Latest Kaiser Health News Stories

California Governor, Legislature Headed For Showdown Over Coverage For Undocumented Immigrants

KHN Morning Briefing

California lawmakers want to expand coverage to everyone in the state, regardless of immigration status, but Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.) says that expanding Medi-Cal to all adults over 25, who typically have higher health care costs than the young, could be financially unsustainable. The disagreement between the governor and Assembly members from his party is a rare one.

Managed Care Growth May Be Cause Of Health Insurance Inflation Rate Hitting Five-Year Peak

KHN Morning Briefing

Experts also said the increase in the health insurance index could be driven by the fact that insurers’ medical loss ratios may be decreasing as high premiums, particularly in the individual health insurance exchanges, exceed anticipated claims. News on the insurance marketplace in the states comes out of California, Florida and North Carolina.

Washington Poised To Create ‘Public Option,’ Thrusting State Into National Debate Over Best Health Care System

KHN Morning Briefing

Washington will dictate the terms of the public option plans but hire private insurance companies to administer them, saving the state from having to create a new bureaucracy — and guaranteeing a role for the insurance industry in managing the new public options. The plan is a more incremental approach than some others that would get rid of private insurers. Meanwhile, a battle is brewing in Connecticut over a public option for small businesses.

Podcast: KHN’s ‘What The Health?’ ‘Conscience’ Rules, Rx Prices and Still More Medicare

KHN Original

Joanne Kenen of Politico, Jen Haberkorn of the Los Angeles Times and Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss the latest news about the Trump administration’s effort to allow health care practitioners and organizations to refuse to provide care or refer patients for services that violate their conscience or religion. Also this week, the administration orders TV ads for prescription drugs to include list prices. And Tennessee wants free rein from the federal government to run its Medicaid program. Plus, Rovner interviews Joan Biskupic, author of a new book on Chief Justice John Roberts, about the behind-the-scenes negotiations that led to the 2012 ruling upholding the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act.

‘We’re Drowning’: Financially Crippled Americans Are Reaching A Breaking Point As Health Insurance Drains Their Savings

KHN Morning Briefing

One in six Americans who get insurance through their jobs say they’ve had to make “difficult sacrifices” to pay for healthcare in the last year, including cutting back on food and taking extra jobs. And it is feeding resentments and deepening inequalities, as healthier and wealthier Americans are able to save for unexpected medical bills while the less fortunate struggle to balance costly care with other necessities.

CBO Paper Offers No Concrete Numbers For Single-Payer System, Giving Both Sides Sound Bites To Use In Debate

KHN Morning Briefing

In a departure from the norm, the Congressional Budget Office’s report didn’t estimate about how much a switch to “Medicare for All” would actually cost, in part because such a change would so disrupt the country’s economy that it would be impossible to forecast the full impact. The office did, however, lay out potential pitfalls, obstacles, challenges and rewards of moving into a different model, providing talking points to lawmakers on all sides of the issue.

Hospitals Predict Grim Future Of Closures, Lay-Offs If ‘Medicare For All’ Plan Takes Root

KHN Morning Briefing

Hospitals sometimes get up to double the amount from a private insurer as they do from Medicare for a procedure. If all the rates were reduced to what Medicare reimburses it could cause financial upheaval throughout the industry. Proponents of “Medicare for All” argue that hospitals charge too much and could lower their prices without sacrificing the quality of their care.