Drug prices

Health care spending grew at a faster rate in 2018

Data: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' Office of the Actuary; Chart: Axios Visuals

Americans spent $3.65 trillion on health care in 2018 — 4.6% more than the year before. That growth also was higher than the 4.2% rate from 2017, according to revised figures from independent federal actuaries.

Between the lines: U.S. health care spending climbed again not because people went to the doctor or hospital more frequently, but because the industry charged higher prices. And private health insurers didn't do a particularly good job negotiating lower rates.

The strange bedfellows opposing drug-pricing bills across the U.S.

A group opposing drug pricing measures around the country includes major pharmaceutical companies as well as large construction-industry unions, the New York Times reports — strange bedfellows, to say the least.

Why it matters: Ads run by the Pharmaceutical Industry Labor-Management Association may confuse public perception of the nature of opposition to drug-pricing measures.