Good morning. Today's word count is 864, or ~3 minutes.
Protestors outside of Purdue's headquarters. Photo: Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images
Purdue Pharma's first bankruptcy hearing starts today, commencing a process that will attempt to resolve 2,600 lawsuits that accuse the OxyContin maker of instigating an opioid crisis that has killed tens of thousands of Americans, Axios' Bob Herman writes.
The big picture: Purdue is using bankruptcy as a tool to expedite legal remedies, but many state and local governments are ready to sue the Sackler family owners beyond bankruptcy court, arguing the family doesn't deserve bankruptcy protection.
Driving the news: To speed up the legal proceedings, several plaintiffs in the national opioid lawsuit have supported a settlement that would turn Purdue into a public benefit trust corporation, remove the Sacklers as owners, and allow governments to collect all future OxyContin profits.
Yes, but: Many states are preparing separate lawsuits against the Sacklers, arguing that the settlement is insufficient to help those struggling with addiction and that Purdue's bankruptcy is a maneuver to protect the Sacklers' wealth.
Where it stands: North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein told Axios he is filing a lawsuit against the Sacklers in state court "imminently." More will follow.
Between the lines: A major sticking point is what the Sacklers specifically will pay.
Go deeper: Purdue's bankruptcy filing
Air ambulance companies are selling memberships as assurance that if a patient needs their services, they won't get slammed with massive bills. But these subscription services have drawn national skepticism, Kaiser Health News reports.
Between the lines: Air ambulances often aren't covered by private insurance, and they're becoming more expensive at the same time that they're becoming more necessary in rural areas without access to emergency care.
Yes, but: Some state regulators say the membership services aren't as helpful as they're advertised to be, and one of the nation's largest air ambulance providers has decided against offering them.
Go deeper: How air ambulances got so expensive
Members of the United Auto Workers Union picket outside the General Motors Assembly Plant on Sept. 16 in Wentzville, Mo. Photo: Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images
One of the biggest points of contention between General Motors and the United Auto Workers is health coverage, Axios' Bob Herman reports.
By the numbers: Workers pay roughly 29% of their premiums for family health insurance on average, and 18% for single coverage, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
The bottom line: UAW health benefits are a lot more generous than the average workers', both in terms of premium contributions and out-of-pocket costs like copays and deductibles. Workers don't want those benefits to erode.
Flashback: Health care cuts drove some of the teachers' strikes last year.
A procedure designed to stop the transmission of genetic disease is being used by women struggling with infertility, despite the concerns of some scientists and researchers, OneZero reports.
At least 10 infertile women have given birth to babies conceived using 3-person IVF, but only 1 baby has been born as a result of the therapy being used as it was intended to — to avoid the transmission of genetic disease.
Even though the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) has urged "extreme caution" on the use of the technique, some clinics will continue to perform the procedure.
Doctor Patient Unity has spent $28 million so far on their surprise billing ad blitz, but all they have to show for it is ... a congressional investigation.
Driving the news: The House Energy and Commerce Committee announced yesterday that it's launching a bipartisan investigation into private equity's role in surprise billing.