Here's some outrage to start your week off: One of a South Carolina prison inmate's twins drowned in a toilet in 2012 after guards refused to help her during childbirth, The State reports.
Sen. Bernie Sanders introduces his Medicare for All bill of 2019. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call
"Medicare for All" could end up costing employers less than the current employer-sponsored health insurance system does, depending on how it's structured.
What they're saying: Employers provide health insurance "because it’s a benefit that attracts employees. It’s a benefit they like to provide, even if it’s expensive," said Neil Bradley of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
The other side: "I’ve talked to a Fortune 500 CEO who says he would love [Medicare for All] and who told me he knows plenty of others who feel that way," said House Budget Committee chairman John Yarmuth (D-Ky.).
By the numbers: Health benefits made up 8.3% of employee compensation in 2019, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This translates into 12% of payroll, or of wages and salaries.
The bottom line: How employers feel about Medicare for All — or more specifically, Medicare payment rates for everyone — could change over time, as the cost of private employer-sponsored insurance skyrockets, said former Trump administration health official John Bardis.
The Affordable Care Act created a pathway for biosimilars to come to market under the presumption that they'd work like generics to create competition against biologics. But that hasn't been the case.
Why it matters: Biologics are some of the most expensive drugs on the market today. If competition isn't going to bring those prices down, something else will eventually have to be done.
Johnson & Johnson and UnitedHealth Group are lighting the Q1 earnings torch this week, per usual, Axios' Bob Herman reports. But Wall Street investors are uneasy about the industry’s forecast even though companies are still immensely profitable right now.
Driving the news: “Medicare for All” legislation, the Trump administration’s drug rebate regulation and another legal battle over the Affordable Care Act have created volatility with health care stocks, which have traded below the broader market.
By the numbers: We track more than 110 publicly traded health care companies, and together, they posted $168 billion of profit in 2018.
Go deeper: Our health care earnings tracker is updated. Come follow along so Bob isn’t so lonely.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
We hear all the time that Affordable Care Act plans are unaffordable for low-income people — but they actually take a bigger hit from employer coverage, the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Drew Altman writes in today’s column
Details: A low-income family with a marketplace plan pays 8.4% of their income on premiums and out-of-pocket costs, compared to 14% for a lower-wage family with employer coverage (those with incomes below twice the poverty level).
The bottom line: It’s another example of how the constant focus on the ACA leads us to lose sight of real issues with employer coverage, where far more people get their health insurance.
Thanks for reading, and have a great week!