What We're Reading: Taxing Employer Health Plans; Global Cancer Costs; Surviving an Overdose

Republicans Eye Taxes on Employer Health Plans

Senate Republicans working on a healthcare bill are considering raising billions of dollars in revenue through a tax on employer-sponsored insurance plans. According to The Wall Street Journal, under current law health insurance is tax exempt and previous attempts to change the law have failed. The proposal is likely to face strong resistance, as in the past, and could raise taxes on millions of people.

Global Cost of Cancer Treatment

In the last 5 years, the global cost of cancer treatments has grown annually by 8.7%. However, the rising cost of treating cancer isn’t just about rising drug prices, according to Fierce Pharma. New oncology treatments bring better outcomes, which means patients taking them are living longer and staying on therapy longer. Two-thirds of the growth in cancer costs can be attributed to new drugs that have improved survival. The United States accounts for 46% of the world’s oncology costs.

After Surviving an Opioid Overdose

The majority of people who survive an opioid overdose go back to using the drugs, so some states are sending recovery coaches to the hospital to meet overdose survivors, reported The Pew Charitable Trusts. Recovery coaches inform overdose survivors of the resources available to help them quit and how they can reduce the risk of another overdose if they keep using. In some states, they might distribute naloxone kits and train survivors and friends and family on how to use them.