What We’re Reading

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Pharma lobbyists flooded Maryland to block a drug-pricing bill. Opponents pushed back – and won.

STAT – The story behind the story of how a group of consumer advocates and legislators were able to prevail over Pharma’s considerable resources to get a bill passed to push back on sky high drug prices and protect consumers and taxpayers. A must read.

Suicide risk grew after Missouri Medicaid kids shifted to managed care, hospitals say

Kaiser Health News — According to Missouri hospitals, suicides increased and lengths of stay dropped after thousands of children with mental illnesses were transferred from traditional Medicaid into for-profit managed care companies. More reason to be happy CT moved away from Medicaid managed care seven years ago.

The US Healthcare Cost Crisis

Gallup — Almost half (45%) of American adults worry that a major health event could result in bankruptcy and Americans borrowed $88 billion last year to pay for healthcare, according to a new Gallup poll. 61% of Americans would choose a freeze in health costs over a 10% increase in their incomes. While the burdens fall on both Democrats and Republicans, perceptions of the quality of the US health system vary substantially. But neither are optimistic that political leaders can solve the problem.

Behavioral health: Research on healthcare costs of untreated conditions is limited

GAO — Only 30% of the 56.8 million American adults with behavioral health conditions accessed care in the last year. Reasons include cost, stigma and access challenges such as not knowing where to get care. While most studies indicate that untreated conditions lead to other costs, we don’t know how much.