John Bardis, a former HHS assistant secretary under the Trump administration, said in a speech Tuesday that employers need to take a tougher stand on health care costs.

Why it matters: If employers take Bardis' advice, hospitals and drug companies are in big trouble.

Details: Speaking at the West Health Healthcare Costs Innovation Summit, Bardis said employers aren't maximizing their leverage over a health care industry that uses the fee-for-service system to make as much money as it can.

  • Instead of trying to constrain rising hospital and drug prices, employers have so far responded by increasing workers' deductibles.
  • "We can no longer afford to give a blank check to our health care delivery system, and shame on us if we do," he said.
  • While hospital systems often point to their low margins,"it's hard to hear when they're increasing these costs by inflating their expenditures," he said.
  • This is a change of tune for Bardis. He previously founded MedAssets, which helped hospitals maximize their payments from employers.

Flashback: Mounting frustration from employers and employees could put cost controls on the table faster than you might think.

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Ford names James Farley as new CEO amid ongoing turnaround effort

James Hackett, left, is retiring as Ford CEO. Jim Farley, right, takes over Oct. 1. Photo: Ford

Ford announced Tuesday that James Farley will take over as its next CEO, replacing James Hackett, 65, who is retiring after three years in the job.

Why it matters: It leaves Farley to complete the company's ongoing turnaround effort. The transition will be that much harder as the industry tries to navigate the coronavirus-induced economic slowdown which shuttered Ford plants for two months on the eve of some of its most important vehicle launches.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Watch the full "Axios on HBO" interview with President Trump

In this episode of “Axios on HBO”, President Trump discusses his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, the upcoming election and much more with National Political Correspondent Jonathan Swan.

The interview was filmed on Tuesday, July 28 and aired Monday, Aug. 3 on HBO.

Mergers and acquisitions make a comeback

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A slew of high-profile headlines led by Microsoft's expected acquisition of social media video app TikTok helped bring the Nasdaq to another record high on Monday.

Why it matters: The mergers-and-acquisitions market looks like it's bouncing back, joining the revived credit and equity markets as well as the market for new public companies through IPOs and special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs).