Good morning. Careful with those vapes, everyone.
Today's word count is 785 words, or ~3 minutes.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Do a quick search for health insurance, and you'll find plenty of ads for "Trumpcare" plans that cost $59 or less per month. But there's a catch: Trumpcare doesn't exist, and many of these advertised plans offer bare-bones coverage, Axios' Bob Herman reports.
Why it matters: For people who buy health insurance on their own instead of receiving it through an employer, searching for a plan is already challenging. And deceptive marketing only makes it harder, especially when these plans will leave consumers on the hook for potentially ruinous medical bills.
Reality check: The primary way the Trump administration has altered the insurance market is by expanding niche products — including short-term plans, association plans and health reimbursement arrangements.
After seeing Trumpcare ads in search engines, Bob submitted contact information to get quotes about coverage options. Over the the next week, he was bombarded with 70 phone calls and 12 texts from insurance brokers.
What they're saying: "These websites that are selling 'Trumpcare' are capitalizing on the fact that very few people know what's going on," said Louise Norris, an independent insurance broker in Colorado.
Comments on the administration's proposed rule requiring the disclosure of negotiated hospital prices reveal the ongoing battle between the hospital industry and patient advocates, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Between the lines: The industry is fiercely protective of negotiated rates and adamantly opposes the administration's proposal.
Hospitals also argued in their comments that the rule would allow insurers to extract the same discounts obtained by their competitors, while giving less expensive hospitals leverage to demand higher rates.
My thought bubble: These comments were predictable, but where the administration lands with the rule isn't. It's difficult to begin with to take on the hospital industry, but that's compounded by all the uncertainly regarding the proposal's effect.
Progyny is ready to go public, and unlike a lot of other health care startups that have slid into the public markets, the fertility benefits company is already profitable, Bob reports.
The big picture: Employers rarely covered in vitro fertilization, egg freezing and other fertility care in the past, and those services are expensive when paying out of pocket — in vitro could cost $25,000 per try.
By the numbers: Progyny's revenue in the first half of this year was $103 million, and it turned a $4 million profit, according to its IPO documents.
Worth noting: 2 of Progyny's largest investors are big pharmaceutical companies — GlaxoSmithKline and Merck KGaA.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
The Washington Post's Eli Saslow profiles the life of Ed Garner, the only doctor serving 11,000 square miles in West Texas.
The big picture: This isn't unusual. As I've written before in this newsletter, rural America often has high health care needs but is increasingly faced with limited health care services.
By the numbers: The federal government has designated almost 80% of rural America as "medically underserved," per the Post. While 20% of Americans live in these areas, less than 10% of U.S. doctors practice in them.
Go deeper: The plight of America's rural health care