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Sep 11, 2019  
Health care dominates 2019 ad spending
Data: Advertising Analytics; Chart: Axios Visuals
More than half of all issue advertising this year has been on health care, and that spending will only increase as the 2020 campaign gets closer.

Between the lines: Most of the top health care spenders are focused on issues like surprise medical bills and drug prices — many of which would cut into the health care industry's profits.

Where it stands: The biggest spender by far is a dark-money group called Doctor Patient Unity.

  • It has shelled out more than $26 million on ads opposing Congress' plan to address surprise medical bills. Doctors and hospitals staunchly oppose the leading proposal because it would cost them money.
  • AARP and the Partnership for Safe Medicines, an industry group, are on opposite sides of the intense battle over drug prices, which will heat up further this fall.
Health care was a winning issue for Democrats in 2018, but they're not spending much on health care messaging right now.

  • One of the top 5 health spenders is One Nation, which is running anti-Medicare for All ads.
  • There aren't any pro-Medicare for All groups in the top 5, nor are there any groups running ads explicitly on the benefits of the ACA.
Yes, but: Democrats will almost certainly spend more time and money on health care deeper into the 2020 cycle.

  • Health care was still a huge issue in yesterday's special election for North Carolina's 9th district — likely a sign of things to come.
  • "Fast forward to fall of 2020, and you will once again see…campaigns litigated on pre-existing conditions, health care costs and drug costs, because Republicans have only made the problem worse for themselves since 2018," Democratic strategist Jesse Ferguson said.

Go deeper
Pelosi backs Affordable Care Act over Medicare for All
Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told Jim Cramer on CNBC's "Mad Money" on Tuesday that Democrats should focus on making improvements to the Affordable Care Act instead of pushing to introduce Medicare for All.

Why it matters: The Medicare for All bill from Sen. Bernie Sanders has 16 co-sponsors, including several other 2020 Democrats. Other Democratic candidates support versions of the bill. Pelosi's health care comments seem more in line with 2020 front-runner Joe Biden, whose policies involve improving the Affordable Care Act.

Go deeperArrow Sep 18, 2019  
 
Medtech's quick-fix addiction
Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Some technologists look at the pileup of crises weighing down American health care — overworked doctors, overpriced treatments, wacky health record systems — and see an opportunity to overhaul the industry, which could save lives and make them money.

Yes, but: There's frequently a chasm between can-do engineers itching to rethink health care and the deliberate doctors and nurses leery of tech that can make their lives more complicated, or worse, harm their patients.

Go deeperArrow Oct 5, 2019  
 
The silent decline of the employer health care market
Reproduced from Kasier Family Foundation; Chart: Axios Visuals
While everyone was laser-focused on the Affordable Care Act for the past decade, the backbone of the American health care system was gradually deteriorating.

Between the lines: Employer insurance has become increasingly unaffordable over the last decade, contributing to today's political debates over surprise medical bills, drug prices and "Medicare for All."


Keep ReadingArrow Sep 26, 2019  
 
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