Good morning ... Today I learned there’s a sea cucumber called the headless chicken monster. It “lives a mile under the sea, has tentacles and fins and looks like a decapitated chicken ready for roasting.” Very cool.
President Trump declared opioids a public health emergency last year. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images
The White House will be focused on opioids for at least part of this week, my colleague Jonathan Swan and I report.
Where it stands: Congress and the Trump administration have steered billions of dollars to help with the crisis, and most of that work has been bipartisan, highlighted by the fact the bill Trump is signing passed the Senate 98-1.
Two weeks after a handful of senators introduced legislation to curtail surprise medical bills, the American College of Emergency Physicians hired new lobbyists to handle the issue, Axios' Bob Herman notes.
Driving the news: ACEP, the trade group representing emergency room doctors, brought on 4 lobbyists with the law firm Holland & Knight on Oct. 2, according to a federal disclosure. The law firm directed questions to ACEP.
Between the lines: Surprise bills are now a bona fide political issue, especially now that Sens. Maggie Hassan and Jeanne Shaheen released their own legislation. Emergency doctors obviously want their seat at the table, because they stand to lose a lot of money if their ability to do balance billing vanishes or becomes limited.
John Arnold, a former energy trader and hedge fund manager, is putting up millions of dollars to fight the pharmaceutical industry over drug prices, the Wall Street Journal reports.
By the numbers: Arnold has given $19 million to ICER, the independent organization that studies whether drugs are worth what they cost.
Why it matters: The pharmaceutical industry is so powerful and has remained free from political intervention for so long, in part because it's enormously well-funded — both in its direct lobbying and in its advocacy work.
Between Soul Cycle, Fitbit, Whole30 diets and social media health gurus, the health and wellness industry is booming — but Americans are more likely to be obese today than ever before.
The problem, experts told Axios’ Stef Kight, is that while exercise is obviously good for you, diet has more to do with weight loss. And Americans’ diets are still largely trash.
By the numbers: The U.S. fitness industry brought in $30 billion worth of revenue in 2017, according to the latest report by the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) — a global trade association for the fitness industry.
Yes, but: More than a third of Americans eat fast food every day — an industry notorious for high-calorie, low nutrition meals — and only 1 in 10 eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables, per CDC.