Latest Kaiser Health News Stories
Congress retreats on long-planned cost cuts to benefit the health care industry with a grab bag full of incentives.
Congress passed legislation Wednesday reauthorizing the Older Americans Act, which provides for home-delivered and group meals. Although proposed funding increases are substantial, they still don’t keep up with the nation’s growing senior population.
As a national movement for better access to menstrual products gains steam, “period equity” activists in Colorado are finding the path to change isn’t straight. Although Denver last summer repealed sales taxes on menstrual products and the state now requires supplies to be provided in prisons, an effort to repeal the statewide sales tax on the products failed. So, activists assemble supply kits to donate to those who need them.
A Colorado lawmaker giving birth near the start of the state’s four-month legislative session highlighted the lack of comprehensive paid family leave. Yet a bill to add a statewide system that once seemed a sure thing is getting bogged down.
Even in a solidly blue state where voters were demanding relief from high health care costs, the idea of a government-run public option for health insurance faced a “steam train of opposition.”
State legislatures are considering new bills proposing a permanent time standard instead of the spring-forward and fall-back clock changes. Most people want to stop adjusting clocks, but scientists and politicians are at odds over which time is better for society and our health.
As lawmakers consider bills to protect patients against surprise medical bills, doctors have waged a stealth on-the-ground campaign to win over members of Congress. Here’s how they did it.
By writing in payment limits when signing hospital forms, patients might have leverage in negotiations over disputes that arise from surprise medical bills.
California lawmakers are proposing ambitious health care ideas, from creating a state generic drug label to banning the sale of flavored e-cigarette products. Even though Democrats control state government, they’re likely to face pushback from powerful health care industry groups like hospitals.
The Texas Advance Directives Act gives hospitals the authority to stop life-sustaining support if another hospital won’t accept the patient. The family of Tinslee Lewis, a 10-month-old with serious medical problems, is fighting to keep her in hospital care.
After the state legalized recreational marijuana in 2016, new taxes and regulations decimated an ad hoc network that had donated cannabis for medical purposes to patients who could not afford it. A recent law seeks to revive the network, but hurdles remain.
The Texas Medical Board bowed out of the rule-making process for a new law protecting consumers from surprise medical bills. Advocates hailed the new rules written by the state insurance regulators.
A legislative compromise on how to curb unexpected out-of-network medical bills has made recent progress. But many insiders expect work to continue into 2020.
The House passed legislation that would give federal workers 12 weeks of paid parental leave. The measure appears headed for passage in the Senate, and President Donald Trump has promised to sign the measure into law. Meanwhile, House and Senate lawmakers have a tentative deal on surprise medical bills, but don’t count on a compromise just yet. Joanne Kenen of Politico, Kimberly Leonard of the Washington Examiner and Emmarie Huetteman of Kaiser Health News join guest host Mary Agnes Carey of KHN to discuss this and more. And for “extra credit,” the panelists offer their favorite health stories of the week they think you should read, too.
Open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act’s marketplace plans is halfway over and, so far, the number of people signing up is down, but not dramatically. Meanwhile, Congress and President Donald Trump can’t seem to agree on what to do about teen vaping, drug prices or “surprise” medical bills. And Democrats lurch to the left on abortion. Paige Winfield Cunningham of The Washington Post, Kimberly Leonard of the Washington Examiner and Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this and more health news.
Texas passed a bipartisan law against surprise medical billing, but advocates warn that a proposed rule could severely weaken it, continuing to allow surprise bills outside of emergencies.