Health

Why it matters: The U.S. faces a range of health care flashpoints — unaffordable drugs, opioids, vaping — as we debate whether to adopt universal care. For now, the Affordable Care Act is the law of the land, but Republicans want to issue it a final death blow.

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Insurer-owned clinics are taking on hospitals and physicians for patients

Illustration: Axios Visuals

Insurer-owned clinics are increasingly competing with hospitals and physicians for patients, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The big picture: Doctor groups and hospitals have invested heavily in purchasing physician practices, and are worried about insurers steering patients toward their own clinics.

Go deeperArrow4 hours ago - Health

Coronavirus stress tests drug industry's dependence on China

A Hong Kong commuter wears a face mask. Photo: Miguel Candela/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

It's unclear whether the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus will actually result in prescription drug shortages, but it has undoubtedly highlighted the potential vulnerabilities of having the supply chain for American drugs so dependent on China.

Driving the news: About 150 prescription drugs — including antibiotics, generics and some branded drugs without alternatives — are at risk of shortage if the coronavirus outbreak in China worsens, per two sources familiar with a list of at-risk drugs compiled by the Food and Drug Administration.

Go deeperArrow4 hours ago - Health

Blood test startup Karius raises $165 million

Photo: Donat Sorokin\TASS via Getty Images

Karius, a startup that tests for and identifies infectious diseases, has raised $165 million in a new funding round led by SoftBank's Vision Fund 2.

The big picture: Diagnosing infections is difficult and time-consuming, but Karius says its sequencing test makes the process easier and quicker because everything can be done from standard blood draws.

Go deeperArrow4 hours ago - Health

Republican voters have moved on from hating the ACA

Data: Kaiser Family Foundation; Chart: Axios Visuals

Republican voters have moved on from the Affordable Care Act, shifting their focus and opposition instead toward Medicare for All.

By the numbers: In our latest Kaiser Family Foundation tracking poll, 19% of registered Republicans said opposition to Medicare for All is their top health care issue, compared to just 3% who said the same for opposition to the ACA.

Go deeperArrow5 hours ago - Health

Coronavirus spreads to more countries as cases in South Korea surge

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

Afghanistan, Kuwait and Bahrain each reported their first cases of the novel coronavirus, Al Jazeera first reported, as infections in South Korea, Italy and mainland China continued to increase on Monday.

The big picture: As South Korea and Italy stepped up emergency measures in efforts to thwart the spread of the virus, World Health Organization officials expressed concern about infections with no clear link to China. COVID-19 has killed at least 2,620 people and infected almost 80,000 others, with all but 27 deaths occurring in mainland China.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 6 hours ago - Health

Scoop: Coronavirus threatens shortages of about 150 drugs

A medical worker in Beijing. Photo: Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images

About 150 prescription drugs — including antibiotics, generics and some branded drugs without alternatives — are at risk of shortage if the coronavirus outbreak in China worsens, according to two sources familiar with a list of at-risk drugs compiled by the Food and Drug Administration.

Why it matters: China is a huge supplier of the ingredients used to make drugs that are sold in the U.S. If the virus decreases China's production capability, Americans who rely on the drugs made from these ingredients could be in trouble.

Go deeperArrowFeb 23, 2020 - Health

South Korea raises alert level to red as coronavirus cases exceed 600

A hospital staff member carrying a suspected COVID-19 blood sample case to a medical center in Daegu, South Korea, on Sunday. Photo: Seung-il Ryu/NurPhoto via Getty Images

South Korean President Moon Jae-in raised the country's infectious disease alert level on Sunday to red, the highest possible, the New York Times reports, as the number of cases in the country jumped to 602 and the death toll to six.

Why it matters: South Korea now has more cases of COVID-19 than any country outside mainland China and only 32 fewer than the Diamond Princess cruise ship, the latest figures show.

Go deeperArrowFeb 23, 2020 - Health
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