Medicare

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.”

Swagel officially chosen for CBO director, replacing Hall
Ex-George W. Bush administration official will take over June 3

Departing CBO Director Keith Hall, right, here with Senate Budget Chairman Michael B. Enzi in 2018, has been serving in a temporary capacity since January. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Phillip L. Swagel, an economist with extensive service in the George W. Bush administration, has been appointed the new director of the Congressional Budget Office.

Senate Budget Chairman Michael B. Enzi and House Budget Chairman John Yarmuth announced the appointment, which begins June 3.

Alice Rivlin, first CBO chief and Clinton budget director, dies

Alice Rivlin, the founding director of the Congressional Budget Office, former director of the Office of Management and Budget and a member of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, died Tuesday at the age of 88. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call)

Alice M. Rivlin, an economist, budget and health care expert respected on both sides of the aisle and the first director of the Congressional Budget Office, died Tuesday at the age of 88 after a battle with cancer.

The Brookings Institution, where she served as a senior fellow, confirmed Rivlin’s death.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren: 'Fox News is a hate-for-profit racket'
Presidential hopeful turned down network offer of televised town hall

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., torched Fox News on Twitter and in an email to supporters Tuesday. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren inveighed against Fox News on Tuesday, calling the conservative network a “hate-for-profit racket.”

“Fox News invited me to do a town hall on their network. I turned them down,” Warren wrote in an email to supporters.

The Pennsylvania special election you haven’t heard about
Voters in 12th District will pick a replacement for Tom Marino next week

Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pa., resigned in January shortly after being sworn in. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It wasn’t that long ago that a special election in Pennsylvania attracted national attention and millions of dollars. But this year, the race in the state’s 12th District has flown under the radar.

Voters head to the polls next Tuesday to replace Republican Tom Marino, who resigned just shortly after the new Congress began. This election hasn’t captured the national spotlight — a marked shift from 14 months ago, when the special election in Pennsylvania’s old 18th District grabbed headlines. Democrat Conor Lamb pulled off an upset there even though President Donald Trump carried the district by 20 points in 2016.

White House wants to update poverty thresholds. It could affect food stamps and Medicaid benefits
Critics say move could weaken public assistance programs and increase hardship for low-wage earners

Supporters hold up “Save Medicaid” signs during the Senate Democrats’ news conference with disability advocates in September 2017 to oppose a Republican health care overhaul proposal. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The White House Budget Office is considering its first update to inflation adjustment guidelines for poverty thresholds since 1978, with potential consequences for benefit programs serving low-income households.

The initiative is part of a re-evaluation of six inflation indexes used to track the impact on consumers of rising or falling prices. One of the indexes is used to adjust poverty thresholds, which underlie the calculation of eligibility for a number of benefit programs including Medicaid, food stamps and school lunches and breakfasts for poor children.

Our trillion-dollar problem deserves bipartisan attention
Our national debt is projected to grow faster than the economy — forever

President Bill Clinton signs into law two budget reconciliation measures in a 1997 White House ceremony on the South Lawn. The measures helped lead to a balanced budget, which former Reps. Tim Penny and David Minge believe can be accomplished only through bipartisan commitment. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Our nation is now staring at trillion-dollar annual deficits. The Congressional Budget Office in a report this month warned the nation once again that our yearly red ink could top $1 trillion as soon as next year. Our national debt is projected to grow faster than the economy — forever.

How many warnings will it take for our leaders to pay attention? What is the tipping point that will force our leaders to act?

Iowans prep for fierce 2020 fight — and not just for the White House
All four House districts will be contested, in addition to competitive Senate race

Iowa Democratic Rep. Cindy Axne is a top Republican target in 2020. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Iowans are used to the spotlight in presidential election years, and with the number of Democrats eyeing the nomination approaching two dozen, it may be difficult this year to travel in the state without running into a candidate or the media entourage that comes with them.

But for Iowa voters, the more intense political battles in 2020 might actually be further down the ballot.

‘The eating disorder is the tip of the iceberg’: Survivors try to get Congress on their side
Johanna Kandel endured a 10-year war with anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder. Now she’s talking policy

Johanna Kandel, third from right, battled anorexia and bulimia. On Tuesday she and other advocates met with Rep. Alcee L. Hastings. (Courtesy Hastings’ office)

Just after 12:30 p.m., right in the thick of lunchtime, we elbow our way into the busy Longworth Cafeteria. It’s Johanna Kandel’s lunch break, so she orders a Diet Coke and a substantial salad packed with chicken, tomatoes, peppers and “lots of cheese.”

“I’ll probably get a coffee and a cookie after,” she adds.

Pelosi: ‘Trump is goading us to impeach him’
‘Every single day he’s just like taunting, taunting, taunting,’ she said at an event

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., conducts her weekly news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center on March 14. Tuesday she said President Donald Trump was “goading” Democrats into impeaching him. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday that President Donald Trump is trying to bait Democrats into starting impeachment proceedings against him but cautioned that her caucus will only be led to that process by the facts.

“Trump is goading us to impeach him,” the California Democrat said during an event in New York City hosted by the Cornell University Institute of Politics and Global Affairs.