Progressive advocates to rally against Kavanaugh

 In Politics

With help from Brianna Ehley

PROGRESSIVE ADVOCATES TO RALLY AGAINST KAVANAUGH — Senators in their home states for a brief August break this week will be inundated with calls about the looming Supreme Court confirmation battle for Brett Kavanaugh, POLITICO’s Brianna Ehley reports.

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Progressive advocacy groups including Planned Parenthood Action Fund and Protect Our Care are turning up the pressure on a number of Republican and Democratic senators, urging them to vote against Kavanaugh’s nomination. The groups are running advertisements in crucial states like Alaska and Maine — the homes of Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins, seen as potential swing votes.

— $200,000 on ads this week: That’s what Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care, said the organization is spending across the country. “This nomination is in trouble,” he told reporters on a call Monday. “This is a winnable fight. If anyone doesn’t believe that, look no further than the fight to repeal Obamacare,” he said referencing Republicans’ failed attempts last year to gut the health care law.

GM LATEST TO STRIKE DEAL ON ‘DIRECT’ HEALTH CARE — The Michigan-based car company announced that Detroit’s Henry Ford Hospital has agreed to a five-year contract to provide care for 24,000 salaried General Motors employees and their dependents.

Under the contract, Henry Ford must hit an annual financial budget and will be held accountable for hitting 19 separate metrics. The deal represents an effort for GM to tamp down its health spending while guaranteeing revenue for Henry Ford. Other companies like Walmart and Lowe’s have pursued similar direct contracts with hospitals around the nation. More.

THIS IS TUESDAY PULSE — Where FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb continues to stir the controversy over what to call nuts’


liquid, linking to this satirical video. (It’s a funny story; PULSE can’t blame the commish for milking it.) Tips to [email protected]

** A message from the Healthcare Distribution Alliance: America’s pharmaceutical distributors are the vital link in the healthcare supply chain. Distributors are responsible for the safe, secure and on-time delivery of a broad range of medicines to more than 200,000 licensed pharmacies, hospitals, long-term care facilities and clinics across the country. Learn More at **

CDC hosts conference call on Zika. Agency leadership is scheduled to hold a noon briefing on health problems possibly caused by the virus.

FIRST IN PULSE: Oklahoma work requirement could lead to coverage losses. That’s according to new analysis by the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families and the Oklahoma Policy Institute, who are planning to release a report on the state’s proposed changes to Medicaid today.

“The new work rules would predominantly affect Oklahoma’s poorest mothers,” the authors conclude. “The impact could hit hardest in Oklahoma’s small towns and rural communities, where parents are more likely to receive Medicaid and where jobs are harder to find.” See report.

HHS supporting response to Ebola outbreak in Congo. CDC has personnel in the field to help respond with the fast-moving outbreak; the World Health Organization this weekend said it had identified 13 Ebola cases and another 30 likely cases, including 33 deaths.

HHS Secretary Alex Azar on Monday night posted photos of the agency’s coordination inside the Secretary’s Operations Center, which had most recently been used by HHS’ emergency responders to help reunify thousands of migrant children separated from their families at the border.

Equity Forward sues HHS for records on migrant care. The advocacy group on Monday said that it’s seeking records related to the agency’s plans to use military bases to detain and shelter the separated migrant children. Equity Forward leaders specifically want information on how HHS prepared for the implementation of the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” border policy, which led to more than 2,500 migrant children being separated from their parents.

“Answers to these questions become increasingly important as children continue to report horrifying instances of physical and sexual abuse at HHS detention centers,” Equity Forward’s Mary Alice Carter said in a statement, referencing recent reports.

The latest issue posted on Monday afternoon, and here’s a quick smattering of some of the studies.

How less competition is linked to higher premiums in ACA marketplaces. Premiums were 50 percent higher in 2018 in ratings areas with a single insurer compared to areas with two or more insurers, according to a study by Jessica Van Parys of Hunter College-CUNY. (To put that another way: Just one more insurer in an ACA marketplace led to significantly lower premiums.)

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