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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: The Invisible Pandemic

KHN Original

Covid cases are again climbing, but you wouldn’t know it from the behavior of public health and elected officials, much less the general public, all of whom seem to want to put the pandemic in the rearview mirror. Meanwhile, the fallout over the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion on abortion continues even as the Senate fails — again — to muster the votes to write abortion rights into law. Joanne Kenen of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Politico, Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, and Sandhya Raman of CQ Roll Call join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Plus, for extra credit, the panelists suggest their favorite health policy stories of the week they think you should read, too.

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Leaked Abortion Opinion Rocks Washington’s World

KHN Original

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.

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: News You Might Have Missed

KHN Original

Congress is in recess, so the slower-than-average news week gives us a chance to catch up on underreported topics, like Medicare’s coverage decision for the controversial Alzheimer’s disease drug Aduhelm and ominous new statistics on drug overdose deaths and sexually transmitted diseases. Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times, Joanne Kenen of Politico and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 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.

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Congress Shelves Covid Funding for Now

KHN Original

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.

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: It’s Health Costs, Stupid (2022 Edition)

KHN Original

As the pandemic wanes, for now, the ever-rising cost of health care is again taking center stage. Meanwhile, a year into the Biden administration, the FDA finally has a Senate-confirmed commissioner, Dr. Robert Califf. 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 Hannah Wesolowski of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, about how the pandemic has worsened the nation’s mental health crisis and what can be done about it.

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: FDA Takes Center Stage

KHN Original

Congress is set to start its once-every-five-years review of the law that authorizes user fees to finance the hiring of personnel to speed the FDA review of drugs. The periodic renewals of “PDUFA” also give lawmakers a chance to make other changes to the agency at the hub of the pandemic. Meanwhile, the FDA could also find itself at the center of the abortion debate and a controversial new medication to treat Alzheimer’s disease. Anna Edney of Bloomberg News, Joanne Kenen of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Politico, and Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more.

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Paging the HHS Secretary

KHN Original

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?’: Dealing With Drug Prices

KHN Original

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.

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Oh, Oh, Omicron

KHN Original

Even before the omicron variant of covid starts to spread widely in the U.S., hospitals are filling up with post-holiday delta cases. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court signals — loudly — that 2022 will be the year it rolls back abortion rights in a big way. Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times, Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico and Mary Ellen McIntire of CQ Roll Call join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more.