Latest Kaiser Health News Stories
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.
Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, the new head of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, said the administration will focus on getting more people insured and is interested in finding a way to alleviate the gap keeping low-income families in states that haven’t expanded Medicaid from enrolling in Affordable Care Act health plans.
Lawmakers are working on fleshing out the concept of a “public option,” a government-run or heavily regulated insurance plan that would compete with private insurance. But the details are complicated, both substantively and politically. Meanwhile, bioethicists are debating whether the U.S. should be vaccinating low-risk adolescents against covid-19 while high-risk adults in other countries are still waiting. Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times, Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico and Rachana Pradhan of KHN join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Plus, for extra credit, the panelists recommend their favorite health policy stories of the week they think you should read, too.
Democratic leaders in Congress have vowed to pass legislation to address high prescription drug prices this year, but some moderates in their own party appear to be balking. Meanwhile, younger teens are now eligible for a covid-19 vaccine and the Biden administration reinstated anti-discrimination policy for LGBTQ people in health care. Joanne Kenen of Politico, Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet and Rachel Cohrs of Stat join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more.
The Biden administration has started to speed efforts to reverse health policies forged under Donald Trump. Most recently, the administration overturned a ban on fetal tissue research and canceled a last-minute extension of a Medicaid waiver for Texas. That latter move may delay the Senate confirmation of President Joe Biden’s nominee to head the Medicare and Medicaid programs, as Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) seeks to fight back. Anna Edney of Bloomberg News, Rachel Cohrs of Stat and Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Plus, for extra credit, the panelists recommend their favorite health policy stories of the week they think you should read, too.
Indiana’s program seeks to give expansion enrollees “skin in the game,” requiring that they pay small monthly premiums and manage health savings accounts.
A Trump administration Medicare rule will push some hospital patients into a Catch-22: The government says several hundred procedures no longer need to be done in a hospital, but it did not approve them to be performed elsewhere. So patients will still need to use a hospital while not officially admitted — and may be charged more out-of-pocket for the care.
Renowned medical centers are among the quarter of general hospitals that will lose 1% of Medicare payments for one year because their patients have high rates of bedsores, sepsis and other preventable complications.
Each year, Medicare punishes hospitals that have high rates of readmissions and high rates of infections and patient injuries. Check out which hospitals have been penalized.
President Joe Biden signed a pair of health-related executive orders this week that would, among other things, reopen enrollment under the Affordable Care Act and start to reverse former President Donald Trump’s anti-abortion policies. Meanwhile, Congress remains bogged down with taking up the next round of covid-19 relief. Joanne Kenen of Politico, Mary Ellen McIntire of CQ Roll Call and Shefali Luthra of The 19th join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Plus, for “extra credit,” the panelists recommend their favorite health policy stories of the week they think you should read, too.
The plan, long endorsed by conservatives, would give the state broad authority in running the health insurance program for the poor in exchange for capping its annual federal funding.
On the latest episode of ‘An Arm and a Leg’: Come for insights from an Obama administration health policy leader, stay to hear how frank health policy conversations can get uncomfortable.
Under the plan pushed by Gov. Brian Kemp, the healthcare.gov website will no longer provide options for Georgia starting next fall, and consumers will need to rely on private brokers, insurance companies, agents and commercial websites.
The penalties are the ninth round of a program created as part of the Affordable Care Act’s broader effort to improve quality and lower costs. The average reduction in federal payments is 0.69%, with 613 hospitals receiving a penalty of 1% or more.
The Trump administration sought to shrink the federal-state health program for low-income Americans and give states more flexibility. But Democrats and the courts thwarted most of those efforts.
A lack of direction from federal administrators is causing confusion for many hospital administrators. Rural hospitals are among the ones hit hardest.
President Donald Trump this week issued a prescription drug pricing order unlikely to lower drug prices, and he contradicted comments by his director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the need for mask-wearing and predictions for vaccine availability. Meanwhile, scandals erupted at the CDC, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Food and Drug Administration. And the number of people without health insurance grew in 2019, reported the Census Bureau, even while the economy soared. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Tami Luhby of CNN and Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this and more. Plus, for extra credit, the panelists recommend their favorite health policy stories of the week they think you should read, too.
The proposal details a wide-ranging agenda to remedy the gaps in health care and myriad challenges in rural America. In addition to more telehealth options, it includes shifts in hospital payments and expanded funding for school-based mental health programs.
For the first time since 2017, Medicaid enrollment has begun increasing again, but not by as much as many analysts expected.
KHN senior correspondent Jordan Rau takes a spin through this week’s essential health care news.