Emmarie Huetteman

Texas, Battling Teen Pregnancy, Recasts Sex Education Standards

KHN Original

As Texas adjusts to a near-total abortion ban, Texas schools are redoubling efforts to end teen pregnancies by enacting new standards for sexual health education. Beyond focusing on abstinence, they are teaching middle schoolers about contraceptives and preventing sexually transmitted infections. But parents must opt in for their children to get the lessons.

Democrats Eye Medicare Negotiations to Lower Drug Prices

KHN Original

Progressive and conservative Democratic lawmakers, as well as President Joe Biden, are in favor of authorizing federal officials to negotiate with drugmakers over what Medicare pays for at least some of the most expensive brand-name drugs and to base those prices on the drugs’ clinical benefits. Such a measure could put Republicans in the uncomfortable position of opposing an idea that most voters from both parties generally support.

Even With Senate Control, Democrats Will Need Buy-In From GOP on Key Health Priorities

KHN Original

With a majority too small to eliminate the filibuster, Democrats will not have enough votes in the Senate to pass many of their plans without Republicans and will also have only a razor-thin majority in the House. This combination could doom many Democratic health care proposals, like offering Americans a government-sponsored public insurance option, and complicate efforts to pass further pandemic relief.

Senate Republicans Throw the Brakes on Timing for Becerra Hearings

KHN Original

Republican spokespeople for the committees responsible for vetting Health and Human Services nominations said the Senate may not hold hearings on California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, President-elect Joe Biden’s pick to lead the department, until the Senate approves committee assignments for the new Congress. That could delay the start of the process.