Good morning. Thanks so much to all of you who gave me feedback about Axios' word count. My inbox was flooded in the best (and only good) way possible.
Even the behind-the-scenes parts of the health care industry are dominated by a small handful of companies — and critics say that drives up prices for everyone, Axios health care editor Sam Baker reports.
Why it matters: The U.S. spends more than any other industrialized country on health care, largely because our prices are higher. And the monopolies that support those high prices could undermine both liberal and conservative dreams of a more efficient system.
The big picture: This is a trend that's happening at every level.
Yes, and: That trend toward concentration extends throughout the system, even into sectors that most patients never directly interact with, according to new data from the Open Markets Institute, shared first with Axios.
"America's health care crisis is brought you by monopoly," Open Markets policy director Phil Longman said.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom. Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
California will become the first state in the nation to pay for the health benefits of some unauthorized immigrants, after state lawmakers struck a deal yesterday, the AP reports.
Details: Low-income adults between ages 19 and 25 living in the state illegally will qualify, based on their income, for the state Medicaid program.
The bottom line: One of the bluest states in the nation's measured steps toward universal health coverage show the uphill battle liberals face in their push for Medicare for All.
Although most large business groups strongly oppose Medicare for All, the opinions of some members of the business community — especially small employers — may be changing, Kaiser Health News reports.
The big picture: Most Americans under 65 get their health insurance from their job, meaning that employers have a ton of political sway as the debate over Medicare for All heats up.
A group of ALS patients is planning to protest outside of the FDA this week, hoping in some ways to replicate the protests of AIDS activists in the 1980s who were also upset with the pace of the search for treatment, Stat News reports.
Like the AIDS activists in the 1980s, the patients have a list of specific therapies they want approved.
The other side: "These people are desperate, I can see that. I see them every day, it's a horrible disease," Jonathan Glass, the director of Emory University's ALS Center, told Stat.
Have a great Monday!