health-care

Rep. Joe Kennedy III, Once Staunchly Anti-Marijuana, Changes His Position
6 in 10 Americans support legalizing marijuana, including a majority of Republicans, recent polling shows

Rep. Joe Kennedy III, D-Mass., expressed support for descheduling marijuana in an editorial in the Boston Globe's health vertical STAT News on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

One of the staunchest opponents of marijuana decriminalization in Congress, Rep. Joe Kennedy III, changed course on Tuesday, endorsing nationwide legalization in a Boston Globe editorial.

“I believe we must implement strong, clear, and fair federal guidelines. To do that requires us to remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and legalize it at the federal level,” the Massachusetts congressman wrote, citing its value to public health and racial inequities in how laws on pot are enforced. 

On ‘Medicare-for-All,’ Democrats Tread Lightly
It polls well. But Dems say the proposal isn’t ready for floor action

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., founded the Medicare-for-All Caucus earlier this year. She pushed back on the idea that single-payer health care is unpopular in suburban parts of the country. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Progressives in the House are calling for a vote on a single-payer “Medicare-for-all” bill in the next Congress, but the expected chairmen who will set the agenda for next year say they have other health priorities.

Still, the progressives’ push could earn more attention over the next two years as Democratic candidates begin vying to take on President Donald Trump in 2020. A handful of potential presidential candidates expected to declare interest have already co-sponsored “Medicare-for-all” legislation, an issue that was also a flashpoint in Democratic primaries over the past year.

House Democratic Factions All See Gains After Midterms
Progressive Caucus, New Democrats, Blue Dogs tout their expanding ranks

Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairman Mark Pocan expects his group to see a net gain of 13 members, not counting the uncalled races. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The two largest ideology-based Democratic factions in the House — the Congressional Progressive Caucus and the New Democrat Coalition — are both projecting they’ll have more than 90 members next year after the party picked up over 30 seats in last week’s midterms.

The growth comes at a time when numbers will matter for these groups, more than they have for the past eight years when their party has been in the minority. With the House in their hands next year, Democrats will get to set the legislative agenda and control what bills come to the floor.

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.

With an Ambitious Policy Agenda, Pelosi is Poised to Lead the House Again
Calls increased from Democratic incumbents and candidates asking for new generation of leaders

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi holds a news conference in the Capitol on Nov. 7, the day after Democrats had retaken control of the House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Basking in House Democrats’ midterm election wins, Nancy Pelosi is focused on the planks of the Democratic campaign platform that will become the new majority’s agenda: health care, infrastructure and cleaning up corruption in Washington.

But the California Democrat cannot escape questions about another theme that emerged on the campaign trail — opposition to her leadership.

FDA Plans Crackdown on Flavored E-Cigarettes
Move aimed at preventing nicotine addiction in young people

The FDA wants e-cigarette manufacturers to take steps to curb youth use or “face regulatory consequences.” (Matt Cardy/Getty Images file photo)

The Food and Drug Administration, seeking to prevent nicotine addiction in young people, plans to ban flavored e-cigarette sales in gas stations and convenience stores and will propose banning menthol flavoring in traditional cigarettes.

E-cigarettes and their liquid nicotine flavors would continue to be sold in dedicated vape stores, where the FDA believes age verification procedures are more reliable. Gas stations and convenience stores will be able to keep selling e-cigarettes and liquid nicotines flavored like tobacco and menthol.

Pelosi Pumps Up Policy With a Side of Speakership Confidence
Leadership contests pile up but Pelosi, Hoyer insulated from challenges so far

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., holds a press conference in the Capitol on Wednesday, the day after Election Day. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Basking in the House Democrats’ midterm election wins, Nancy Pelosi wanted to focus on the planks of the Democratic campaign platform that will become the new majority’s agenda: health care, infrastructure and cleaning up corruption in Washington.

But the California Democrat cannot escape questions about another theme that emerged on the campaign trail — opposition to her leadership. 

Tuesday Night’s Wave Came With an Undertow for the GOP
Results were good enough to constrain Trump, and that alone made it the most important midterm since 1930

As Donald Trump in the White House fulfills every dire prophecy about his vitriolic fear mongering, affluent suburbs are increasingly becoming part of the permanent Democratic coalition. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — It was the most important midterm election since voters repudiated the unsteady hand of Herbert Hoover in responding to the Great Depression. But unlike 1930 when the Democrats garnered more than 50 House seats and gained effective control of the Senate, the electoral verdict last night was far more equivocal.

As anyone who spent last summer at the beach knows, waves come in all sizes. There are gentle waves made for diving seven-year-olds. There are deceptively strong waves that bring with them an undertow. And there are, of course, fierce storm waves that require a response from FEMA.

Here’s All the House Republicans That Voters Sent Home
Incumbent losses cut across all factions of the Republican Caucus but most are moderates

Florida Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo, pictured at Greenglade Elementary School polling place on Election Day in Kendale, Florida, is one of at least 19 House Republicans to have lost re-election. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated on November 13 at 11:41 p.m. | Voters have sent 23 House Republican incumbents and counting home, as the predicted Democratic wave materialized in the lower chamber’s midterm contests. 

The losses cut across all factions of the Republican Conference but most of the incumbents going home after this term are moderate members. With the number of House Republicans shrinking next year, conservatives are poised to become a larger portion of the conference. 

Democrats Win House Majority; Here’s What They’ll Do With It
Government overhaul first legislative item, followed by quick action on Dreamer protections, gun control

Now that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and her party are back in power, they have several legislative priorities they wish to pursue. (Margaret Spencer/ CQ Roll Call)

Democrats have been abundantly clear about the top items that would be on their agenda if voters were to put them in the House majority, ranging from a campaign finance overhaul to legislation designed to reduce health care costs. 

Now that the midterm results have confirmed Democrats have won the House, here’s what you can expect with them in control next Congress.