Good morning. Today's word count is 745, or ~3 minutes.
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
The Medicare for All debate is often defined as a single-payer system versus a public option that preserves a role for private insurance — but there are big differences among the public option plans that the 2020 Democrats have proposed.
Why it matters: These differences impact enrollees' pocketbooks, the burden on taxpayers and the amount of disruption a public option would have on the existing system.
Enrollment: Some plans move closer to universal coverage than others by using automatic enrollment measures. But higher enrollment usually means higher cost to the taxpayers.
Cost containment: Some of the plans would aggressively limit prices — which would lower costs for patients but inevitably draw massive pushback from providers.
Disruption: Some of the plans have wider-ranging effects. While some people would be happy to give up their current coverage, others would be livid.
More evidence is piling up that when doctors and insurers sit at a table with a third-party arbiter to solve billing disputes, the outcome could benefit the doctors, Axios' Bob Herman writes.
Driving the news: 2 new government reports show how arbitration, one of the solutions being considered by Congress, works in theory and in the real world.
The bottom line: Washington has not settled on a single surprise billing solution. It’s not difficult to see why providers are pushing for a process that pays them many multiples above Medicare and average in-network rates.
Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi released an aggressive proposal to reign in drug prices yesterday, and in a now-familiar fashion, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he hated it while President Trump kept the door open.
What they're saying: "I like Sen. Grassley's drug pricing bill very much, and it's great to see Speaker Pelosi's bill today," Trump tweeted.
My thought bubble: Pelosi's bill probably isn't going to become law. But we're also living in the Wild West of politics, so I wouldn't bet on anything right now.
Some pediatricians who are stationed at major hospitals across the country are working with child welfare and law enforcement officials to help protect abused children from additional harm, Axios' Marisa Fernandez writes.
Why it matters: These doctors' conclusions check out most of the time, but murky evidence can risk the breakup of innocent families when doctors misidentify child abuse, an investigation by NBC News and the Houston Chronicle found.
The bottom line: "The reporting reveals a legal and medical system that sometimes struggles to differentiate accidental injuries from abuse, particularly in cases involving children too young to describe what happened to them."