Good morning ... I'll be filling in as your Vitals host for the next 2 weeks, while Caitlin Owens take a well-deserved vacation. And hey, good for her. I'm not jealous. Not at all. Who wants to go to Europe in the summer, anyway?
Today's Vitals is 892 words. You should be able to read it in less time than it'll take Caitlin to finish off her morning espresso. Did I mention that I'm not jealous?
Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images
Joe Biden is rolling out a health care plan today whose policies and political priorities are both rooted firmly in the Affordable Care Act.
Details: The cornerstone of Biden's proposal is a new public insurance option, which would compete alongside private insurance.
On cost control, the plan would give Medicare the power to directly negotiate drug prices and establish a new board to determine a fair price for new, first-in-class drugs.
One potential controversy: Biden's new public option would automatically take the place of the Medicaid expansion in states that haven't expanded.
The bottom line: Health care may be the most defining substantive policy disagreement among the 2020 field.
Many generic drugs are "wildly overpriced" in Medicare, according to a new analysis of federal data from research firm 46brooklyn Research. Axios' Bob Herman has all the details.
Why it matters: Health insurers and pharmacy benefit managers manipulate generic drug prices in Medicaid, and it appears more generics gaming occurs in Medicare — all on the back of taxpayers and patients.
How it works: Medicare drug plans are buying many generics at prices that are significantly above their ingredient costs.
Go deeper: Explore the data
Senate Republicans aren't sweating the prospect of the courts striking down the entire Affordable Care Act, insisting they'd be able to act quickly to repair the damage — despite their inability to coalesce around a replacement plan at any point over the past decade.
Driving the news: "Do I hope the lawsuit succeeds? I do," Sen. Kevin Cramer told Politico. "What I wish is we had some idea where we are going if it does succeed, as it looks more and more like it might."
My thought bubble: It wouldn't be easy even to restore the most politically popular parts of the law.
The other side: "I can't say that I hope it succeeds," Sen. Shelley Moore Capito told Politico, referring to the anti-ACA lawsuit.
Roughly 3.5 million people were affected by the latest round of health care data breaches, Modern Healthcare reports.
By the numbers: There were fewer individual breaches reported in June than in May, but those breaches exposed more patients' records.
Go deeper: What your hospital knows about you