Latest Kaiser Health News Stories
President Joe Biden’s social spending budget is on its way to the U.S. Senate, where Democratic leaders are (optimistically) hoping to complete work by the end of the year. Meanwhile, covid is surging again in parts of the country, along with the political divides it continues to cause. Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times, Joanne Kenen of Politico and the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, and Mary Agnes Carey of KHN join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner previews next week’s Supreme Court abortion oral arguments with Florida State University law professor Mary Ziegler.
The Health and Human Services secretary says the administration has heard complaints from doctors and hospitals about the rules it unveiled for implementing the law to end surprise medical bills. But he says providers who have exploited a complicated system to charge exorbitant rates will have to bear their share of the cost — or close.
Federal health officials appear poised to extend a recommendation for covid boosters to all adults, following moves by some governors and mayors to broaden the eligible booster pool as caseloads rise. Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration finally has a nominee to head the agency: former FDA chief Robert Califf. And Medicare premiums for consumers will likely rise substantially in 2022, partly due to the approval of a controversial drug to treat Alzheimer’s disease. Tami Luhby of CNN, Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet and Rachel Cohrs of Stat join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews Dan Weissmann, host of the “An Arm and a Leg” podcast.
Politicians and many health experts have done their best to see the glass half-full in the plan put forward by congressional Democrats and the president. But it’s “a far cry” from what other nations do to rein in drug prices, and polls show most voters demand more protection.
Congress last year shielded consumers from unexpected out-of-network charges, but hospitals and doctors have decried the arbitration plan put forward by the Biden administration for negotiating these bills as favoring insurers. More than 150 members of the House agree.
Congress is making slow progress toward completing its ambitious social spending bill, although its Thanksgiving deadline looks optimistic. Meanwhile, a new survey finds the average cost of an employer-provided family plan has risen to more than $22,000. That’s about the cost of a new Toyota Corolla. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Anna Edney of Bloomberg News and Rebecca Adams of CQ Roll Call join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews Rebecca Love, a nurse academic and entrepreneur, about the impending crisis in nursing.
Investigaciones han demostrado que la pérdida de la audición puede socavar la calidad de vida de las personas mayores, lo que conduce a la soledad, el aislamiento, la depresión, y trastornos de la comunicación.
KHN answers questions for seniors about how this new benefit might work.
Democratic negotiators on Capitol Hill appear to be nearing a compromise on President Joe Biden’s social spending agenda, spurred partly by Democratic losses on Election Day in Virginia. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court hints it might allow abortion providers to sue Texas over its restrictive new ban. But the relief, if it comes, could be short-lived if the court uses a second case, challenging a law in Mississippi, to weaken or overturn Roe v. Wade. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times and Mary Ellen McIntire of CQ Roll Call join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews KHN’s Rae Ellen Bichell, who reported and wrote the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” feature about an emergency bill for a nonemergency birth.
The latest iteration of President Joe Biden’s social-spending package would close the health insurance gap for at least 2.2 million people, making a huge difference especially in the South, where political opposition has blocked Medicaid expansion.
Health equity advocates see a once-in-a-generation opportunity to provide a dental benefit to millions of older Americans as Congress considers expanding Medicare services. But complicating that push is a debate over how many of the more than 60 million Medicare recipients should receive dental coverage.
As lawmakers weigh new spending provisions to cover dental, hearing and vision services for Medicare beneficiaries, a group supporting Medicare Advantage plans is airing commercials that raise concerns about the funding for those private plans.
With an eye to shutting down Medicare drug price negotiations, drug companies and their lobbying groups gave roughly $1.6 million in the first six months of 2021, with Democrats edging closer than they have in a decade to Republicans’ total haul.
Negotiations on the health parts of President Joe Biden’s domestic agenda are getting serious but have yet to produce a deal every Democrat can support. Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration remains without a nominated leader but manages to take the first steps toward approving over-the-counter hearing aids. Joanne Kenen of Politico and Johns Hopkins, Tami Luhby of CNN and Rachel Cohrs of Stat 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.
Like almost everything else associated with the covid-19 pandemic, partisans are taking sides over whether vaccines should be mandated. Meanwhile, Democrats on Capitol Hill are still struggling to find compromise in their effort to expand health insurance and other social programs. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Jen Haberkorn of the Los Angeles Times and Mary Ellen McIntire of CQ Roll Call join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews best-selling author Beth Macy about her book “Dopesick,” and the new Hulu miniseries based on it.
Patients soon will not have to worry about the prospect of these often-costly unexpected bills, a federal law promises. Some experts say the new policy could also slow the growth of health insurance premiums.
But Americans generally have little confidence that the White House or Congress will recommend the right thing, a new poll shows.
The American Rescue Plan Act, passed by Congress in March, provides $130 billion to cities, counties and tribes — with few restrictions on how the money can be spent.
The polarizing abortion issue threatens to tie up Congress, the Supreme Court and the states for the coming year. Meanwhile, Congress kicks the can down the road to December on settling its spending priorities. Joanne Kenen of Politico and the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, Yasmeen Abutaleb of The Washington Post and Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more.
Also this week, Rovner interviews KHN’s Aneri Pattani, who delivered the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” episode about a covid test that cost as much as a luxury car.
Despite big 2020 campaign promises to deliver lower costs on prescription drugs, Democrats have failed to unite around a legislative plan.