SUMMARY: Via Consumer Reports “How much a consumer pays for meds is also driven in part by drug supply system middlemen whose wheeling and dealing with drugmakers contributes to rising drug costs, according to multiple government reports and industry experts. Shrinking insurance coverage is another part of the problem, with greater numbers of Americans paying a larger share or even the full price of their medication.

SUMMARY: Prescription drugs in the United States rank as the most expensive by a long shot, a report published this week has found, with the average cost of medications in the US exceeding the global median price by some 300 percent. Between 2012 and 2016 alone, the price of insulin nearly doubled, forcing many Americans to search for other routes to access it. But a trip to the hospital can force you into bankruptcy.

SUMMARY: Actual and perceived social isolation are both associated with increased risk for early mortality. Across studies, social isolation odds increased the likelihood of mortality, respectively.  Among 18 to 25-year-olds, one in three (35%) reported feeling lonely three or more times a week. We also found that higher levels of loneliness increase a young adult’s risk of developing depression by 12% and social anxiety by 10%.

SUMMARY:  Over the next ten years Americans are expected to spend $52trn on health care. Under a generous single-payer system, spending would increase by $7trn, according to a recent study by the Urban Institute. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, a health-policy think-tank, 51% of Americans support Medicare for All while 47% oppose it. But when various objections to the program are made—such as the elimination of private health insurance, and the possibility of increased taxes and queues for treatment—support drops to below 40%. The more we know the less we like it.

KEY ARGUMENT: The Lower Drug Costs Now Act, spearheaded by the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, could save $345 billion in federal spending over seven years, the Congressional Budget Office has found. It could also reduce out-of-pocket costs by $158 billion over a decade, according to a nonpartisan federal report. The argument that the money this will cost the industry is moot as pharma has spent tax breaks they received on stock buybacks, not R&D.