Jun 12, 2019

Who pays for proposed Medicare reform

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley said last week that he is interested in restructuring Medicare's prescription drug benefit, including putting drug manufacturers on the hook for some of the costs accrued in the "catastrophic phase" of coverage.

By the numbers: A new analysis by the American Action Forum shows the winners and losers. Cheaper drugs would win, and more expensive drugs would end up paying more than they do now.

  • That's kind of the point of the proposal. As drug prices continue to go up, the cost of even one prescription can send a senior straight into the catastrophic phase, where the government picks up 80% of the tab.
  • Experts say that creates bad incentives, and that putting both drugmakers and insurers on the hook for more of these costs will help contain prices.

Details: The maximum rebate for any given drug in 2020 is about $3,700.

  • Reforming these rebates to be a percentage of the drug's cost in the catastrophic phase would mean that there's no limit on how much a drug company would pay.
  • The higher the percentage, the more pharma would have to pay — and the more losers there would be compared to current policy.

My thought bubble: Pharma is going to hate this, especially if it puts the industry as a whole on the hook for greater discounts.

Go deeper: How your health care would change under "Medicare for All"

Go deeper

Bob Iger stuns media world with sudden departure as Disney CEO

Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

In a move that shocked the media industry, Bob Iger said Tuesday he would step down from his role as CEO of the Walt Disney Company after leading the entertainment giant to unprecedented success during his 15-year run in the job.

Why it matters: Iger is credited with having successfully led Disney through a series of risky but highly-successful acquisitions that not only solidified the company's entertainment dominance, but also ultimately reshaped the entire media landscape.

Sanders hits new stratosphere of online interest

Data: NewsWhip; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios — Note: Hover over the weekly rank on desktop to see articles and interactions for each candidate and issues.

For the second straight week, Bernie Sanders has hit the high watermark for online attention in the Democratic primary, according to data from NewsWhip provided exclusively to Axios.

Why it matters: It's not just quantity. The sentiment of the top stories about Sanders has been more positive than his top Democratic rivals — particularly Michael Bloomberg, whose recent online attention has been overwhelmingly negative.

Global coronavirus cases spread as U.S. soldier tests positive in South Korea

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.

A 23-year-old American soldier stationed at Camp Carroll in South Korea has tested positive to the novel coronavirus, as the outbreak spreads to more countries.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,700 people and infected over 81,000 others. By Wednesday morning, South Korea had the most cases outside China, with 1,146 infections. Europe's biggest outbreak is in Italy, where 322 cases have been confirmed.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Health