Good morning ... Situational awareness: José Baselga has stepped down as chief medical officer at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, on the heels of a ProPublica/New York Times investigation that found he had failed to disclose millions of dollars in payments from industry.
Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios
If there's an end in sight for big, surprising hospital bills, employers likely would need to be part of the solution. But, as Axios' Bob Herman reports this morning, they don't support some prominent proposals to rein in surprise billing.
Where things stand: Analysts at the Brookings Institution have suggested fixes that would force health care providers and the purchasers of care (employers and insurers) to agree on a couple things:
Yes, but: Providers loathe the idea of having their payments regulated, and employers aren't keen about being forced into a dispute resolution process.
The bottom line: Provider regulation — like outlawing balance billing for emergency care or requiring all doctors at in-network facilities to accept in-network rates — is probably the most direct way to solve this issue.
Blue states are already defending the Affordable Care Act in court against red states’ latest legal challenge. Now Maryland has taken it a step further, filing what amounts to a competing lawsuit.
The details: Texas, the leader of the red states’ lawsuit, says the ACA’s individual mandate has become unconstitutional, and that the whole law should fall as a result. It has asked a federal court to issue an injunction that would prevent the entire law from being enforced as a result.
What to watch: "Depending on how quickly the Maryland case moves, it’s possible we could see dueling injunctions — one ordering the Trump administration to stop enforcing the law, the other ordering it to keep enforcing," ACA legal expert Nick Bagley writes.
Congress is making unusually easy progress on an HHS spending bill, but one controversial provision has officially gotten the ax: an amendment to facilitate regulations requiring drug companies to disclose their prices in their direct-to-consumer advertising, like they do with side effects.
The intrigue: "Current and former congressional aides following the negotiations pointed fingers at House Republicans, as did [Sen. Dick] Durbin and several other lawmakers," STAT News reports.
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb will announce the agency's new approach to antimicrobial resistance today, including ideas for encouraging drugmakers to come up with new antibiotics. Via my colleague Caitlin Owens, the plan also includes:
1 big problem: The current system doesn't give pharma companies an incentive to make new antibiotics. The point is to use them sparingly enough that pathogens don't become resistant, but a drug companies’ profits depend on heavier use.
Have a great weekend. See you back here on Monday. Let me know what you're watching next week: email@example.com.