Latest Kaiser Health News Stories
‘American Diagnosis’: A Fuller Moon Rising — Revised ‘Violence Against Women Act’ Offers Hope
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was reauthorized on March 10, 2022, reaffirming tribes’ authority to prosecute non-Native perpetrators of sexual violence and certain other crimes. This episode looks at the history of VAWA, and how protections for Native women have been tangled in the fine print of the law.
KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Congress Shelves Covid Funding for Now
The Biden administration’s request for billions more in funding to fight covid-19 hit a snag on Capitol Hill this week, as Democrats objected to Republican demands that money allocated to states but not yet spent be reclaimed. Meanwhile, the big annual spending bill about to cross the finish line addresses other health policy changes, such as giving the FDA authority to regulate “synthetic” nicotine. Joanne Kenen of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Politico, Rachel Cohrs of Stat, and Jessie Hellmann of Modern Healthcare 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.
$35 Insulin Cap Is Welcome, Popular, and Bipartisan. But Congress May Not Pass It Anyway.
Spun off from the ailing but not-quite-dead Build Back Better legislation, a popular proposal to cap out-of-pocket insulin costs at $35 a month faces tough political realities that could kill it.
KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: A Health-Heavy State of the Union
President Joe Biden spent a large portion of his first State of the Union address talking about foreign affairs, but he also spent time on an array of health topics, including mental health, nursing home regulation, and toxic burn pits. Also this week, the administration unveiled a strategy to address the covid pandemic going forward. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Amy Goldstein of The Washington Post, and Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet 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.
Fact Check: Biden Sets High Bar in 1st State of the Union Speech
What a difference a year makes. The speech was delivered to a largely unmasked crowd of lawmakers, justices, and Cabinet members in the House chamber.
Biden’s Promise of Better Nursing Home Care Will Require Many More Workers
The president wants to set minimum staffing levels for the beleaguered nursing home industry. But, given a lack of transparency surrounding the industry’s finances, it’s a mystery how facilities will shoulder the added costs.
Plan to Fix Postal Service Shifts New Retirees to Medicare — Along With Billions in Costs
After a years-long bitter partisan fight over reforming the U.S. Postal Service’s finances and service, congressional leaders say they have a compromise. The bill, which has won endorsements from both Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill, would force future Postal Service retirees to use Medicare as their primary source of health coverage.
KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Paging the HHS Secretary
Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra is drawing criticism for his hands-off handling of the covid crisis even though the heads of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health, and FDA report to him. Meanwhile, the Department of Labor looks to enforce mental health “parity laws” that have failed to achieve their goals. Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times, Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, and Rachel Cohrs of Stat join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews KHN’s Noam N. Levey, who reported and wrote the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” episode about a large emergency room bill for a small amount of medical care.
KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Record ACA Enrollment Puts Pressure on Congress
Temporary subsidies helped boost enrollment under the Affordable Care Act to a record 14.5 million, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. But unless Democrats in Congress extend those subsidies, many of those new enrollees will be in for a rude surprise just ahead of midterm elections. Meanwhile, the need to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer further crowds an already tight legislative schedule. Joanne Kenen of Politico and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet, and Anna Edney of Bloomberg News join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews Diana Greene Foster, author of “The Turnaway Study: Ten Years, a Thousand Women, and the Consequences of Having — Or Being Denied — An Abortion.”
Fast-Tracked Ruling on Abortion Won’t Wait for ‘Hearts and Minds’ to Change
Public opinion remains bitterly divided on the issue as a Supreme Court decision is imminent that could overturn or dramatically undercut Roe v. Wade.
Why an HBCU Med School Decided to Put CARES Act Money Into Students’ Pockets
More than most schools, the country’s historically Black colleges and universities are funneling stimulus money directly to students, wiping out loans and past-due fees. But one is going a step further with its financial assistance.
KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Manchin Blows Up Biden’s ‘Build Back Better’
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.
West Virginia Sen. Manchin Takes the Teeth Out of Democrats’ Plan for Seniors’ Dental Care
In West Virginia, older residents often go without dental care, and a quarter of people 65 and older have no natural teeth, the highest rate of any state in the country. But a powerful senator from West Virginia, Joe Manchin, has rebuffed efforts to add a dental benefit to Medicare.
KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Much Ado About (Vaccine) Mandates
The fight over covid vaccines continues to intensify, with Republicans on Capitol Hill pushing — with some success — to cancel President Joe Biden’s “test regularly or vaccinate” requirement for private employers. Meanwhile, abortion is not the only health issue before the Supreme Court this term. 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 News join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more.
Post-Pandemic, What’s a Phone Call From Your Physician Worth?
Medicare billing codes for audio-only follow-up check-ins lead to new reimbursement battles.
Oncology Doctors Say the Build Back Better Act Will Slash Cancer Care Funding — A Skewed Argument
The Community Oncology Alliance is targeting the prescription drug provisions of the Build Back Better Act, saying they will trigger deep cuts in oncologists’ pay, causing clinics to close and health care costs to rise. But it leaves out some important details.
KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Roe v. Wade on the Rocks
A Supreme Court majority appears ready to overturn nearly 50 years of abortion rights, at least judging by the latest round of oral arguments before the justices. And a new covid variant, omicron, gains attention as it spreads around the world. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet and Shefali Luthra of The 19th join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews Blake Farmer of Nashville Public Radio about the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” episode.
KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: The Big Biden Budget Bill Passes the House
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.
Becerra Says Surprise Billing Rules Force Doctors Who Overcharge to Accept Fair Prices
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.
KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Boosting Confusion
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.