May 29, 2018

The opioid epidemic is headlining the nation

A vial of Naloxone, an antidote to opioids. Photo: Bernard Well/Toronto Star via Getty Images

Politico health care reporter Dan Diamond tweeted Sunday: "I went by the Newseum’s wall of 50 state newspapers, with front pages from around the nation," and five major papers had opioid related stories as headliners. He shared examples from Chicago, Raleigh, Richmond and Huntington, W.Va.

Why it matters: "Sunday is usually each paper’s showcase for biggest stories. Looking at 50 front pages is a useful, if imperfect sampling. But best of all, it’s a reminder — especially to this DC reporter — that the nation often has bigger concerns than the stories gripping Washington."

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U.S. and Taliban announce first step in Afghanistan peace process

Photo: Karim Jaafar/AFP/Getty Images

The State Department confirmed Friday morning the U.S. and Taliban have "reached an understanding" that starts a 7-day "reduction of violence" to be followed by a signed U.S.-Taliban agreement.

Why it matters: The Afghanistan war is the longest war in U.S. history. President Trump has previously pulled out of talks at the last minute, only to restart them.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 22 mins ago - World

Bloomberg's debate backfire could boost Bernie

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Mike Bloomberg got into the 2020 race to stop Bernie Sanders and socialism. If he doesn't bounce back from this week's debate, he may seal the deal for both.

Why it matters: Bloomberg’s own campaign has warned that Sanders could lock up the nomination in mere weeks, thanks to rivals spitting the opposition vote. But Bloomberg’s own spending makes it harder for other rivals to cut through — and virtually assures he sucks up significant delegates.

Surprise billing may be about to get worse

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

The problem of surprise medical billing — which Congress failed to solve last year — is about to get worse, thanks to a feud between an insurance giant and a company that employs thousands of doctors.

The big picture Parents who have babies in intensive care, women with high-risk pregnancies and people who need anesthesia could receive unexpected bills in the mail as a result of the fight between Mednax, the physician-staffing firm, and UnitedHealth Group.

Go deeperArrow2 hours ago - Health