Good morning. In case you were under a rock all day yesterday, the Supreme Court said it won't fast-track a lawsuit that aims to strike down the entire Affordable Care Act.
Today's word count is 750, or a 3-minute read.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Add the U.S. government to the list of groups going after patients for thousands of dollars in medical debt, per reporting by The Center for Public Integrity and The Atlantic.
How it works: Civilians can receive care at military hospitals in an emergency or if the military hospital offers superior care.
The rules surrounding government debt collection are looser than the ones for private debt collectors.
My thought bubble: Let's not overlook the irony of lawmakers' outrage over the collection practices of private hospitals and doctors, while the most aggressive collector is the U.S. government.
State and federal spending on prescription drugs is dramatically outpacing inflation, even after accounting for rebates, according to a new analysis of federal data.
The big picture: Rebates do lower drug spending, as their proponents argue, Axios' Bob Herman reports.
By the numbers:
That means even when accounting for rebates, drug spending has been growing at a relatively high rate.
Between the lines: Pharmaceutical companies and PBMs have created a Rube Goldberg system in which each side benefits.
The bottom line: Taxpayers generally continue to pay more for prescription drugs, and the sickest patients are most exposed to rising prices.
Social mobility — the ability to move up the income ladder — can help explain the gap between the life expectancies of the rich and the poor, according to a new study in JAMA Internal Medicine.
What they found: Counties with higher social mobility tend to have smaller life expectancy gaps between the rich and poor, and the poorest people in those counties live longer.
Between the lines: Drug, alcohol and suicide-related deaths — which have led to declining U.S. life expectancy — are labeled as "deaths of despair" and are often linked to decreasing socioeconomic prospects.
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
A bipartisan group of senators wants the vaping industry to pay for more of the Food and Drug Administration's oversight of vaping products, Axios' Marisa Fernandez writes.
Driving the news: Six senators, led by New Hampshire Democrat Jeanne Shaheen, will introduce a bill today to charge e-cigarette manufacturers higher user fees, which fund many of the FDA's regulatory activities.
Why it matters: The FDA's Center for Tobacco Products has spent a lot of time and money on the vaping industry, but the user fees it collects are mostly from cigarette, cigar and smokeless tobacco manufacturers.
The latest: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is "funneling" flights from Wuhan, China, through five airports where screenings will be done, adding Chicago and Atlanta to prior designated screening airports.
What's next: The World Health Organization is holding an emergency committee meeting today in Geneva to determine whether the outbreak "constitutes a public health emergency of international concern, and what recommendations should be made to manage it."