Sens. Patty Murray and Lamar Alexander. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

A new Senate bill would tackle an array of health industry tactics that are costing patients a lot of money, but have largely fallen under politicians' radar until now.

The big picture: This is one of the most ambitious bipartisan health care bills in a long time.

Details: The bill, written by Sens. Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray, pitches 3 options for ending surprise hospital billing, including a new one that could coax more doctors into accepting the same insurance plans as the hospitals they practice in.

It would also:

  • Create a nonprofit entity to collect and review claims data, to help illuminate what care actually costs.
  • Ban hospitals from including anticompetitive clauses in their contracts with insurers.
  • Ban pharmacy benefit managers from charging more for a drug than the PBM paid for it, and would require PBMs to pass 100% of rebates or discounts along to insurers and employers that hire them.
  • Prohibit some of the "gaming" practices that drugmakers use to keep competition off of the market.

The backdrop: A bipartisan House proposal released yesterday would restructure Medicare’s drug benefit and cap seniors’ out-of-pocket costs.

The other side: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi this week presented ideas for "Dems' forthcoming prescription drug negotiation bill," according to a senior Democratic aide and first reported by Politico.

  • HHS would negotiate prices for at least 25 drugs every year, which would apply to all payers.
  • Drugs covered by Medicare couldn't have price hikes higher than inflation, or the manufacturer would have to rebate the difference to Medicare.

Go deeper: Capitol Hill sees bipartisan momentum on surprise medical billing

Go deeper

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Presidential Debate Commission co-chair Frank Fahrenkopf Jr. said Sunday he doesn't expect Fox News anchor Chris Wallace or any of the other moderators to fact-check President Trump or former Vice President Joe Biden at the debates.

What he's saying: "There's a vast difference between being a moderator in a debate and being a reporter who is interviewing someone." Fahrenkopf Jr. said on CNN's "Reliable Sources."

Updated 57 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3:00 p.m. ET: 32,930,733 — Total deaths: 995,450 — Total recoveries: 22,782,236Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3:00 p.m. ET: 7,094,145 — Total deaths: 204,607 — Total recoveries: 2,750,459 — Total tests: 100,492,536Map.
  3. States: 3 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week — New York daily cases top 1,000 for first time since June.
  4. Health: The long-term pain of the mental health pandemicFewer than 10% of Americans have coronavirus antibodies.
  5. Business: Millions start new businesses in time of coronavirus.
  6. Education: Summer college enrollment offers a glimpse of COVID-19's effect.
Updated 2 hours ago - Health

3 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week

Data: Compiled by Axios; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Utah, North Carolina and Wyoming set new highs last week for coronavirus infections recorded in a single day, according to the COVID Tracking Project (CTP) and state health departments. Utah and Wyoming surpassed records set the previous week.

Why it matters: Record case highs have usually meant that more hospitalizations and other serious outcomes are on the way, CTP's latest weekly update notes.