News & Commentary
The cancer death rate peaked in 1991 and has been dropping since as smoking rates have decreased and prevention and treatment have improved. The cancer society calculates that 2 million American deaths have been avoided because of the drop in the cancer rate.

It perhaps raises more questions than it answers, but isn’t that the way any process to overhaul the health care system starts? Republican legislators yesterday unveiled aspects of what will come after Obamacare. President Trump in a contentious news conference yesterday took a shot at the ACA.

Viewpoint
Michael Schlosser, MD
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Felix Lee, MD
There are some success stories. Lowe’s pioneering flat-rate deal with the Cleveland Clinic for heart surgery has shown both cost savings and quality improvement. Other large employers, notably Walmart and PepsiCo, have followed suit, signing contracts with self-described, single-hospital “centers of excellence” for a handful of elective procedures.

Pharmacy benefits managers (PBMs) served notice last week that they refuse to be labeled as bad guys because of soaring drug costs.

Members of the Senate Finance Committee yesterday questioned President Trump’s pick to head CMS over what she plans to do about a subject that’s on everybody’s mind: high drug prices.

Humana is picking up its marbles and going home, announcing that it will no longer participate in the ACA exchanges. And maybe it’s completely justified in doing so.

Sexual Health
Susan Ladika
Not too long ago, rates for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in the United States were at historic lows. Now they are at record highs, and many experts fear they will continue to climb because of meager funding of public health clinics and diminished sex education in schools.

But only a sliver of hope, because development of psychiatric drugs have been stuck in neutral for about 10 years.

Sexual Health
Joseph Burns
Men’s health care changed dramatically after the FDA approved Pfizer’s blue, diamond-shaped Viagra. Suddenly men were interested in seeing their doctors if for only one reason. Now, with restrictions on what some call a lifestyle drug, other health problems go uncharted.

The Big Five remains, as the Big Three vanishes. Two would-be mergers of huge health insurance companies that would have changed the market by turning the Big Five health plans into the Big Three were called off today.

Aetna decided not to appeal a judge’s ruling that its planned acquirement of Humana violates antitrust law. Experts said it would have been an uphill battle to preserve the $34 billion deal.

The Trump administration is finding out what past administrations also found out the hard way: Rebuilding the health care system might not be the best way to begin your domestic policy agenda.

Sexual Health
Jan Greene
Some see a big market for medications for low libido in women. But sales of Addyi have been slow. Has a normal experience been unnecessarily medicalized? One of many factors in the debate is whether women’s sexual response tends to be more spontaneous or responsive.