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JUDGE TO BLOCK TRUMP ADMINISTRATION’S RULES TARGETING PLANNED PARENTHOOD: A federal judge on Tuesday said that he would block the Trump administration from setting new rules that would have cut off millions of dollars in government funding from Planned Parenthood.

U.S. District Judge Michael McShane, a nominee of former President Barack Obama, said he would grant a preliminary injunction, calling the rule a "ham-fisted approach to public health policy.'' The case landed in court after Oregon's and 20 other states' attorneys general, as well as the American Medical Association and Planned Parenthood, filed lawsuits.

The rule, which was set to go into effect May 3, concerns a $286 million-a-year grant, known as Title X, that pays for birth control, testing of sexually transmitted diseases, and cancer screenings for 4 million low-income people. The rule requires the "physical and financial" separation of family planning services and abortion and does not allow doctors to directly refer patients for abortions.

“At the heart of this rule is an arrogant assumption that the government is better suited to direct women’s healthcare than their providers,” McShane said during the hearing, according to the Courthouse News Service. “The final rule would create such a financial strain on medical providers that, ironically, it would create a vacuum that would create substantially more abortions.”

Organizations have said that in order to keep the Title X grants under the new rules they would need to build separate entrances and exits, construct new health centers, and hire a second staff of doctors, nurses, and administrative staff. The rule allows them a year to make the changes.

McShane did not say whether he would rule to block the rule only in the states that had sued or apply it nationwide but did say he will detail his plans when he publishes his written opinion.

Other related lawsuits are receiving a hearing this week, and California's lawsuit received a hearing last week. The Maine Family Planning Association will argue its case Wednesday before District Court Judge Lance Walker, who was appointed by President Trump. Another hearing is scheduled for Thursday in Washington state before U.S. District Court Judge Stanley Bastian, another Obama appointee.

Good morning and welcome to the Washington Examiner’s Daily on Healthcare! This newsletter is written by senior healthcare reporter Kimberly Leonard (@LeonardKL) and healthcare reporter Cassidy Morrison (@CassMorrison94). You can reach us with tips, calendar items, or suggestions at If someone forwarded you this email and you’d like to receive it regularly, you can subscribe here.

DEMOCRATS SET FIRST-EVER HEARING ON MEDICARE FOR ALL ACT: The House Rules Committee will hold a hearing on the Medicare for All Act on April 30, according to an announcement posted Tuesday.

The bill is also expected to be heard in the House Budget Committee, though that hearing hasn't yet been scheduled. Supporters of the legislation don't have commitments for consideration from the House Energy and Commerce Committee or the House Ways and Means Committee, the committees that primarily oversee healthcare.

HOSPITALS SET TO GET HIGHER REIMBURSEMENT FOR CANCER TREATMENT: The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released a proposal Tuesday that would allow hospitals to collect more Medicare reimbursement for a type of breakthrough therapy known as CAR-T, which uses patients’ own cells to fight cancer and is typically used among patients who have run out of options. Under the current reimbursement, hospitals are reimbursed about half of what it costs, and the administration has proposed boosting the reimbursement to 65%. If made into a final rule, the proposal would go into effect in 2020.

COLORADO LAWMAKERS SEND PUBLIC OPTION BILL TO THE GOVERNOR: The Colorado House on Tuesday approved a bill to introduce a public health insurance option, sending the bill to the governor’s desk. The bill directs state agencies to recommend plans to compete with Colorado’s healthcare exchanges and private insurance plans. The Department of Health Care Policy and Financing and the Department of Regulatory Agencies has until November to develop a plan.

ALASKA HEALTH OFFICIAL SAYS STATE WILL NOT MOVE TO BLOCK GRANTS: Alaska Health Commissioner Adam Crum was forced to walk back Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s message to Trump that Alaska was “eager” to be the first state to receive Medicaid block grants after state lawmakers expressed anger at the potential health policy overhaul. Crum tried to calm legislators, saying that the governor only wanted Alaska “to be first on something,” but that block grants are “not our plan.” Crum then denied to Democratic Rep. Tiffany Zulkosky that he had any part in the governor’s suggestion to the president that Alaska would be interested in receiving funding in block grants.

CVS HOPES TO PREVENT PHARMACY ROBBERIES IN ALABAMA WITH TIME-DELAY SAFES: CVS announced Tuesday that it will bring time-delay safes into all 186 Alabama pharmacy locations to prevent robberies and unauthorized access to narcotics, including oxycodone and OxyContin. Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall applauded the company’s measures to ensure that narcotics are kept out of the wrong hands “and these safes will make it harder for criminals to steal them.” CVS Pharmacy first implemented time-delay safes in Indianapolis in 2015. The company saw a 70% decline in pharmacy robberies among the Indianapolis stores where the time delay safes had been installed.

RITE AID RAISES MINIMUM PURCHASING AGE FOR TOBACCO: Rite Aid announced Tuesday that the chain would raise the minimum age to buy tobacco products, including vaping products, to 21 within the next three months. Walgreens announced it would also raise the minimum age, effective Sept. 1. Both Walgreens and Rite Aid have been under scrutiny by the Food and Drug Administration for frequent tobacco sales to minors.

PHARMACEUTICAL EXECS CHARGED FOR ROLE IN OPIOID CRISIS: A major opiate distributor, Rochester Drug Co-operative Inc., and two executives, were charged Tuesday with unlawfully distributing oxycodone and fentanyl and conspiracy to defraud the Drug Enforcement Agency by U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman. Under the leadership of the two executives charged, RDC filled over 1.5 million orders for opioids and distributed them to over 1,300 pharmacies between May 2012 and November 2016. RDC continued to send large orders despite “red flags” that the pharmacies sold the drugs illegally.

AT LEAST THREE STATE NATIONAL GUARDS TO REFUSE ENFORCING TRUMP’S TRANSGENDER TROOP BAN: Officials in at least three states have come out against Trump's military transgender ban and will not enforce it in their National Guards. The Daily Beast reported Tuesday that Nevada will join California and New Mexico in its rebuke of the president’s policy. Maj. Gen. Matthew Beevers, deputy adjutant general for the California National Guard, said the only prerequisite for serving is a willingness to serve, and that someone’s gender identity “should be the absolute least of our worries.”

The Rundown

The Sacramento Bee Addiction takes a heavy toll on restaurant workers. SB 11 can help them heal

The New York Times Florida moves toward arming teachers, despite opposition from Parkland students

Tennessean Vanderbilt: Patients will wait longer for liver transplants due to federal policy

Portland Press Herald Critics take aim at plan to allow prescription drug imports from Canada

Politico Cancer group launches $4.5M campaign to boost Medicaid expansion


WEDNESDAY | April 24

April 22-25. Atlanta. Rx Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit. Agenda.

House and Senate in recess.

THURSDAY | April 25

April 25-26. Baltimore. Conference of the National Association of Accountable Care Organizations. Agenda.

MONDAY | April 29

8:30 a.m. 1615 H St NW. Chamber of Commerce event on “"Innovations: Redesigning Wellness."

TUESDAY | April 30

10:30 a.m. 2322 Rayburn. House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Health Subcommittee to hold hearing on the payment of prescription drugs in Medicare Part B and C. Details.

10 a.m. H-313. House Rules Committee hearing on the Medicare for All Act. Details.


8 a.m. 214 Massachusetts Ave. NE. Washington Examiner’s “Examining Healthcare” event with Sens. Bill Cassidy, R-La., and Doug Jones, D-Ala. Register.