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Last week, there was an unprecedented decision from the Supreme Court of the United States to overturn Roe vs. Wade which gives the states the right to ban abortion.  This was the first time in history that a “right” has been taken away from the American people. According to Pew...
In the 1960s, with no funding for long-term, chronic dialysis, hospital committees decided who would live and die. It was the federal government that put an end to this practice.
I’d like to introduce you to a couple of former colleagues of mine who played key roles in making sure you pay a lot out of your own pocket before your coverage kicks in. Meet David Cordani, CEO of Cigna, and Karen Lynch, CEO of CVS Health, which now owns...
I’m not in the habit of wishing bad things to happen to anybody, but yesterday, when I was at the pharmacy counter, I was wishing every member of Congress would have to experience the same insanity I was experiencing. If they did, they just might do something to fix...
The $140 billion the New York Times says Americans owe in medical debt is just the tip of the iceberg. The number doesn’t even include the billions we are putting on our credit cards to pay for health care because of insurance deductibles we can’t...
There is clear evidence the pharmaceutical industry manipulates well-intentioned laws to increase prices and profits. We’ll use two laws as our case studies, the Orphan Drug Act of 1983 and the Hatch-Waxman Act of 1984 which jumpstarted the generic drug industry. The first was designed to give incentives to drug...
Shortly after midnight on Sept. 29, Felisha Walter assumed an identity very much at odds with the fullness of her life: statistic.  Walter was a devoted mother, a chef and caterer; gracious, giving and forgiving; spiritual and kind. And when she passed away, just...
Here’s what you need to know about Anthem–the giant for-profit health insurer that owns several Blue Cross plans across the country–that no one else seems to be paying attention to: Anthem, one of the Big Six health insurers, has gone from a company that just 10 years ago took...
A campaign cobbled together on a tight deadline required by Oklahoma’s strict referendum law, battled and won a narrow victory last Tuesday to amend the state’s constitution and mandate the expansion of Medicaid, overcoming the opposition of a Republican governor and legislature and major out-of-state funding for...
Part of the planning process before entering into a military engagement is called “shaping the battlefield.” It’s a strategic maneuver that aims to create a warfighting environment in which your strengths are optimized and your weaknesses are mitigated.  With the election of Joe Biden as President, it...
We know that our healthcare system is broken. We need transformative solutions to fix and repair this system, but right now, we need Congress to take immediate action while millions of Americans are left with zero coverage in the middle of a global health crisis. In...
If there was ever any dispute that the U.S. government has become the biggest and most reliable cash cow for America’s for-profit health insurers, UnitedHealth Group’s first-quarter 2022 earnings report put that dispute to rest. Over the past 10 years, United, America’s biggest health insurer, has seen its profits more than...
At the recent Democratic debate, Lester Holt asked for a show of hands: Who would end the role of private insurance companies as part of health care reform? Four hands went up – Bernie Sanders, Bill de Blasio, Elizabeth Warren, and Kamala Harris. Other candidates argued for incremental expansions...
High drug prices are Americans’ number one health care concern. The average price of a cancer drug rose from less than $10,000 a year before 2000 to more than $170,000 a year in 2017. Between 1995 and 2013, the launch price of cancer drugs increased by 10 to 12...
Now that it has settled into a monopoly over Central Appalachia’s health care, the Ballad Health system is stirring new controversy with a move intended to conserve money:  consolidating intensive care facilities. Last year, they announced plans to merge their two Level 1 trauma facilities and their two neonatal...
10 years ago today, on the first anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), I wrote about the good things the law did, but stressed that we needed to view it as only the starting point of a journey toward needed reform. Unfortunately, we have not made...
By Brent Korson   The Most Pressing Question in America’s Fight Against Coronavirus There’s a lot to process right now, in the time of coronavirus, which means the questions to prioritize feel daunting. The one that keeps returning to the top of the list though, is...
The pharmaceutical industry doesn’t just contribute to patient groups or the lawmakers themselves through campaign contributions to assert influence. It floods the U.S. Capitol with lobbyists. A Tarbell analysis of lobbying disclosures found that the leading drugmakers that make up the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association, and the association itself, have spent...
The only reason you’re reading this essay by me is because of a man named Stan Brock,  – whose work inspired me to leave my old job as an insurance executive. Few people in my life have been as consequential as Stan. And he’s been even more...
Wendell Potter A word to the wise: During this coronavirus crisis, keep an eye on every move of my old industry: health insurers. Behind the PR spin, they’ll be doing everything they can to deny care and maintain profits while making it look...