Rising deductibles paired with the rising cost of medications for chronic conditions has left middle-income Americans saddled with debt and skipping out on their treatment, the L.A. Times reports.

Why it matters: Care for conditions like cancer, diabetes and epilepsy— which require regular treatment, including drugs— are costing the insured thousands of dollars a year, a major shift from when deductibles were lower or nonexistent.

  • "That has made being sick in the U.S. dramatically more expensive," the Time's Noam Levey writes.

For example: One recent study found that in 2016, people taking multiple sclerosis drugs paid, on average, $3,708 in out-of-pocket costs for the drugs each year. The cost for patients with high deductible plans was, on average, almost $8,000 a year.

  • But 15 years ago, the average out-of-pocket cost for these drugs was $244.

The bottom line: When patients ration their own care to try to save money, it puts their health — and even their lives — at risk.

Go deeper: How chronic conditions drive up health spending

Go deeper

Updated 15 mins ago - World

China says U.S. is "endangering peace" with high-level visit to Taiwan

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar during a June briefing in Washington, DC. Photo: Joshua Roberts/Getty Images

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced Tuesday night he will lead a delegation to Taiwan "in the coming days."

Why it matters: It's the highest-level visit by a U.S. cabinet official to Taiwan since 1979. Azar is also the first U.S. Cabinet member to visit the island state in six years. The visit has angered China, which views Taiwan as part of its territory. Chinese officials accused the U.S. early Wednesday of "endangering peace" with the visit, AFP reports.

Updated 59 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3:30 a.m. ET: 18,543,662 — Total deaths: 700,714 — Total recoveries — 11,143,031Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3:30 a.m. ET: 4,771,236 — Total deaths: 156,807 — Total recoveries: 1,528,979 — Total tests: 57,543,852Map.
  3. States: New York City health commissioner resigns in protest of De Blasio's coronavirus response — Local governments go to war over schools.
  4. Public health: 59% of Americans support nationwide 2-week stay-at-home order in NPR poll.
  5. Politics: Trump's national security adviser returns to work after coronavirus recovery Republicans push to expand small business loan program.
  6. Sports: Indy 500 to be held without fansRafael Nadal opts out of U.S. Open.
Updated 2 hours ago - World

At least 100 killed, 4,000 injured after massive explosion rocks Beirut

Photo: Anwar Amro/AFP via Getty Images

A major explosion has slammed central Beirut, Lebanon, damaging buildings as far as several miles away and injuring scores of people.

Driving the news: At least 100 people have been killed and over 4,000 injured in the blast — and the death toll is likely to rise, the Lebanese Red Cross said, per AP. Prime Minister Hassan Diab said the explosions occurred at a warehouse that had been storing 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate for the past six years.