Panama City, Florida, Wednesday evening for another rally. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump mocked congressional Democrats at a campaign rally in Florida on Wednesday and called on them to end their investigations into his business and personal activities.

“It’s time to end the nonsense,” the president said of House Democrats’ probes on a day when Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler said the country has entered a “constitutional crisis.”

Lawmakers aim to double down with more opioids legislation
New efforts would double down on existing policies to curb illegal fentanyl use and authorize more funding

Reps. David Trone, D-Md., and Susie Lee, D-Nev., conduct a news conference at the House Triangle on Thursday, January 17, 2019. Trone heads the newly formed Freshmen Working Group on Addiction. He told CQ Roll Call the group will attempt to pass opioid-related bills it supports as individual measures to stem the opioid crisis, but that it’s possible the Senate could take up the bills as a package. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Lawmakers are showing renewed interest in continuing bipartisan work to combat the opioid epidemic, less than a year after the president signed a legislative package into law.

While the law focuses on various aspects of the crisis such as curbing prescription drug abuse, new efforts would double down on policies to curb illegal fentanyl use and authorize additional funding.