Healthcare: No incentive to change

Time to change concept
  • “We have a $3.4 trillion industry, which is as much as the federal government raises every year, that basically feels pretty good about the system” according to Warren Buffett.
  • Health spending rose 3.9 percent in 2017 and now makes up nearly 18 percent of American economic output.
  • As long as there is money to be made in healthcare prices are going to keep going up.
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PBMs told investors i​t would find “an alternate funding /pri​cin​g structure” to offset lost rebate dollars.

IN SUMMARY: PBMs are keeping a smaller share of rebates and passing more along to their clients. Instead, PBMs are collecting more revenue through various fees — the same shift the Trump administration envisions — and through a practice called “spread pricing,” according to a Pew analysis.

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AARP to launch drug pricing ad campaign

IN SUMMARY: Nearly three-quarters of Americans over 50 worry about being able to afford prescription drugs for themselves and their families, according to a new AARP nationwide survey. AARP’s campaign will include television ads, a strong social and digital media presence, and grassroots efforts via mail, email, and phone by AARP’s 38 million members, in order to convince lawmakers to act on drug pricing.   

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Cost of Employer Health Insurance Is a Growing Burden

  • Recent national surveys show health care costs are a top concern in U.S. households
  •  In 2017, more than half (56%) of people under age 65 — about 152 million people — had insurance through an employer.
  • Average premiums for employer health plans rose sharply in 2017.
  • The average annual deductible for single-person policies rose to $1,808 in 2017.
  • ombined, average employee premium contributions and potential out-of-pocket spending to meet deductibles across single and family policies rose to $7,240 in 2017 and was $8,000 or more in eight states.
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What the Government Doesn’t Want You to Know About High Healthcare Costs

IN SUMMARY: With health-care firms making excess profits of $65bn a year the worst offenders are not pharma firms but an army of corporate health-care middlemen. Total excess profits amount to only about 4% of America’s health-care spending. But this still makes health care the second biggest of the giant rent-seeking industries that have come to dominate parts of the economy. The excess profits of the health-care firms are equivalent to $200 per American per year, compared with $69 for the telecoms and cable TV industry and $25 captured by the airline oligopoly. Only the five big tech “platform” firms, with a figure of $250, are more brazen gougers.

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Most people said they trust drug companies to come up with new and effective drugs

  • Most people — 71% — said they trust drug companies to come up with new and effective drugs.
  • But 80% said industry profits are a major factor in high drug prices.
  • 75% said it’s easy to afford their prescriptions, and 45% said they pay less than $25 per month. Unsurprisingly, poorer people and those in worse health had a harder time covering their bills. Source: Kaiser Family Foundation
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Pharma sideshow to perform in front of Congress today

KEY IDEA: Today some pharma CEO’s will go to Congressional Hill to answer questions about high drug prices. Politicians are conducting this charade because they want to give voters the idea that “they care” and that they are doing something. What won’t be discussed are the real reasons American healthcare is the most expensive in the world with poor results.

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