Good morning ... Turns out bees and I have something in common: A deep familiarity with the concept of nothingness.
As the all-or-nothing debate over the Affordable Care Act pulled Republicans further to the right, the party is having a harder time coming up with feasible ideas for health policy, my colleague Caitlin Owens reports this morning.
What they’re saying: “It’s hard enough to make policy as it is. It’s nearly impossible if you don’t give yourself any options," the American Enterprise Institute’s Ben Ippolito said. "If you're not even willing to concede that some version of regulated competition is a plausible strategy for this market, then realistically, what are you going to argue down the road?”
It all comes back to the ACA. Big, structural pieces of the ACA are moderately conservative — like the basic idea of having the government convene a central marketplace for people to buy private health insurance.
Sen. Chuck Schumer at a health care rally last year. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call
By choosing to reignite a political debate over whether insurance companies should have to cover people with pre-existing conditions, the Trump administration may have given Democrats the most potent weapon of this entire midterm cycle, Kaiser Family Foundation President Drew Altman writes in his latest Axios column.
The big picture: Democrats have been trying to make this campaign season about health care, even with health care out of the headlines, because the unsuccessful effort to repeal the ACA hurt Republicans at the time.
Now the administration has put it back on the front burner — by trying to get the courts to strike down the most popular part of the law.
Go deeper: Read the column.
Several health care groups are making final pitches to the Trump administration about concerns they have with association health plans, Axios’ Bob Herman reports.
Driving the news: The National Academy for State Health Policy and leaders from nine state health insurance exchanges — including Covered California and Maryland Health Connection — met with Department of Labor officials on June 1.
The bottom line: The association health plan rule (as well as regulations on short-term plans) are expected to be released soon, and most health care groups either oppose the rule or have concerns about how it could be implemented.
Anthony Bourdain, who committed suicide last week. Photo: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic via Getty Images
What we're watching this week: The House is set to vote on dozens of bills to help combat the opioid crisis. These votes likely will continue all month. Meanwhile, the Senate Finance Committee is slated to consider a bill Tuesday to curb opioid misuse in Medicare and Medicaid.
HHS Secretary Alex Azar testifies before the Senate HELP Committee on Tuesday about President Trump's plan to lower drug prices.
What's on your radar? I always welcome your tips and feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org.