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Wyoming has come up with a unique way to make air ambulances — a common source of huge surprise medical bills — more affordable, according to the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute's blog.

The big picture: The state is essentially proposing to turn air ambulances into a public utility after its health department has put together a Medicaid waiver that would make all residents, regardless of their income, eligible for Medicaid coverage of air ambulance services.

  • Providers would submit bids to serve as the only air ambulance operator within a particular geographic region.
  • The state would make flat payments to the operator that wins the bid, rather than paying them for each ambulance ride.
  • Patients' cost-sharing would vary based on their income, and insurers would pay into the program rather than covering air ambulances themselves.

What we're watching: To go into effect, the proposal first has to be approved by CMS. State lawmakers would then have to make the necessary policy changes.

Yes, but: The blog's author, Sabrina Corlette, correctly warns that "both federal officials and state lawmakers will likely be lobbied extensively by the air ambulance industry, which has a vested interest in maintaining the status quo."

Go deeper: Behind air ambulances' astronomical charges

Go deeper

Shooting at Michigan high school leaves 3 dead, 6 wounded

Screengrab: CBSN

Three people dead and six others are wounded after a shooting at a high school in Michigan according to the Oakland County Sheriff's Office.

Driving the news: The alleged shooter was a 15-year-old sophomore at Oxford High School and has been arrested, per police.

Fed signals it could yank economic support quicker as inflation sticks around

Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell testifies during a hearing before Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee today. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Federal Reserve will consider pulling back economic support sooner "as the threat of persistently high inflation has grown," chair Jerome Powell said during a congressional hearing on Tuesday.

Why it matters: This is the biggest signal yet the Fed is backing away from its stance that soaring prices would be fleeting — a change that could shift its policies that underpin the economy.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Updated 4 hours ago - Economy & Business

Crypto meets the real world

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

The two largest countries in the world seem intent on effectively banning their citizens from participating in crypto, which poses a serious threat to the crypto agenda.

Why it matters: The crypto world is global — but the real world is fragmented into nation-states, each of which claims control of what happens within its borders.