Good morning … D.C. readers: a final reminder for tomorrow’s event. Mike Allen and Bob Herman will host a conversation on the cost of innovation in the health care ecosystem. RSVP here.
Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images
Last night’s primaries set up a major role for health care in November’s midterms, both in individual races and as a part of Democrats’ search for a nationwide wave.
The races to watch:
1. California: Some of these races haven’t officially been called yet, but candidates who support "Medicare for All" were leading this morning in at least six of the seven California districts that are key to Democrats' hopes of winning a House majority.
2. Montana: The state’s insurance commissioner, Matt Rosendale, won the GOP primary to challenge Sen. Jon Tester in November.
3. New Jersey: Former Celgene CEO Bob Hugin won the GOP primary to face off against Sen. Bob Menendez.
Yes, but: More moderate Democrats notched important wins outside of California.
The bottom line: Last night’s primaries firmed up the emerging national dynamic: Health care motivates Democrats more than Republicans, and Democrats are moving left on the issue.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
If you haven’t heard of “progressive,” or wage-related, health benefits, it’s probably time to start paying attention. The Kaiser Family Foundation’s Drew Altman looks at the trend in his latest column, which is about letting lower-wage employees pay a smaller share of premiums and other costs than higher-wage employees.
Why you’ll hear about this again: At a time when the 155 million Americans who get their insurance at work are getting no relief from health costs, don't be surprised if more employers shift to this kind of health benefit design to give lower wage workers some help.
Go deeper: Read the column.
The FDA this week gave the green light to Fulphila, an infection-fighting treatment for cancer patients.
Buzz: The drug — made by EpiPen maker Mylan and its partner Biocon — is a biosimilar version of Amgen’s blockbuster Neulasta, which racked up $4 billion in sales last year, Axios' Bob Herman reports.
Driving the news: Executives, including Mylan CEO Heather Bresch, said Fulphila would be an “affordable” option for cancer patients and help “towards lowering treatment costs.”
The bottom line: A big appeal of biosimilars is the idea they will cost less than their biologic counterparts. But with Mylan’s biosimilar, we won’t know the extent to which that is true until after the drug is on the market.
Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Sen. Bill Cassidy — one of Republicans' leading experts on health policy — isn't necessarily sold on one of the party's biggest priorities: adding work requirements to Medicaid.
The issue: States' work requirements would lock people out of Medicaid coverage if they don't perform a certain number of hours each month of work, job training or community service.
Yes, but: Cassidy said he thinks the states — including his own, Louisiana — should be able to try out the idea if they want, and see how it works.
Bob updated his Q1 health care earnings tracker with 33 of the largest not-for-profit hospital systems after readers and tweeters suggested he add those in — because health care is local, right?
Some quick takeaways:
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