Good morning ... Here’s something to make you feel a little bit better about the world: 13 truckers pulled their trailers under a highway overpass last night to shorten the fall of a man threatening to jump. He ended up walking off safely.
Ronny Jackson (on left) and Sen. Jon Tester. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images
At this point it's very difficult to imagine a scenario in which Ronny Jackson is the next Veterans Affairs secretary.
The latest: Senators from both parties spent the day yesterday throwing cold water on Jackson's nomination. And after a trickle of loose and vague suggestions of inappropriate conduct, CNN's Juana Summers and Manu Raju scooped some details last night.
Yes, but: Former Obama administration officials told the New York Times they had seen nothing of the sort. “I am not even sure that I ever saw him in a hotel bar,” Brian McKeon, chief of staff for the National Security Council under Obama, told the paper.
Even so: Jackson's nomination was on ice before the CNN story broke.
Last night’s special House election in Arizona was a test case for one of the latest Democratic health care trends. Forbes reports that Hiral Tiperneni, the Democratic candidate, was an advocate of letting younger adults buy into Medicare.
Between the lines: Tiperneni lost to Republican Debbie Lesko, so it’s not like the left can claim an endorsement for its post-Affordable Care Act goals, like expanding Medicare or moving on to single payer.
Why it matters: Even though the Democrat lost, the margin is yet another sign of just how energized Democratic voters are right now. And the more seats Democrats pick up in November, the greater the likelihood that ideas like a Medicare buy-in will have a serious constituency in Congress.
The payment rule released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services yesterday evening would boost hospital revenues by $4 billion next year, and significantly change how hospitals and Medicare patients interact, Bob Herman reports.
The bottom line: The money is important, but the surrounding policies shape the flow of money.
The pharmaceutical industry was on the losing side of an important patent case yesterday at the Supreme Court. In a 7-2 decision, the court upheld an expedited patent review process that drugmakers wanted to see struck down.
How it works: The system allows the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to review and cancel patents it granted in the past, as an alternative to slower-moving and more expensive patent litigation.
You cannot make me care about the British royal family, but whichever princess just recently had a baby, she did it in a hospital that offers private suites, hotel-like amenities and even a menu of wine and champagne for a celebratory post-delivery toast.
And yet all of that still costs less than the average American birth (which is, needless to say, much less posh).
Show me the money: The chart above, produced by The Economist, accounts for the cost of a 24-hour hospital stay and a non-Cesarean delivery.
It gets worse: The U.S. not only pays more than other wealthy countries for maternity care, we have worse outcomes to show for it. More babies die in the first year of their lives in the U.S. than in the U.K., Canada or other comparably wealthy, developed nations.
What we're watching today: The House Energy and Commerce's health subcommittee will mark up more than 60 health care bills, including a slew of measures to combat the opioid crisis. The work gets started at 1pm. You can watch the markup and read the bills here.
What we're watching this week: Senate homeland security panel hearing Thursday on HHS' efforts to combat human trafficking. House Ways and Means Committee hearing Thursday on innovation in health care.