Happy Friday! Today is the day I’m going to problem you to stretch these inventive muscular tissues and enter our Halloween Health Care Haiku Competition. Yes, it will be precisely as superior because it sounds! The entries are already pouring in, try the foundations here. To kick issues off, KHN’s very personal proficient and sensible haiku master-in-residence Stephanie Stapleton wrote this one: “Goblins wear white coats, and not much is spookier, than the health system.”
Now on to what you might need missed this week.
Democrats packed themselves onto a crowded stage this week for what already feels just like the umpteenth debate however was solely the fourth or the sixth (relying in case you depend the two-nighters individually).
Going by the quantity of warmth she took, it appears secure to say Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is taken into account by her rivals to be one of many race’s front-runners. With that highlight, although, comes a goal on her again.
South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) – who’re each vying to turn into the choice for former Vice President Joe Biden’s reasonable voters – have been notably sharp of their calls for for Warren to reckon with the prices of “Medicare for All.” The query of how she would pay for such a plan has been one she’s been managing to dodge, however her rivals tried to carry her toes to the hearth on Tuesday. “At least Bernie’s being honest,” Klobuchar mentioned at one level in reference to Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) admission that the proposal will elevate taxes.
FWIW: Despite being pressed to reply the direct query: “Will you raise taxes on the middle class to pay for it? Yes or no?” Warren nonetheless didn’t let herself be pinned down. Something that, the day after the controversy, Biden jumped on as nicely.
Health care is presumably the broadest (or at the very least one of many broader) subjects that the candidates might discuss, and but all it appears they’ve been discussing on the debates is well being care protection. Friends, you aren’t alone in case you’re annoyed by not seeing a extra numerous vary of questions. Even Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) was fed-up sufficient to redirect the dialog towards abortion rights and reproductive well being. Considering it’s such a viscerally hot-topic in the meanwhile, the omission appears evident.
But it’s not simply reproductive well being that the moderators might ask about. Axios got here up with at the very least 4 nice questions that I feel lots of people within the discipline wish to have answered. Like: Many of the issues that make folks sick are usually not the fault of unhealthy well being care — they’re social components like poverty, low-quality housing, and many others. Should or not it’s a part of the well being care system’s job to deal with them? (Hint, trace moderators.)
Don’t get me improper, there have been just a few different health-related moments past “Medicare for All” bickering… together with one of many extra heated exchanges of the evening. Beto O’Rourke mentioned Democrats must be brave of their insurance policies and never be frightened of polls, to which Buttigieg responded: “I don’t need lessons from you on courage.”
Meanwhile, amid all this concentrate on “Medicare for All,” a brand new examine counsels that there are a lot of paths towards common protection—it doesn’t need to be “Medicare for All” or bust.
An enormous resolution on the constitutionality of the well being regulation is predicted to drop someday within the coming weeks. Although in principle, the Trump administration desires a sure final result, if the court docket decides the ACA is unconstitutional, it could possibly be an enormous ole headache for the White House heading into 2020. A ruling like that might not solely foster confusion proper round open enrollment, but in addition permit the Democrats to re-frame the well being narrative in a approach that might enchantment to impartial and reasonable voters greater than the present forwards and backwards about “Medicare for All.”
Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) handed away this week at 68 from problems of longstanding well being issues. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) introduced that she’ll be renaming her signature drug pricing coverage after Cummings as he was a long-time champion of reigning in such prices.
Some would possibly keep in mind that it was Cummings who took Martin Shkreli, of “pharma bro” fame” to activity at a listening to.
“It’s not funny, Mr. Shkreli,” Cummings mentioned as Shkreli smirked. “People are dying, and they’re getting sicker and sicker.”
In a high-stakes, eleventh hour gambit Judge Dan A. Polster is summoning the drug CEOs concerned within the large, nationwide opioid trial to attempt to agree to an enormous $50 billion settlement. Although the talks middle across the large gamers concerned — like AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson — plaintiffs’ legal professionals say they hope such a deal would have a domino impact on the remaining defendants.
Although the reviews appear hopeful, these aware of the talks say that the cities and counties are hesitant as a result of they’re anxious they’re not going to see their justifiable share of the cash.
(This is as of press time! It’s taking place at present, so there could possibly be developments relying when your learn this—ah, the thrill of dwell information!)
In a sea of heartbreaking tales on the opioid epidemic, this one stands out. The Washington Post took a take a look at West Virginia’s disaster and the way court docket victories towards drug corporations aren’t actually the panacea they’re generally made out to be.
These two court docket tales really feel like they occurred ages in the past, however actually it was simply final Friday post-Breeze. If you caught them taking place in actual time, there’s nothing to replace, however I needed to ensure I included them for anybody who wasn’t glued to their laptop on a Friday night.
This binge-worthy story wants no different introduction than the one ProPublica already wrote for it, so I’m going to cite them: “Welcome to Coffeyville, Kansas, where the judge has no law degree, debt collectors get a cut of the bail, and Americans are watching their lives — and liberty — disappear in the pursuit of medical debt collection.”
And, on a associated notice, in case you’ve missed my colleague Jay Hancock’s protection of UVA’s lawsuits towards their sufferers, be certain that to take a look at all of the developments here.
Meanwhile, within the miscellaneous story file this week:
— Melody Petersen of LAT gained the holy cannoli award this week along with her investigation into the apply of harvesting physique components—and the coroners that associate with it. My face when studying everything of the article was an actual duplicate of the “shocked and distressed” emoji.
— Deaths, poor high quality of care, and different issues have completely plagued the Indian Health Service for years, and Native Americans are sick of it. They need to take over operating their very own well being care system, however the activity could be daunting.
— You can’t swing a cat nowadays with out hitting some new CBD product. It appears inevitable that that form of profitable, thriving market would draw pharma’s consideration. Here’s a take a look at what corporations are creating new medicine to faucet into these earnings. (PSA: however don’t truly swing any cats, please.)
— If you need a fentanyl drug ring story that reads like a thriller, verify this text out.
That’s it from me! Have an ideal weekend and don’t overlook to get your flu shot!