Good morning, again from New York City. Ethical debate aside, the fact that this 74-year-old woman could give birth to twins proves that there truly is no rush to have children these days.
Today's word count is 707 words, or ~3 minutes.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Congress returns this week from its August recess, and health care will dominate a huge part of the fall agenda, Axios' Sam Baker reports.
Driving the news: Striking a big, bipartisan deal this year on drug prices is probably President Trump's last chance to leave a major mark on health care before the election. And Trump himself is the biggest X factor.
Industry has been working overtime and spending mightily to try to pull rank-and-file Republicans back into their historical friendship.
If anything happens, it'll likely be as part of a bigger end-of-year package. Which means the politics of drug pricing will be wrapped up with a bunch of other issues, and with whatever the general political climate is in December.
Surprise billing is still out there, too. It's lost some steam in the face of aggressive industry lobbying, but Sam's sources say a deal may still be possible — though likely on more industry-friendly terms (an arbitration arrangement to settle billing disputes, rather than a pricing mandate).
The health care industry added almost 24,000 jobs in August, helping to buoy overall employment growth amid economic fears associated with the U.S.-China trade war, my colleague Bob Herman reports.
Almost 1 out of every 9 Americans works in health care, and the industry has not seen a net loss of new jobs in any month since January 2014. But everyone's insurance premiums and tax dollars are funding this swelling workforce.
Between the lines: More than half of all health care job additions occurred in ambulatory settings, like doctors' offices, outpatient centers and home health agencies.
The bottom line: Health economist Uwe Reinhardt famously said, "Every dollar of health spending = someone else's dollar of health care income." A consistently growing workforce means it'll be that much more difficult to control the country's ballooning health care spending.
Ambulances are more likely to take black and Hispanic seniors to a safety-net hospital, compared to white enrollees in the same zip code, according to a new study in JAMA Network Open.
Yes, but: The same was generally true for walk-in patients.
Why it matters: Other studies have found that hospitals that see disproportionate numbers of minority patients offer worse care, the authors said.
The cost of specialty drugs varies significantly based on the setting in which they're administered, according to a new brief by United Health Group.
Shifting specialty drugs away from hospital settings could save billions of dollars a year, UHG found.
The big picture: This isn't an accident. Hospitals acquire doctors' practices, in part, because they can then charge more for the same services.