Good morning. I hope you had a restful holiday weekend.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
The Trump administration isn't backing off its controversial proposal changing how Medicare pays for some drugs.
What they're saying: A senior administration official said it's moving forward, although it's open to other substantive alternatives.
Meanwhile, the White House has been having discussions with Democrats on drug prices. The official laid out three areas where there's the most room for a deal:
Go deeper: Washington's major push to lower drug prices
One of the most important questions regarding a "Medicare for All" system in which private insurance disappears is how hospitals would be paid. The answer has huge implications, the NYT reports.
Between the lines: We're paying a ton for hospital care, and reducing these costs is part of the point of Medicare for All.
The bottom line: While the current system is unsustainable, evidenced by ballooning hospital costs, instituting Medicare rates across the board would cause massive disruption. How it'd play out is hard to predict and sure to become part of a fierce political debate.
Wall Street continued to batter health care stocks last week, especially the health insurance names, which erased tens of billions of dollars in market value.
What we're hearing: People are citing fears of "Medicare for All" as the driving force behind the sell-off, although it’s not as simple as that, Axios' Bob Herman writes. Regardless, many stock analysts are imploring investors to ignore the Democrats' health care plan.
The big picture: The stock prices of 5 of the largest health insurers (Anthem, Centene, Cigna, Humana and UnitedHealth) still have all vastly outperformed the broader stock market since the Affordable Care Act was enacted in 2010.
Late breaking: UnitedHealth filed its annual proxy statement late Friday.
Here's a dilemma: While tapering patients taking prescription opioids off of the medication is associated with a lower risk of overdose if the patient stops taking the drug, it can also lead to increased risks of overdose if it leads to the patient switching up dosages, according to a new JAMA study.
Why it matters: This is yet another obstacle to solving the opioid epidemic, and shows how the best intentions can be dangerous: Even trying to get patients to quit taking legal opioids can backfire and lead to overdose.
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