Do you remember Friday? All the news? Well, the consequence is today's behemoth edition of Vitals: 1,210 words, or <5 minutes.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
Sen. Elizabeth Warren's two-part plan to pass a public option as a transition into "Medicare for All" — and then full-blown "Medicare for All" a few years later — has revealed the difficulty of appealing to both the pragmatic and progressive wings of the party.
The big picture: Warren's already being criticized by progressives for not being a "Medicare for All" purist, and because of the realities of governing, they may have a point: Passing two major health reforms in one term is unheard of.
Details: Warren's transition plan — which she said she'll try to pass within her first 100 days in office — would allow anyone over 50 to enroll in an "improved Medicare program," and "every person in America" could get coverage through a "Medicare for All option."
Reality check: The political capital that it'd take to pass Warren's public option, even through a special procedure called "budget reconciliation" that'd allow her to bypass GOP opposition, would be enormous.
What they're saying: "Passing one major piece of health care legislation with a knock down, drag out fight, followed by another one three years later, sounds pretty difficult," said the Kaiser Family Foundation's Larry Levitt.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
Hospitals immediately promised to sue the Trump administration after it released two new price transparency regulations on Friday, threatening the future of one of the president's most ambitious health policies.
Why it matters: Politically, the Trump administration could use a win. Most of its other signature health reforms either didn't come to fruition or are tied up in court.
The big picture: Both of the administration's new proposals would require the health care industry to release more information on prices.
Details: Tom Nickels, executive vice president of the American Hospital Association, told me that the hospitals plan to sue on three grounds:
The other side: Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told reporters on Friday that "we feel we're on a very sound legal footing for what we're asking."
The drug industry lobbying group PhRMA registered $460 million of revenue in 2018, a shade more than 2017, according to its latest tax returns obtained by the Center for Responsive Politics.
The bottom line: PhRMA's influence continues to touch almost every corner of state and federal politics, especially conservative groups, and is a big reason why the country's high drug prices have not changed, Axios' Bob Herman writes.
By the numbers: PhRMA's 2017 tax returns showed a large uptick in member dues and spending, largely due to President Trump painting the industry as public enemy No. 1. Those dues and spending amounts remained lofty in 2018.
The big picture: PhRMA, the American Hospital Association and the American Medical Association are three of the most dominant lobbying groups not just in health care, but in all of Washington.
Retirement in America is growing less secure, physically and financially, given the omnipresent threat and cost of serious illness or disease, Bob reports.
Why it matters: Qualifying for Medicare does not guarantee that older adults will skirt potentially ruinous medical bills. Millions of seniors have also come to rely on the taxpayer-funded program for lower income people — Medicaid — and there's no indication that will slow down.
By the numbers: More than 12 million Americans — most of them over 65 — have both Medicare and Medicaid coverage.
Between the lines: Some people who age into Medicare have very few assets and income, and therefore automatically qualify for Medicaid.
What to watch: The federal government has been experimenting with ways to coordinate care better for this population, but that's a reaction to seniors falling into poverty due to health care costs.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2018 analyzed suicide deaths among working-age Americans in 17 states to understand how different types of work influence a person's risk of killing oneself, Axios' Jacob Knutson reports.
Why it matters: The CDC found that the suicide rate for people ages 16–64 years old rose 34% between 2000 and 2016, from 12.9 to 17.3 suicides per 100,000 workers.
A note about causation: Determining how specific occupations influence suicide is complex because both work and non-work factors affect a person's risk of self-inflicted death, the report noted.
Yes, there's more.