Medicaid

On Health Care, Dems Go From Running to Baby Steps
Incremental measures will dominate action on the health law in a largely gridlocked Congress

House Democrats plan to bring administration officials to Capitol Hill to explain what critics call “sabotage” of the law’s insurance exchanges. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The midterm elections all but ended the Republican push to repeal the 2010 law known as Obamacare, but as a defining issue for Democrats in their takeover of the House, health care will likely remain near the top of lawmakers’ policy and political agenda.

Newly emboldened Democrats are expected to not only push legislation through the House, but use their majority control of key committees to press Trump administration officials on the implementation of the health law, Medicaid work requirements, and insurance that does not have to comply with Obamacare rules.

With Divided Congress, Health Care Action Hightails It to the States
Medicaid expansion was the biggest winner in last week’s elections

As health care debates raged over the last few years, Congress was smack dab in the middle. After Tuesday’s elections, most of the action moves to the states. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Newly-elected leaders in the states will be in a stronger position than those in Washington to steer significant shifts in health care policy over the next couple of years as a divided Congress struggles with gridlock.

State Medicaid work requirements, prescription drug prices, insurance exchanges and short-term health plans are among the areas with the potential for substantial change. Some states with new Democratic leaders may also withdraw from a multistate lawsuit aimed at killing the 2010 health care law or look for ways to curb Trump administration policies.

Tim Kaine’s Policy Agenda For a Divided Congress
Former governor, veep candidate sees opportunities for cooperation

Sen. Tim Kaine says infrastructure and health care could be two policy areas ripe for bipartisanship in a divided Congress. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

One day after the election, Virginia’s newly re-election Sen. Tim Kaine was ready to talk policy and where he thinks that Republicans and Democrats could rally to move forward in a divided Congress.

He said that for the first time in a while, there could be common ground on health care, and he singled our for praise the bipartisan opioids bill that was signed into law last month.

What Stacey Abrams Will Tell Us About America Tonight
The results out of Georgia will be a fast and clear grade of the Trump presidency

As goes Georgia, so goes the country. Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams is essentially the face of the resistance, Murphy writes. (Jessica McGowan/Getty Images file photo)

OPINION — Of all of the races to watch Tuesday night, the Georgia governor’s race may be the most important, both for the history it could make (Democrat Stacey Abrams could become the first black female governor in American history) and for what the results in the quickly changing state could tell us about trends in the rest of the country. It’s not exactly Peoria, but Georgia is increasingly representative of the racial, gender, political and business dynamics driving the country itself.

First and foremost, the results in Georgia will be a fast and clear grade of the Trump presidency — period. The Republican nominee, Secretary of State Brian Kemp, has fashioned himself as Donald Trump in a plaid shirt from the beginning of the cycle. Kemp’s first ad introducing himself to Georgia voters featured a gun, a chainsaw, an explosion and Kemp’s pickup — “just in case I need to round up criminal illegals and take ’em home myself. Yep. I just said that!”

GOP Candidates Are Hearing It From Constituents With Pre-Existing Conditions
Outspoken patients feel like they’re collateral damage in the battle over ‘repeal and replace’

A couple dozen members of the New Jersey Citizen Action group protest outside the Capitol as the Senate holds a second day of voting on health care legislation in July 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As Republicans on the campaign trail have contorted the truth about their monthslong campaign to undo the 2010 health care law, they’ve provoked a tricky opponent: cancer survivors.

Republicans have tried to contain the damage of their “repeal and replace” push as they defend their majorities in the midterm elections. In order to pull that off, the campaigns have had to find ways to discredit the sympathetic voices of people with complex medical needs who opposed their votes.

What’s That Sound? The Monster in the Budget
No one wants to address it, but rising health care costs are draining federal revenues and pumping up deficits

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

For all the talk about health care this election season, politicians of both parties are ignoring a giant sucking sound.

The cost of health care continues to soar, vacuuming up a growing share of the nation’s economic output and putting an ever-larger strain on both family incomes and government budgets. Since Medicare and Medicaid were created in 1965, the federal commitment to health care spending has grown from about 3 cents of every taxpayer dollar to nearly 34 cents, not counting interest payments on U.S. debt. And that share is set to keep rising in the coming years as the population ages.

Democrats in Governors’ Races Pounce on Trump’s New Health Waiver Rules
Revised guidance could complicate GOP prospects in some states

Wisconsin Democrats renewed their attacks on Gov. Scott Walker after the Trump administration’s latest health care move. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Trump administration’s move this week to make it easier for states to waive aspects of the 2010 health care law would give increased power to governors to unilaterally change state health insurance marketplaces, raising the stakes in some gubernatorial races in the final weeks of the 2018 campaign.

Governors will be able to apply for waivers to exempt their state from certain requirements under the 2010 law without approval from their state legislatures, as had been required before the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released a revised guidance for the waivers Monday.

The Coincidence of Bomb Recipients, Trump and Far-Right Rhetoric
White House ducks questions about president’s win-at-all-costs polarizing approach

Then-President Barack Obama speaks during a campaign rally with 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on July 5, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

ANALYSIS | The recipients of explosive devices sent this week have so far shared a commonality: harsh criticism by President Donald Trump and far-right followers.

But White House officials were in no mood Wednesday to entertain the notion that the president’s descriptions of Democrats as “evil” and news organizations as the “enemy of the people” might have helped lead a bomber to build devices and mail them to Democratic mega-donor George Soros, former President Barack Obama, 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and CNN. A building in Miami that houses an office for former Democratic National Committee head Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz was also evacuated Wednesday.

Health Industry Reports Lobbying Costs the Size of a Grapefruit — Drugmakers Lead
Expenses on track to surpass 2017 numbers

Pharmacist Hank Wedemeyer fills prescriptions as generic diabetes medicine awaits distribution at a community health center for low-income patients on December 1, 2009 in Aurora, Colorado. (John Moore/Getty Images)

Prescription drugmakers are on track to exceed their lobbying spending from last year, according to third quarter disclosure forms that were due Monday.

In 2017, the industry spent $171.6 million. During the first half of 2018, drugmakers spent almost $95.4 million, putting them on pace to top last year’s total.

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.