Good morning. Major kudos to Politico's Dan Diamond for temporarily creating happiness on the site of mass anger and sadness that is Twitter.
Millions of Americans lose their health insurance plans every month, by leaving the job through which they got that coverage, Axios' Bob Herman reports.
Why it matters: Critics and skeptics of "Medicare for All" worry about eliminating people's existing coverage because most people are relatively satisfied with their employer-based plans.
By the numbers: More than 66 million Americans voluntarily quit their jobs, were laid off or otherwise separated from their employers in 2018, and that high turnover rate has continued into 2019, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Details: The BLS data does not measure whether separated jobs offered health insurance.
The bottom line: Behavioral economics teaches that people don't like to lose what they have, a concept known as "loss aversion."
Primary care only accounted for between 2.1% and 4.9% of total Medicare spending in 2015, depending on how primary care is defined, according to a new RAND study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.
Spending on primary care was lower among beneficiaries who were older, black, Native American, dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid, and who had chronic conditions. Rates also varied by state.
Why it matters: Primary care is a lot cheaper than, say, surgery for a condition that has gotten worse while untreated. We may not know the magic percentage of spending that should go toward primary care, but it's a good thing to consider when we talk about lowering costs.
Measles cases in the U.S. jumped last week, with 90 new confirmed cases, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Monday.
By the numbers: This week, the CDC reports 555 confirmed cases of measles in 20 states so far in 2019. The previous week showed 465 cases in 19 states.
The Wall Street Journal reports there's growing evidence that the virus may cause a longer-term risk of dampening people's immune systems from responding to other diseases for 2–5 years after measles.
You read that headline correctly. The Department of Homeland Security has considered designating fentanyl a weapon of mass destruction in certain situations, Task & Purpose scooped yesterday.
Between the lines: Yes, fentanyl — which is much more potent than prescription opioids — can be deadly and, yes, it's a huge problem.
Teaching and rural hospitals had lower penalties in 2019 than in 2018 under the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' readmissions reduction program, Modern Healthcare reports.
Details: According to a JAMA Internal Medicine report, 44.1% of teaching hospitals and 43.7% of rural hospitals had a lower penalty this year than last year.
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