Good morning. Thanks for all of the encouragement as I transition into writing Vitals full time. Sam has always said that the readers are the best part of writing this newsletter, so I can't wait to hear from you all with your thoughts, tips and feedback.
Employers are keeping quiet in the political debate over health care costs, but the cost crisis looming in front of them is bigger than many people may realize, Sam Baker and I report this morning.
Why it matters: As health care costs keep rising throughout the system, private insurance may feel the biggest squeeze.
Businesses don't have the same cost control leverage that government payers do, so becoming engaged in politics will be their primary route to reprieve.
White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney told “Fox News Sunday” that Republicans will "absolutely" have an alternative to the Affordable Care Act ready before the 2020 election, even if it's not going anywhere on the Hill.
Reality check: Virtually everyone agrees that health care was a dominant contributor to Democrats winning the House last year.
More health care corporations are filing their annual proxy documents, and our latest tally shows 62 health care CEOs made a combined $1.1 billion in 2018 when calculating the actual value of cashed-out stock, Axios' Bob Herman reports.
Between the lines: $1.1 billion is basically a rounding error within the $3.7 trillion U.S. health care system. But it’s also $157 million more than what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention spent in 2018 on chronic disease prevention.
A few things jumped out in our latest scan:
Go deeper: Follow our health care executive pay tracker
Dozens of potentially revolutionary gene therapies are in the development pipeline, but we haven't yet figured out how to pay for them, Bloomberg reports.
What they're saying: Vas Narasimhan, CEO of Novartis, said that one possible solution could be installment payments, per Bloomberg.
The big picture: The FDA expects to approve as many as 20 cell- and gene-therapy drugs each year by 2025. Many of these drugs could have list prices in the millions.
Go deeper: The drug pricing debate is stuck in the past
Thanks for reading, have a great week!