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And Medicare officials hinted Friday that they would be amenable to providing a window for beneficiaries who are worried about their plans. Other news on Medicare focuses on: prescription drug prices, hospital and hospice payments, and increasing costs.
Opinion writers weigh in on curbing the costs of pharmaceuticals and other issues.
But while the growth in health care usage slowed last year, larger hikes in prices more than offset it. Overall, national health care spending rose to $3.65 trillion in 2018, up 4.6% from 2017, according to an annual report by nonpartisan economic HHS experts. Retail prescription drug prices dipped by 1%, the first drop since 1973.
But the vote would give House Democrats an election talking point and let them show that they can govern despite the impeachment proceedings. The legislation would allow HHS to negotiate lower prices for up to 250 drugs per year, with the lower prices applied to people with private insurance as well as Medicare.
The method that Reps. Joe Morelle, (D-N.Y.), Donna Shalala (D-Fla.) and Van Taylor (R-Texas) are trying to build support for is favored by many providers. Although many lawmakers want to address the issue of surprise medical bills, debate has raged over who gets stuck with the cost at the end of the day. Other news on health care costs focuses on: expensive emergency room visits, value-based care, hospital closures, and more.
Former Vice President Joe Biden says that Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s “Medicare for All” plan is out of step with what Democrats want and that South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg is riding the coattails of Biden’s public option proposal. Buttigieg pushed back on the accusations.
Opinion writers weigh in on these health issues and others.
Politico reports on the escalating feud between HHS Secretary Alex Azar and CMS Administrator Seema Verma and the disruptions people close to the situation say it has caused. Privately, Azar’s and Verma’s camps are pointing the finger at one another, and disclosures about Verma’s use of highly paid consultants to raise her personal profile exacerbated the tensions.
Read about the biggest pharmaceutical development and pricing stories from the past week in KHN’s Prescription Drug Watch roundup.
Media outlets report on news from Louisiana, Missouri, New Jersey, Wisconsin, Iowa, New Hampshire, California, Georgia, and Massachusetts.
Investigators found no malicious intent, and no one was punished as a result of the unread scans.
Brigham Young University-Idaho requires that students have health insurance, but the university no longer accepts Medicaid. The cheapest option available is the university’s student health plan, which does not comply with the Affordable Care Act’s consumer protections. Medicaid news comes out of Michigan, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and New York.
“We will soon be putting more options on the table…” President Donald Trump tweeted on Friday. But it’s unclear how or if the proposal differs from one outlined this summer. Both drug companies and Canada — where the drugs would supposedly come from — oppose the idea. In other pharmaceutical news: Trump backs off from Medicare negotiation pledge, Novartis bets on heart drugs, an experimental dengue vaccine looks promising, and more.
A so-called “public option” would allow people to buy a government-run health plan that competes with the private marketplace. In previous years, the policy was considered extreme, while now it’s starting to sound like the moderate option in the current political landscape. Meanwhile, Politico takes a look at the army being built to fight “Medicare for All.”
A new study from the Commonwealth Fund details how many Americans who have coverage through their employers are still spending too much of their paychecks on health care costs.
Brokers often make higher commissions on the short-term “junk” plans, health policy experts say, which gives them an incentive to sell them. In other insurance news, Americans struggle to find affordable mental health care coverage.
Republican Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa says that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is blocking the legislation because he wants to hurt her reelection chances. Meanwhile, Schumer says Ernst’s version of the bill shows she “is simply afraid of the NRA.”
Read about pharmaceutical development and pricing stories in this week’s Prescription Drug Watch round up.
The hospital was one of only three centers in the country that specialized in treating the boy’s rare condition, but the insurer kept telling the family to find care closer to home. While the company eventually relented, the family was left wondering why it has become so hard to get needed care. Other health care costs news focuses on a public insurance option and the actual cost of a flu shot.
Under the bill proposed by Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.), drugmakers bringing a new product to market would have to submit to this new agency the cost of research and development, the cost of the drug and of comparable medications in other countries and the federal investments that contributed to the drug’s discovery and production.