Today's word count is 820 words, ~3 minutes.
Allowing people to buy into Medicare is more popular than establishing a single-payer health care system — including among Democrats, according to a recent Navigator poll.
Why it matters: Bernie Sanders made "Medicare for All" a popular concept, but even its supporters have different ideas about what it entails. And more moderate versions have the upper hand.
Between the lines: Most people don't have a nuanced understanding of health policy, and even within the same poll, different ways of describing the same policy yielded different results.
By the numbers: Even a majority of Republicans said that they would support a Medicare buy-in, when given a choice between that or single-payer.
Yes, but: A version of Medicare for All that eliminates private insurance is still supported by a majority of both Democrats and independents.
What they're saying: Polling aside, "I think Medicare for All is what the American people want and need," Sanders said in a brief interview.
The bottom line: There's plenty of opportunity to sway the health care debate, but moderate Democrats seem to have the most popular ideas right now.
The current system that rates the quality of care in Medicare Advantage plans is "flawed" and needs to be overhauled, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission said in its annual June report.
Why it matters: The federal government pays out roughly $6 billion in bonus money to Medicare Advantage insurers every year for a system that doesn’t do a good enough job measuring the most important health outcomes for seniors and the disabled, my colleague Bob Herman reports.
Where it stands: MedPAC commissioners didn't mince words on the flaws.
The bottom line: MedPAC listed ways the Medicare Advantage quality bonus system could be redesigned (summarized on page 265 for the diehards), but the insurance industry wouldn’t take kindly to most of the proposals because they would cut funding.
The suicide rate for Americans aged 15–24 years old — the older half of Generation Z — is the highest it's been since at least 1999, according to Centers for Disease Control data.
The big picture: The overall suicide rate for this age group has risen by 51% over the past decade, Axios' Stef Kight reports. This has been accompanied by increased social media use, anxiety, depression and self-inflicted injuries among young adults and teens, according to a newly released study in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Between the lines: The rise in suicide rates could be a result of more accurate reporting, with Americans more willing to label a death as suicide, according to the JAMA study. It could also be driven by changes in the use of opioids or the increased prevalence of depression in young people.
Since 1988, a federal program has compensated only about 6,600 people for harm that they said was caused by vaccines, NYT reports. Americans have received billions of doses of vaccines over that time period.
Yes, but: $4.15 billion has been paid out through the program, fueling vaccine skeptics' argument that vaccines aren't harmless.
A fourth cancer-causing chemical was found in valsartan, a commonly used heart pill made by several drug companies, Bloomberg reports.
Have a great Wednesday!