Health Care

Democrats Seize on Trump Administration’s Latest Obamacare Move
New administration proposal will lead to more ‘junk’ health plans, minority party says

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer says Republicans “are once again undermining protections for people with pre-existing conditions.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Democrats have seized on a Trump administration proposal to loosen restrictions on some health insurance offerings as the latest way to attack Republicans over protecting people with pre-existing conditions.

“The American people should look at what Republicans are doing, rather than what they’re saying, when it comes to health care. Just weeks before the election, Republicans are once again undermining protections for people with pre-existing conditions and sabotaging our health care system,” Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer said in a statement.

Pelosi Suggests 2020 Outcome Will Help Her Decide Whether to Stay in Congress
Democratic leader was prepared to retire if Clinton won in 2016, stayed on because of Trump

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., suggested Monday that the outcome of the 2020 presidential election will factor into her decision on how long to stay in Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who hopes to be speaker next year if Democrats win a chamber majority, suggested Monday that the outcome of the 2020 presidential election would factor into her decision on how long to stay in Congress. 

The 78-year-old California Democrat has long signaled that she sees her congressional career coming to an end in the not-so-distant future.

Majority of Republicans Want Legal Marijuana, Poll Shows
Gallup poll finds nearly two-thirds of Americans support legalization of pot, a record high

A marijuana user blows smoke in April in San Francisco, California. More than half of Republicans support legalization, according to the latest Gallup poll. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images file photo)

Almost two-thirds of Americans think marijuana should be legal, according to a Gallup poll released Monday

That represents the highest number in the nearly 50 years since the polling organization began asking about the issue, according to a press release. 

November Elections Bring High Stakes for Medicaid
From expansion to work requirements, the future of the program hangs in the balance

What voters do at the polls Nov. 6 will shape access to Medicare in several states. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The midterm elections could bring sweeping changes to Medicaid, from possible eligibility expansions to new rules requiring low-income people to work, depending on voters’ choices for governors’ offices and state legislatures across the country.

Medicaid covers more people than any other federally funded health program.

Both Parties Seek to Energize Base Voters on Health Issues
As Republicans talk Obamacare repeal, Democrats re-emphasize top issue

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and other Democrats are seizing on comments by Republicans to put health care front and center as the election approaches. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Democrats are seeking to energize their core supporters by repeating Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s remark this week that Republicans hope to revive a push to overhaul the 2010 health care law.

“McConnell gave us a gift,” Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer told MSNBC on Friday. “That’s a game-changer when he shows who he is and wants to really hurt people on health care.”

Poll: Health Care a Top Issue For Midterm Voters
Both nationally and in Florida and Nevada, voters focused on health care

Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., right, and Bill Nelson, D-Fla., are running for re-election amid a national electorate focused on health care. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A majority of individuals rank health care as a “very important” issue in determining who they plan to vote for, according to a new poll that looks at prospective voters nationally as well as in two key battleground states.

Thirty percent of those polled nationally selected health care as the “most important” issue, outranking the economy, immigration, and gun policy, according to data from the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation.

Ex-HHS Secretary Price Spreads Cash Around in Georgia Races
Former congressman donates maximum to gubernatorial candidate Kemp from leftover campaign funds

Former secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Tom Price’s tenure in Washington may have ended, but he’s still spending campaign cash.

Price’s congressional campaign committee has disbursed $55,000 to campaigns in recent weeks, with the bulk going to candidates in his native Georgia, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Blumenauer Sends Blunt Marijuana Blueprint to Democratic Leadership
Goal is to have Congress pass legislation by the end of 2019

Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., wants Democrats to legalize marijuana if they take back the House majority. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer, one of Congress’s most vocal marijuana proponents, sent Democratic leadership a memo Wednesday outlining steps Congress should take to legalize the Schedule I drug.

“Congress is out of step with the American people and the states on cannabis,” Blumenauer wrote in the memo, citing polling showing that 69 percent of registered voters support legalizing marijuana. “We have an opportunity to correct course if Democrats win big in November.”

Democrats Spin McConnell Entitlement Comments Into Political Messaging
McConnell says Republicans cannot tackle program on their own but Democrats warn of GOP action

Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., says a vote for the GOP is a vote to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, spinning Senate Majority McConnell’s comments that Republicans can’t execute that goal on their own. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats are spinning comments Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell recently made on overhauling entitlements to craft a political message that electing Republicans will lead to cuts in safety net programs. 

