health care

Doctor In Menendez Corruption Case Gets 17 Years in Prison
Florida eye doctor defrauded Medicare of $73 million

Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., is seen during a Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee hearing in Dirksen Building on the nominations of Jelena McWilliams, Marvin Goodfriend, and Thomas Workman on January 23, 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A federal judge on Thursday sentenced the Florida eye doctor linked to Sen. Robert Menendez’s dropped corruption case to 17 years in prison for defrauding Medicare and stealing $73 million from the system.

Salomon Melgen was sentenced in court for 67 crimes, including health-care fraud, submitting false claims and falsifying records in patients’ files.

Administration Pushes Abstinence Promotion
Latest moves alarm reproductive rights advocates

Recording artist Ciara, center, performs in honor of National Teen Pregnancy Awareness Month in New York’s Times Square in 2011. (Jason Kempin/Getty Images file photo)

Recent administrative actions signal a shift from promoting comprehensive sexual health information to abstinence-only education, which concerns reproductive rights advocates who question abstinence promotion’s efficacy at preventing teen pregnancy.

The administration already announced last year the discontinuation of a teen pregnancy prevention, or TPP, program that funded grants to communities that study ways to prevent teens from getting pregnant and run prevention programs. The Department of Health and Human Services has promoted more abstinence-only alternatives and increasingly uses the phrase “sexual risk avoidance,” another term for abstinence, in materials.

Woman Linked to Murphy’s Affair to Challenge Doyle
Shannon Edwards says she expects her relationship to former Pennsylvania congressman to come up in campaign

Shannon Edwards, who was an independent before registering as a Republican, said she is moderate on social issues. (Courtesy Shannon Edwards via Facebook)

Shannon Edwards, the woman linked to the affair that brought down former Republican Rep. Tim Murphy, plans to challenge Democratic Rep. Mike Doyle in Pennsylvania.

Murphy resigned last year after it was revealed that he had pressured Edwards to get an abortion during a pregnancy scare.

Man Admits He Threatened to Kill Rep. Katko for Opposing Net Neutrality
Faces up to five years in prison

A man pleaded guilty this week to threatening to kill Rep. John Katko, R-N.Y., and his family if he did not support net neutrality. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A Syracuse man admitted he threatened to kill Rep. John Katko and his family if Katko did not support net neutrality, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday.

Patrick D. Angelo, 29, pleaded guilty to interstate communication of a threat. He faces a maximum five years in prison and $250,000 fine.

Spotlight on House After Senate Failure to Pass DACA Fix
White House puts pressure on House Republicans to advance conservative bill

Speaker Paul D. Ryan has said the House will only take up an immigration bill if it has President Donald Trump’s support. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate’s failure to advance immigration legislation last week took some pressure off House Republican leaders whose members wanted to ensure their chamber would offer a conservative counterproposal rather than just accept whatever the Senate produced.

But the White House — blamed by Democrats for killing a bipartisan Senate measure they believe could have cleared a 60-vote threshold without administration interference — is trying to keep the heat on the House.

DCCC Announces Six More ‘Red to Blue’ Candidates
The candidates will benefit from additional DCCC resources

Lauren Baer, a former Obama Administration foreign policy expert , is challenging first-term GOP Rep. Brian Mast in Florida’s 18th District. (D.A. Banks/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is adding six more candidates to its Red to Blue program, which helps congressional hopefuls stand out to donors and gain access to committee resources.

The candidates must meet goals for fundraising and grassroots engagement to be added to the program. The candidates will also be able to benefit from additional DCCC staff resources, guidance, trainings and organizational support.

House Budget Being Drafted Despite Nearly Insurmountable Obstacles
Topline spending levels, no path to reconciliation among reasons lawmakers to oppose

House Budget Chairman Steve Womack is writing a fiscal 2019 budget resolution despite major obstacles to passing it. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Obstacles to House Republicans passing a fiscal 2019 budget resolution appear insurmountable and have some members questioning why the Budget Committee is even planning to write one. 

Exactly half of the 22 Republicans on the Budget panel — more than enough to block a partisan budget resolution — voted against last week’s budget deal that set fiscal 2019 topline spending levels of $647 billion for defense and $597 billion for nondefense. Under the agreement, House and Senate leaders committed to those topline numbers if their chambers decide to advance fiscal 2019 budget resolutions.

Lipinkski Wants Investigation Into Conservative Think Tank
Illinois congressman wants to know if CEO used money from Illinois Policy Institute to benefit for-profit companies

Rep. Daniel Lipinski, D-Ill., wants an investigation into the conservative Illinois Policy Institute. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic Rep. Daniel Lipinski wants the Internal Revenue Service to investigate the Illinois Policy Institute, a conservative think tank. 

Lipinski sent a letter asking the IRS to explore whether CEO John Tillman used money from the institute to benefit for-profit companies, according to ProPublica.

House Passes Bill Critics Say Would Undermine Disability Rights
U.S. Capitol Police remove people in wheelchairs from the gallery

Harriotte Ranvig, 71, of Somerville Mass., is escorted out of the House chamber on February 15, 2018, after she and a group of protesters disrupted the vote on The ADA Education and Reform Act on which makes it harder for disabled people to sue for discrimination. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The House on Thursday passed, 225-192, a bill that supporters say would deter predatory lawsuits filed under a landmark disability rights law, over objections from its critics that the bill would undermine decades of progress for access to places like restaurants, theaters and other private establishments.

The bill would require potential plaintiffs to notify businesses who aren’t in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act before filing a lawsuit. As originally written, it would give the businesses six months to demonstrate their intent to comply, but an amendment adopted on Thursday shortened that timeline to four months.

K Street Reinvents Itself in the Era of Trump
Presidency, GOP Congress and surge of grass-roots resistance mean uncertainty

Andy Rosenberg and Harriet Melvin of Thorn Run Partners are adapting to a changing lobbying environment. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Harriet Melvin, a Republican lobbyist whose clients include songwriters, the National Football League and eBay, has observed dramatic changes in the influence industry during more than two decades in the business.

Political upheaval, partisan stalemate on Capitol Hill and technological innovations have all disrupted and transformed the much-maligned, $4 billion-a-year federal lobbying business.