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State and local Democrats are embracing a bigger role for public insurance programs — or at least, they want to be seen as embracing a bigger role for public insurance programs.
Driving the news: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio put together an extensive media rollout yesterday for what he billed as a revolutionary plan to “guarantee health care for every New Yorker,” through a locally run public option.
Yes, but: Some of these plans aren’t as Earth-shattering as they may seem.
The big picture: The political calculus here is a lot more clear than the policy. If you’re a Democrat, especially a progressive Democrat, especially a progressive Democrat with at least some national profile or ambition, you want to be on the side of expanding access to public insurance programs.
Bob Herman was back at it for Day 2 of the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference and has you covered:
The two sides of the drug negotiating table.
[sigh] Here comes the "value" talk.
Not-for-profit hospitals greet Wall Street.
Growth forecasts for China.
The health care industry spends roughly $30 billion per year on marketing, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. That’s about a 70% increase over the past 20 years.
By the numbers: Marketing to doctors makes up the biggest share of promotional spending, but direct-to-consumer advertising is growing the fastest. And pharmaceutical companies are by far the biggest spenders.
Why it matters: Some critics don’t believe direct-to-consumer drug advertising should even be legal (the U.S. and New Zealand are the only countries that allow it), and those billions are baked into the prices we pay for drugs, hospital care and other services.
One detail that should get more attention in House Democrats’ "Medicare for All" hearings: how much patients will have to pay out of pocket, if anything, the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Drew Altman writes in today’s column.
Sen. Bernie Sanders' version doesn’t include any deductibles or other forms of cost-sharing. If that actually passed, it would make the U.S. more generous than any of the other developed nations that Democrats like to cite as models. They all make the patients pay something.
The bottom line: If and when the idea gets more serious scrutiny, look for Democrats to add at least a modest level of cost sharing to deter unnecessary care and keep costs down.
Go deeper: Read the column.
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