Latest Kaiser Health News Stories
The unprecedented early leak of a Supreme Court draft opinion that would overturn the landmark abortion-rights ruling Roe v. Wade has heated the national abortion debate to boiling. Meanwhile, the FDA, after years of consideration, moves to ban menthol flavors in cigarettes and cigars. Joanne Kenen of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Politico, Shefali Luthra of the 19th, and Jessie Hellmann of CQ Roll Call join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Plus, Rovner interviews KHN’s Paula Andalo, who wrote the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” episode about a family whose medical debt drove them to seek care south of the border.
Medicare has proposed limiting coverage of Aduhelm, the costly new drug to treat Alzheimer’s disease, and several prominent groups representing patients and their families are pressing the program to make it more widely available. But among individuals facing the disease, the outlook is more nuanced.
Nine seniors from across the country talk frankly about feeling alone and constrained, missing church, and family routines. They also share newfound hope and discoveries that arose from the crisis.
An epic battle is playing out behind the scenes over whether the government should pay for Aduhelm, an FDA-approved Alzheimer’s drug that scientists say has not been proven to work.
Medicare officials tentatively plan to restrict the use of a controversial Alzheimer’s drug to only those patients participating in clinical trials, while the Department of Health and Human Services looks into lowering the monthly Medicare Part B premium. Meanwhile, covid confusion still reigns, as the Biden administration moves, belatedly, to make more masks and tests available. Joanne Kenen of Politico and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet and Rachel Cohrs of Stat join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) dealt a blow to congressional efforts to pass President Joe Biden’s domestic agenda bill, forcing Democrats to regroup starting in 2022. Meanwhile, the omicron covid variant spreads rapidly in the U.S., threatening the stability of the nation’s health care system. Joanne Kenen of Politico and the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, Rachel Cohrs of Stat and Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more, plus a look back at the year in health policy. Also this week, Rovner interviews Ceci Connolly, president and CEO of the Alliance of Community Health Plans.
The condition can be an early signal of Alzheimer’s disease, but not always. Other health concerns could be causing thinking or memory problems, and the new drug, Aduhelm, would not be appropriate for those patients.
Lynn Casteel Harper, a minister at the interdenominational Riverside Church in New York City, discusses the spiritual dimension of aging.
The makers of Aduhelm, a drug approved last month despite concerns raised by experts about its effectiveness, have launched a website and ads designed to urge people who are worried about their memory to ask doctors about testing. But some health advocates say it is misleading because some memory loss with aging is normal.
Democrats in Congress reached a tentative agreement to press ahead on a partisan bill that would dramatically expand health benefits for people on Medicare, those who buy their own insurance and individuals who have been shut out of coverage in states that didn’t expand Medicaid. Meanwhile, controversy continues to rage over whether vaccinated Americans will need a booster to protect against covid-19 variants, and who will pay for a new drug to treat Alzheimer’s disease. Rachel Cohrs of Stat and Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also, Rovner interviews KHN’s Rae Ellen Bichell, who reported and wrote the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” episode about a mother and daughter who fought an enormous emergency room bill.
It could take years for follow-up studies to prove Aduhelm slows the disease — or doesn’t. Meanwhile, its maker will profit.
Mientras médicos y expertos en políticas de salud debaten los méritos de Aduhelm, el primer fármaco para el Alzheimer aprobado en 18 años, los pacientes simplemente quieren saber: “¿me ayudará?”.
The potential benefits of Aduhelm are small, its effectiveness is not certain, and even the FDA Thursday shifted its guidance on who should get the drug. But physicians are dealing with an onslaught of interest from patients and their families, and figuring out which patients are best positioned to be helped by the drug will be difficult.
Aduhelm, approved by the Food and Drug Administration last month despite questions about its efficacy, could be prescribed to at least 1 million patients a year, for a price tag of about $56 billion. Experts suggest there might be better ways to spend that money.
The Biden administration is moving to undo many of the changes the Trump administration made to the enrollment process for the Affordable Care Act to encourage more people to sign up for health insurance. Meanwhile, Congress is opening investigations into the controversial approval by the Food and Drug Administration of an expensive drug that might (or might not) slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Joanne Kenen of Politico, Kimberly Leonard of Insider and Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also, Rovner interviews Marshall Allen of ProPublica about his new book, “Never Pay the First Bill: And Other Ways to Fight the Health Care System and Win.”
In a surprisingly strong 7-2 decision, the Supreme Court turned back the latest constitutional challenge to the Affordable Care Act, likely heralding the end of GOP efforts to strike the law in its entirety through court action. Meanwhile, Democratic lawmakers are looking for ways to expand health benefits. Joanne Kenen of Politico, Mary Ellen McIntire of CQ Roll Call and Rachel Cohrs of Stat join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also, Rovner interviews Andy Slavitt, who recently stepped down from the Biden administration’s covid response team, about his new book on the pandemic.
KHN and California Healthline staff made the rounds on national and local media this week to discuss their stories. Here’s a collection of their appearances.
The federal approval of a controversial drug to treat Alzheimer’s disease has reignited the debate over drug prices and the way the Food and Drug Administration makes decisions. Meanwhile, President Joe Biden seeks to gain goodwill overseas as he announces the U.S. will provide 500 million doses of covid vaccine to international health efforts. Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet, Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times and Joanne Kenen of Politico join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also, Rovner interviews Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, the new administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. And to mark the podcast’s 200th episode, the panelists discuss what has surprised them most and least over the past four years.
The agency is to decide by June 7 whether to greenlight Biogen’s drug aducanumab, despite a near-unanimous rejection of the product by an FDA advisory committee of outside experts in November. Some scientists at the agency have endorsed the drug, though.
Long before they receive a dementia diagnosis, many people begin to mismanage their finances as their memory, organizational skills and self-control falter.