Author: Sally Pipes

A debate over the direction of healthcare reform is roiling the Democratic Party as it weighs whom to nominate for President in 2020. But the party does appear to have coalesced around a basic idea. “We believe that health care is a human right, and we are going to fight for a system that is based on human needs,” said progressive champion Senator Bernie Sanders at a recent campaign stop. Joe Biden’s campaign offers a similar line: “We all believe that health care...

This week, the Trump administration axed a proposal that would have saved American patients billions of dollars by shedding light on the complex drug supply chain. If enacted, the rule would have required insurers to share discounts they negotiate with drug companies directly with patients. The proposed rule would have changed the terms of Medicare Part D, which provides prescription drug coverage to more than 40 million elderly and disabled Americans. Part D plans are administered by private insurers who receive government subsidies. These insurers...

President Trump promised to reduce Americans’ pharmacy bills — and he’s delivering. His administration will soon finalize a rule that restructures the drug supply chain and ensure that tens of billions of dollars of hidden rebates and discounts flow to patients. The rule affects Medicare Part D, the federal prescription drug benefit for 45 million seniors and people with disabilities. Part D isn’t like other entitlement programs. Numerous private insurers compete to sell prescription drug plans to Medicare beneficiaries. The government...

The Trump administration is planning to propose one of the biggest changes to Medicare in decades. The draft rule aims to reduce government spending by linking Medicare drug reimbursement rates to the rates in more than a dozen other Western countries that use price controls to hold down pharmaceutical spending. If implemented, the rule would effectively bring socialist drug price controls to the United States. Though the government would save some money in the short term, the change would threaten patients’ health and...

Measles is making a comeback. As of May 17, there were over 800 reported cases of the disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s more than in any of the last four years. This uptick is dispiriting but shouldn’t be surprising. More and more people are deciding not to get their shots. In the past decade, the number of nonmedical vaccine exemptions for philosophical reasons has increased in 12 of the 18 states that allow them. A surge...

In California, politics is taking precedence over patients. That’s the only conclusion to draw from Gov. Gavin Newsom’s recently released health care plan. He’s looking to impose price controls on prescription drugs. He’d like to expand Medicaid to undocumented immigrants up to the age of 26. He’s called for re-imposing the individual mandate, which would require everyone in the state to obtain coverage. He wants to subsidize the purchase of health insurance for those making up to six times the poverty...

This year, 1.7 million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer. For over 600,000 of them, that diagnosis will prove fatal. But there’s hope on the horizon. More Americans are surviving cancer each year, according to a new study from the American Cancer Society. The cancer death rate declined precipitously between its peak in 1991 and 2016. Absent that decline, 2.6 million more cancer patients would have died during that period. By one estimate, 73% of recent survival gains are due to...

*Featured in Kaiser Health News Morning Briefing* Today, Type 1 diabetes patients pay twice as much for insulin as they did in 2012. This is outrageous — but drug companies aren’t to blame. The problem is a dysfunctional supply chain that benefits everyone except patients. In today’s system, insurers hire third-party firms, known as pharmacy benefit managers, to manage drug plans. These PBMs negotiate with drugmakers and have the power to decide which drugs are covered by each plan. Each year, manufacturers dole out $150...

Congress is poised to consider a bill that would allow Americans to import prescription drugs from Canada. The bill’s authors, Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), label their effort as a bipartisan push to “help Americans who struggle to pay exorbitant prices for medication.” It’s noble of lawmakers to tackle prescription drug costs. Eight in ten Americans are concerned about the price of medicines, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation survey. But the Grassley-Klobuchar bill isn’t the right solution. While it...

In mid-January, three Democrats — Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings, and California Rep. Ro Khanna — introduced legislation that aims to reduce prescription drug prices. Their plan would essentially peg U.S. drug prices to those in five foreign countries where prices are typically lower because their governments forcibly control them. It would also open our borders to imported drugs from Canada and other countries. Their proposal is painfully shortsighted. It would slow pharmaceutical innovation and expose patients to dangerous counterfeits in...

President Donald Trump and Sen. Bernie Sanders don’t agree on much. But they both believe in price controls. Both men recently introduced separate proposals to impose price controls on prescription drugs. Though both men are likely well-intentioned, their plans are deeply misguided. Both proposals would discourage drug research and reduce access to medicines. The Trump administration’s proposed rule, released this fall by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, would change the way Medicare pays for most cancer drugs and other medicines...