Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A federal judge upheld Tuesday the Trump administration's rules requiring hospitals to publicly disclose the prices they've negotiated with insurers — information that both hospitals and insurers would very much prefer to keep secret.

The state of play: The American Hospital Association sued to block the rules, arguing that they exceeded the administration's legal authority and infringed on hospitals' First Amendment rights. The court rejected both arguments.

"The publication of charges will allow the agency to further its interest of informing patients about the cost of care, which will in turn advance its other interest — bringing down the cost of health care," Judge Carl Nichols wrote in his ruling.

Experts and economists aren't so sure that's correct. There's at least an argument that price transparency can backfire, causing prices to rise, but it has been a core element of the Trump administration's efforts to lower health care prices.

  • And the difficulty — in many cases, the impossibility — of finding out in advance how much hospital care will cost is often maddening for patients.

What's next: The AHA will appeal this ruling to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, and says it will seek expedited review. The disclosure are rules are set to take effect in January.

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Updated Jun 24, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Appeals court orders judge to dismiss case against Michael Flynn

Photo: Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals said in a 2-1 ruling on Wednesday that the federal judge overseeing the sentencing of former national security adviser Michael Flynn must accept the Justice Department's request to drop charges.

Why it matters: It could mark the end of a long-running legal fight that began with Flynn pleading guilty to lying to the FBI in December 2017 about his contacts with the Russian ambassador during the Trump administration's transition into office.

Updated 17 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 a.m. ET: 11,288,094 — Total deaths: 531,244 — Total recoveries — 6,075,489Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 a.m. ET: 2,839,917 — Total deaths: 129,676 — Total recoveries: 894,325 — Total tested: 34,858,427Map.
  3. States: Photos of America's pandemic July 4 ICU beds in Arizona hot spot near capacity.
  4. Public health: U.S. coronavirus infections hit record highs for 3 straight days.
  5. Politics: Trump extends PPP application deadlineKimberly Guilfoyle tests positive.
  6. World: Mexican leaders call for tighter border control as infections rise in U.S.
  7. Sports: 31 MLB players test positive as workouts resume.
  8. 1 📽 thing: Drive-in movie theaters are making a comeback.

Trump's failing culture wars

Data: Google; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

President Trump built his political brand by stoking the nation's culture wars, but search data is showing us how much harder it's been for him to replicate that success while running against another white man in his 70s — and while there's a coronavirus pandemic.

The big picture: Google Trends data shows Trump's "Sleepy Joe" name-calling isn't generating nearly the buzz "Crooked Hillary" (or "Little Marco") did in 2016. Base voters who relished doubting President Obama's birth certificate aren't questioning Biden's.