Good morning. Hope everyone enjoyed last night's brawl.
Today's word count is 744, or a short 3-minute read.
Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios
Yet again, the 2020 Democrats debated last night without devoting much attention to their very interesting ideas for controlling health care costs. But whether they talk about it or not, they've laid out a broad range of ideas for this incredibly pressing issue.
The big picture: Democrats' ideas run the gamut, from taking control over all health care purchasing to plans that would directly regulate a slice of the market, attempting to put pressure on the rest of it.
The newest entrant to the debate stage, Mike Bloomberg, has proposed a plan that is similar to Pete Buttigieg's.
How it works: Bloomberg and Buttigieg's plans would only directly regulate how much providers can charge patients whose insurance they don't accept. They would only allow out-of-network charges up to 200% of the rates Medicare pays.
Moderate Democrats have also proposed a public insurance option, competing alongside private insurance.
Then there's Medicare for All, which would make the federal government the only entity that pays for health care, giving it complete control over how much all providers get paid.
An estimated 50 million Americans have donated to crowdfunding campaigns for medical expenses, according to a new study.
The big picture: People without insurance often have to shoulder enormous bills all on their own, and out-of-pocket expenses are a burden even for people with insurance, Axios' Marisa Fernandez writes.
By the numbers: NORC at the University of Chicago estimates that 8 million people have started a crowdfunding campaign for their own medical expenses, 12 million have started one for a friend or family member, and 50 million have donated to one.
Go deeper: GoFundMe's place in the health care system
Methodology: The self-funded poll was conducted Nov. 8–16, 2019, with 1,020 interviews of Americans 18 and older with a margin of error ±4.06%.
After the stock market closed yesterday, Community Health Systems disclosed it lost $675 million in 2019, still has $13.4 billion of long-term debt and will sell even more hospitals than it already has, Axios' Bob Herman reports.
The intrigue: The company's stock was up 12% in after-hours trading.
The bottom line: CHS owns a lot of hospitals in rural and small communities. Putting aside CHS' specific business flops, it's become tougher to operate hospitals in areas where the population is stagnating or declining because hospitals still rely on filling their clinics and beds.
Go deeper: The collapse of Community Health Systems
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Having already turned 80 could be a huge deal for patients who have heart attacks, according to a new study in the New England Journal of Medicine and reported on by STAT.
Details: While 7% of Medicare enrollees who were a few weeks shy of their 80th birthday and who had been admitted to the hospital with heart attacks received bypass surgery, only 5.3% of patients who had just turned 80 did, the study found.
Between the lines: "To arbitrarily — and perhaps, unknowingly — fixate on the threshold at which patients pass from their 70s into their 80s seems like an example of what's called the 'left-digit bias' — our tendency to pay more attention to the digit we read first," STAT writes.
Two passengers from the Diamond Princess cruise ship have died from novel coronavirus, Japan's health ministry confirmed Thursday lunchtime local time.
Why it matters: These are the first deaths among the 600+ people who had been infected aboard the vessel, Axios' Rebecca Falconer writes.
By the numbers: 621 people among some 3,700 passengers and crew members have been infected with the virus aboard the vessel, quarantined at Yokohama.