Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Some states are trying to control health care costs by tying hospital payments in their state employee health plans to the amounts Medicare pays, Kaiser Health News reports.

The other side: This is a nightmare scenario for hospitals, which usually charge private insurance plans several times more than they get from Medicare.

Details: Hospitals say Medicare underpays them, and they must charge private patients more to recoup the costs.

  • States experimenting with these measures include North Carolina, Montana, Oregon and potentially, Delaware.

Reality check, from Axios' Caitlin Owens: Hospitals are doing very well financially, although it's also true that many rural hospitals — which have a lot of Medicaid patients — are already struggling.

What they're saying: "Government workers will get it first, then everyone else will see the savings and demand it," Glenn Melnick, a professor at the University of Southern California, told KHN. "This is the camel's nose. It will just grow and grow."

Go deeper: How hospitals protect high prices

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10 mins ago - World

Europe faces "stronger and deadlier" coronavirus wave

Paris under curfew. Photo: Kiran Ridley/Getty Images

The coronavirus is still winning: Now even Germany is entering another national lockdown, joined by France.

Why it matters: France has been "overpowered by a second wave,” President Emmanuel Macron said in a nationally televised address today. Macron said the "new wave will be stronger and deadlier" than the first.

Stocks close down more than 3%

Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld via Getty Images

Stocks took a hit on Wednesday, with the S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrials Average and Nasdaq dropping more than 3% across the board.

Why it matters: The volatility is a break from the stock market grinding higher in the face of spiking coronavirus cases, a stalling economy and gridlocked negotiations over an additional stimulus package.