Friday Stats and More

This chart is based on the Centers for Disease Control’s Cases in the U.S. website for the week ending May 20th through the week ending July 23, which was a doozy in terms of new cases.

Here’s the CDC’s COVID-19 Hospitalizations Chart, which has been fairly stable since May:

The Wall Street Journal reports that

President Trump signed executive orders Friday aimed at reducing drug prices. The moves revived a signature part of his health-policy agenda before the 2020 election after his earlier efforts to combat rising prescription costs stalled.

One of the executive orders focuses on pegging the cost of drugs in the U.S. to lower drug prices overseas, and another concerns speeding imports of drugs from Canada. The pharmaceutical industry and some Republicans have criticized the first order, saying it amounts to price controls, while opponents of the second initiative say it raises questions about product safety.

Another would require community health centers to pass on negotiated discounts on insulin and epinephrine-injector devices to consumers. And a fourth would attempt to undercut “middlemen” whom Mr. Trump described as profiting from deals with drugmakers and don’t pass along discounts to consumers.

The moves are unlikely to result in immediate changes. The White House said they represent the administration’s policy and begin a rule-making process. That process can be arduous and face legal challenges.

The links inside the quote are to the Executive Orders themselves (The text of the first referenced Order on the use of international price indexing is not on whitehouse.gov yet).

Health Payer Intelligence informs us that “Over half of the public rate filings from payers on the individual and small group health insurance market are proposing 2021 premium rates changes between a two percent decrease and a six percent increase, according to Kaiser Family Foundation.” For more details, check out the KFF report.

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