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The ink is barely dry on the recent covid relief bill, but Democrats in Congress and President Joe Biden are wasting no time gearing up for their next big legislative package. Meanwhile, predictions of more states expanding Medicaid have proved premature. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Rachel Cohrs of Stat and Kimberly Leonard of Business Insider join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Plus, Rovner interviews KHN’s Lauren Weber, who reported the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” episode.
In his campaign, President Joe Biden promised to undo policies, particularly health policies, implemented by former President Donald Trump. Yet, despite immense executive power, reversing four years of action takes time and resources.
After a bruising confirmation process, Xavier Becerra was sworn in as secretary of Health and Human Services this week. The Senate also confirmed the nominations of former U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy to return to the post he held in the Obama administration, and former Pennsylvania health secretary Rachel Levine as assistant secretary for health. Levine is the first openly transgender person to receive Senate confirmation. Meanwhile, questions continue to swirl around the AstraZeneca covid vaccine, which some public health experts worry will create more hesitancy toward other vaccines.
Progressive and conservative Democratic lawmakers, as well as President Joe Biden, are in favor of authorizing federal officials to negotiate with drugmakers over what Medicare pays for at least some of the most expensive brand-name drugs and to base those prices on the drugs’ clinical benefits. Such a measure could put Republicans in the uncomfortable position of opposing an idea that most voters from both parties generally support.
The measures would impose taxes on increases in the price of drugs that don’t reflect improved clinical value and set the rates paid by state-run and commercial health plans to a benchmark based on prices in Canada.
As president, Donald Trump encouraged states to bring in drugs from Canada, where prices are cheaper. It’s not clear if the new administration will follow suit.
With U.S. cases skyrocketing, demand for Gilead’s dark horse antiviral is only growing. Biden appointees propose potential legal tactics to tamp down the price for patients.
KHN has teamed up with PolitiFact to track what becomes of President Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign promises over the next four years. As he moves into the West Wing, what are his chances of making progress on health care?
Con el control del Senado y la Cámara de Representantes, tendrán el poder de elegir qué propuestas de salud se votarán en el Congreso. Pero no será tan fácil.
With a majority too small to eliminate the filibuster, Democrats will not have enough votes in the Senate to pass many of their plans without Republicans and will also have only a razor-thin majority in the House. This combination could doom many Democratic health care proposals, like offering Americans a government-sponsored public insurance option, and complicate efforts to pass further pandemic relief.
President Donald Trump made substantial changes to the nation’s health care system using executive branch authority. But reversing policies that Democrats oppose would take time and personnel resources, competing with other priorities of the new administration.
Most private insurance will be required to cover drugs, like Truvada, that offer protection against HIV infection, without making plan members share the cost.
While many private insurers cap what members pay in health costs, Medicare does not. Democrats and Republicans in Congress have proposed annual limits ranging from $2,000 to $3,100. But there’s disagreement about how to pay for that cost cap.
The coronavirus pandemic colored just about everything in 2020. But there was other health policy news that you either never heard or might have forgotten about: the Affordable Care Act going before the Supreme Court with its survival on the line; ditto for Medicaid work requirements. And a surprise ending to the “surprise bill” saga. Joanne Kenen of Politico, Anna Edney of Bloomberg News and Sarah Karlin-Smith of Pink Sheet join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more.
A provision the Trump administration tucked into its final rule on health plan price transparency requires telling consumers what they will pay out-of-pocket for drugs and showing them what the plan paid.
President Donald Trump wants to send seniors $200 apiece. Beyond the legal and logistical problems, health care experts point out it does little to help someone with even typical prescription costs.
No private firms bid on the $30 million contract to set up and operate the state’s plan to bring in cheaper drugs. The setback is likely to delay by at least several months Florida’s effort to become the first state to import drugs under new federal regulations.
The progressive Change Now PAC launched a campaign ad, which also circulated on Facebook, criticizing President Donald Trump and Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) for not “fighting” for people with diabetes who struggle with the high cost of insulin.
Although sharing prescription medicines is illegal, many people with diabetes are turning to underground donation networks when they cannot afford their insulin. Caps on insulin copays enacted in Colorado and 11 other states were designed to help. But the gaps between insulin costs and many patients’ financial realities are only widening amid the economic crisis of the COVID pandemic.
The CEO of Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals defended the price hikes of Acthar gel, an orphan drug that treats infantile spasms at a House Oversight Committee hearing on Thursday.