Good morning ... Situational awareness: The Senate Finance Committee will vote Wednesday on Alex Azar's nomination for HHS secretary.
Patients register for treatment at a mobile medical and dental clinic in New York state. Photo: Spencer Platt / Getty Images
The percentage of Americans without health insurance ticked up 1.3 percentage points in 2017, ending the year at 12.2%, according to the latest data from Gallup. That’s still a lot lower than it was before the Affordable Care Act’s coverage expansion took effect, but this is the biggest single-year increase since 2008, well before the ACA.
Between the lines: The declines in coverage were biggest among people between 18 and 25, black and Hispanic people, and people with a household income of less than $36,000 per year.
Why it matters: That 1.3 point increase translates to about 3.2 million more uninsured people, per Gallup.
Kentucky — the land of bluegrass, bourbon, thoroughbreds and the winningest team in college basketball history (and also my home state, if you couldn’t tell) — remains a microcosm of all the biggest health care debates of the past decade.
But times change. Democrats were so happy about Kentucky, in part, because it helped them make the case that even the deepest red states could benefit from the ACA, and from Medicaid expansion in particular, if they’d just lean into it.
The bottom line: There are states like California and Maryland that are always on the liberal leading edge, and states like Texas and Alabama that are consistently on the flip side of the coin, but only one state can claim to have been at the leading edge of both former President Obama’s and President Trump’s health care agendas. So if you want to compare the two, look no further than the Bluegrass State.
The largest U.S. pharmaceutical companies are among the most profitable entities in the world, but they also routinely report figures that paint a much rosier picture of their financials, according to a report from the bank Credit Suisse.
The details: As my colleague Bob Herman explains, Credit Suisse analyzed the financial filings of 8 major drug companies by comparing their profits based on generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) against non-GAAP calculations — profits that exclude the effects of one-time items like layoffs or merger expenses.
Get smart: Always look at a company's net income and GAAP numbers first.
The White House physician is scheduled to deliver a report today on Trump’s health. So, how much will we learn? Potentially a lot, but this won’t be the smoking gun Trump’s fiercest critics might have been hoping for.
What to watch for: The official report from the White House usually gives the public more actual information than the vague assurances we’ve gotten so far that Trump is in “excellent health.”
Go deeper: Here’s Obama’s last official health report, as a guideline for making sense of today’s.
What we’re watching today:
The results of Trump’s physical. Kentucky men’s basketball vs. South Carolina (9 pm ET, ESPN).
What we’re watching this week:
Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing Wednesday on Medicaid and the opioid crisis. House Ways and Means also holds an opioid hearing Wednesday, on Medicare and Medicaid’s “actions to prevent misuse.”
HELP Committee hearing Wednesday on “21st century public health threats.”
House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing Friday on the FDA’s process for implementing a recall of contaminated foods.
Got tips? I’d love to hear them: firstname.lastname@example.org.