KEY SUMMARY: For years, businesses have responded to rising health care costs primarily by shifting more of those costs onto their employees, through higher deductibles and other cost-sharing. The average deductible is now 212% higher than it was in 2008. Employers cover more people than any other insurer and account for about 20% of all health care spending — almost $700 billion in 2017. With rising, costs companies may decide to form their own health insurance organizations.

IN SUMMARY: A study, in the journal JAMA Network Open, found a substantial industry-wide rise in insurer and out-of-pocket costs for top-selling, brand-name prescription drugs, highlighting one of the foremost problems in health care today: unimpeded price increases in the pharmaceutical market. Pharma companies are daring the government to intervene in the drug pricing debate.

  • The Blue Cross Blue Shield, The Health of America Report® examined the health of millennials.
  • Millennials (ages 34-36) had a Health Index of 93.8 in 2017.
  • 43 million women have heart disease – more than HALF do not do exercise to offset the disease.
  • 61 percent of the 43 million women with heart disease weren’t meeting the physical activity guidelines recommended by the American Heart Association (AHA).
  •  Healthcare costs were about $4,000 more for women who weren’t exercising compared to those who were.  

Between 2018 and 2037, a sugar label would prevent 354,400 cardiovascular disease and 599,300 diabetes mellitus cases, gain 727,000 quality-adjusted life-years, and save $31 billion in net healthcare costs or $61.9 billion in societal costs (incorporating reduced lost productivity and informal care costs). Source

  • Big Pharma is evading culpability for the crisis of rising prescription drug prices by point the finger at others, namely pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs).
  • Many drugs receive no rebates at all, including 89 percent of Medicare Part D prescriptions. For new drugs, where the price tag can run into the hundreds of thousands a year, rebates are rarely offered because there is no direct competition in the space.
  • Putting profits before people is what big Pharma does. Brand name drug makers have hiked the prices of their products at 10 times the rate of inflation over the last five years.
  • Drugmakers historically have blamed higher prices on the costs of research and development but didn’t use and of the $7 billion tax benefit to increase R&D.
  • Pharmacy benefit managers said rebates paid by drug companies to PBMs, sometimes called “middlemen,” are “not secret or hidden payments”
  • Executives blamed high drug prices on the drugmakers and their pursuit of profits.
  • U.S. Healthcare Spending Reaches $420M Per Hour, On Track to Hit $12 Trillion by 2040.
  • 62 health care CEOs made a combined $1.1 billion in 2018 when calculating the actual value of cashed-out stock.
  • In the meantime Republicans are warning drug companies not to cooperate with probes into drug pricing.