Podcast: KHN’s ‘What The Health?’ There’s A Really Big Health Bill In That Budget Deal

The bipartisan budget deal that passed Congress this week includes enough health policy changes to keep reporters and analysts busy for months.

In addition to renewing funding for Community Health Centers for two more years, the bill extends funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program for four years beyond the six approved last month; repeals the controversial (but never implemented) Independent Payment Advisory Board for Medicare and permanently repeals Medicare’s caps on certain types of outpatient therapy.

Also, the final enrollment numbers for individual insurance purchased under the Affordable Care Act came out this week. Spoiler: They are higher than most analysts expected.

Plus, Andy Slavitt, former acting head of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services under President Barack Obama, talks about his new group, “The United States of Care.”

This week’s panelists for KHN’s “What the Health?” are Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News, Joanne Kenen of Politico, Alice Ollstein of Talking Points Memo and Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times.

Among the takeaways from this week’s podcast:

Plus, for “extra credit,” the panelists recommend their favorite health stories of the week they think you should read, too.

Julie Rovner: Vox.com, “Why a Simple, Lifesaving Rabies Shot Can Cost $10,000 in America,” by Sarah Kliff.

Alice Ollstein: The New York Times, “In Sweeping War On Obesity, Chile Slays Tony The Tiger,” by Andrew Jacobs.

Joanne Kenen: Politico, “Trump’s Controversial New Health Care Idea,” by Sarah Karlin-Smith.

Margot Sanger-Katz: Harvard Business Review, “What Could Amazon’s Approach to Health Care Look Like,” by Robert S. Huckman.

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