Sep 18, 2019

Pelosi backs Affordable Care Act over Medicare for All

Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told Jim Cramer on CNBC's "Mad Money" on Tuesday that Democrats should focus on making improvements to the Affordable Care Act instead of pushing to introduce Medicare for All.

Why it matters: The Medicare for All bill from Sen. Bernie Sanders has 16 co-sponsors, including several other 2020 Democrats. Other Democratic candidates support versions of the bill. Pelosi's health care comments seem more in line with 2020 front-runner Joe Biden, whose policies involve improving the Affordable Care Act.

"I believe the path to health care for all is a path following the lead of the Affordable Care Act. ... Let’s use our energy to have health care for all Americans, and that involves over 150 million families that have it through the private sector."
— Nancy Pelosi to CNBC

The big picture: Pelosi has been working for months on improvements to the ACA, including a drug pricing plan that's due to be announced soon.

  • The plan would give Medicare the authority to negotiate the prices of 250 drugs, limit how high these prices could be based on how much other countries pay, and establish harsh penalties for drugmakers who refuse to comply.

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Minneapolis unrest as hundreds protest death of George Floyd

Protesters and police clash during demonstration on Wednesday over the death of George Floyd in custody outside the Third Police Precinct. Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

Minneapolis police clashed for a second night with protesters demonstrating the death of George Floyd, an African American man who died in police custody.

The latest: Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz tweeted late Wednesday that the situation where the clashes were taking place was "extremely dangerous" as he urged people to leave the area. There were multiple news reports of police firing tear gas at protesters and of some people looting a Target store.

Blue Cross Blue Shield insurers sue CVS, alleging drug pricing fraud

Photo: John Lamparski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Six Blue Cross Blue Shield insurers have sued CVS Health, alleging the pharmacy chain overcharged them based on "artificially inflated prices" for generic drugs and concealed the true cash prices of those drugs.

The big picture: CVS has faced legal scrutiny over its cash discount programs since 2015, and this lawsuit adds big names to a mounting problem.

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand has only eight active novel coronavirus cases and no COVID-19 patients in hospital after another day of zero new infections. However, the death toll rose to 22.

Zoom in: A top health official told a briefing a 96-year-old woman "was regarded to having recovered from COVID-19 at the time of her death, and COVID-19 is not recorded as the primary cause of her death on her death certificate." But it was decided to include her in the overall tally of deaths related to the virus.