KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: Deciphering The Democrats’ Health Debate


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Twenty Democratic candidates for president debated health care at length over two nights in Detroit this week. But countless 30-second charges and counter-charges from “Medicare for All” backers and those who want a more gradual approach to universal coverage may have left the audience more confused than ever about the best way to make the health system better and more affordable.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration sought to counter-program against the debates, unveiling plans to allow states to potentially purchase cheaper prescription drugs from Canada and requiring hospitals to make public the prices they negotiate with insurers.

California Bill Would Fight Deals That Delay Generic Drugs

California’s attorney general touted a legal victory this week against drugmakers who he said made secretive, backroom deals to keep less expensive drugs off the market.

In nearly the same breath, Xavier Becerra also lamented that he didn’t have enough legal tools to go after all the companies that engage in the practice of “pay for delay,” in which brand-name drugmakers pay off generic manufacturers to keep the more affordable generic versions of their medications off the market.

“It’s hard to prove some of these activities as being illegal,” Becerra said Monday.

Pandemic bonds face scrutiny after Ebola outbreak yet to trigger payout

LONDON (Reuters) – World Bank funding instruments issued to help emerging countries swiftly tackle pandemics have come under the spotlight after the latest deadly Ebola outbreak has yet to trigger a payout.

Following the 2013-2016 Ebola outbreak that ravaged Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia and killed at least 11,300 people, the World Bank launched a bond and insurance instruments in 2017 to establish a mechanism that would quickly deploy funds to help tackle outbreaks of infectious diseases.

Rwanda border with Ebola-hit Congo fully open after slowdowns: minister

KIGALI/GOMA, Democratic Republic of Congo (Reuters) – Rwanda’s border with Ebola-hit Democratic Republic of Congo was fully open late on Thursday, a minister said, hours after Congolese traders had reported it shut following a third case of the disease in the Congolese border city of Goma.

A Congolese health worker administers ebola vaccination to a resident at a centre in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, August 1, 2019. REUTERS/Djaffer Sabiti

Rwandan health minister Diane Gashumba said there had been traffic slowdowns at the border, caused by increased health screening in response to confirmation of new infections in Goma, a transit hub of at least 1 million people.

Harnessing anti-inflammatory function of macrophages holds great potential for treating diseases

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have identified a molecular switch that causes immune cells called macrophages to clean up cellular debris caused by infections instead of contributing to inflammation and tissue injury. Their findings are reported in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.