“Sen. McConnell gave the game up in his comment yesterday,” Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen, who chairs the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said on a press call Wednesday. “It was very clear from what he said that a vote for Republican candidates in this election is a vote to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. That’s what he said.”

Pelosi Not Willing to Trade Over Border Wall, Calls It Trump ‘Manhood Issue’
‘It’s probably the worst way to protect the border,’ House minority leader says

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., says she will not trade with President Donald Trump for his border wall, calling it a "manhood issue" for him. (Photo By Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday there is nothing she would trade for President Donald Trump’s border wall, setting a hard negotiating stance in advance of an expected December showdown over the issue.

“It happens to be like a manhood issue for the president, building a wall, and I’m not interested in that,” the California Democrat said during a discussion at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics. 

Bob Casey Pulls Ad After Barletta’s Emotional Appeal
Ad that slams Barletta on votes to repeal health care law will still play statewide except in his home market

While Pennsylvania Democratic Sen. Bob Casey’s campaign said he has included a constituent’s story of her children’s fight with cancer in speeches for years, he said he would pull an ad that strikes close to home for Republican challenger Rep. Lou Barletta in his hometown market. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Democratic Sen. Bob Casey has pulled a television ad from his opponent’s home market, giving in to criticism from Republican Rep. Lou Barletta that the family in the ad too closely resembles his own personal troubles.

The ad hit Barletta on his vote for the American Health Care Act during Republicans’ prolonged effort to roll back the 2010 health care law last year. The ad accurately states that the AHCA would have weakened protections for patients with pre-existing conditions, but Barletta took issue with the ad’s parallels to his family.

GOP Ad Defends Rep. David Joyce on Health Care Protections
Ad doubles down on strategy to run Republican as health care centrist

Rep. David Joyce, R-Ohio, who has voted with his party multiple times to repeal the 2010 health care law, is depicted as a centrist on the issue in an ad released Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A group supporting Rep. David Joyce is releasing an ad Tuesday touting the Ohio Republican’s commitment to “protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions.”

The $125,000 ad buy from Defending Main Street, the political arm of the Republican Main Street Partnership, doubles down on Joyce’s campaign strategy of painting the candidate as an independent voice who has bucked his party on health care and who has “stood up to President Trump.” 

Democrats Double Down After Eight Years Defending Health Care Law
Issue now tops for Democrats in 2018, report finds

The U.S. Capitol building is seen behind two ambulances Friday, June 15, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats have devoted half their advertising spending in midterm races to health care, according to a report released Monday from a left-leaning group that seeks to protect provisions of Barack Obama’s signature 2010 law. 

The survey of recent polling and advertising spending from Protect Our Care underscore a theme that has emerged across the country as Democrats attempt to shift the narrative on 2010 health care law. After eight years of fending off GOP attempts to “repeal and replace” the provisions of Obamacare, Democrats now see their support of the law as one of their biggest strengths. 

Three States Get Ready to Vote on Abortion
Oregon, Alabama and West Virginia have measures on the ballot

Students protest abortion outside the Supreme Court in June. When voters in three states go to the polls this November, they’ll see abortion initiatives on the ballot. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Oregon, Alabama and West Virginia voters will face separate ballot initiatives next month aimed at restricting abortion access in those states.

These initiatives fit into a larger fight over abortion that continues to heat up. Anti-abortion advocates hope that changes at the state level can be used as test cases and later implemented more broadly, while abortion rights advocates hope to defeat them. A particularly contentious ballot initiative can be used as a messaging move to drive voters to the polls in tight elections such as this fall’s West Virginia Senate race.

You’d Think Samuel Beckett Was In Charge of Our Health Care
Finding a path forward for the Affordable Care Act has been like waiting for Godot

Estragon and Vladimir — above as portrayed in a 1978 French production of Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot” — were stuck in limbo. After waiting on Congress to act on health care, we all know how they feel, Hoagland writes. (Fernand Michaud/Gallica Digital Library)

OPINION — Finding bipartisan agreement in Congress on a path forward for the Affordable Care Act has been like waiting for Godot. Polls tracking Americans’ views have consistently shown an evenly divided public. No single public policy issue captures the country’s polarization better than the debate that has surrounded this law.

That doesn’t mean we have to settle for “nothing to be done.” Improving health insurance markets is a goal worth pursuing, and Republicans and Democrats at the state level are already showing us the way.