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Latest Kaiser Health News Stories

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Hot Covid Summer

KHN Original

The summer that promised to let Americans resume a relatively normal life is turning into another summer of anxiety and face masks, as the delta variant drives covid caseloads up in all 50 states. Meanwhile, the Americans with Disabilities Act turns 35, and the Missouri Supreme Court orders the state to expand Medicaid after all. Mary Ellen McIntire of CQ Roll Call, Anna Edney of Bloomberg News and Rachana Pradhan of KHN join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also, Rovner interviews KHN’s Samantha Young, who reported and wrote the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” episode about an Olympic-level athlete with an Olympic-size medical bill.

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: How to Expand Health Coverage

KHN Original

Democrats in Congress and the states are devising strategies to expand health coverage — through the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, Medicaid and a “public option.” But progress remains halting, at best. Meanwhile, lawmakers in Washington may have to agree on how to control prescription drug prices if they wish to finance their coverage initiatives. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Tami Luhby of CNN and Shefali Luthra of The 19th join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also, Rovner interviews Michelle Andrews, who reported and wrote last month’s KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” episode about a very expensive sleep study.

What It Means When Celebrities Stay Coy About Their Vaccine Status

KHN Original

St. Louis Blues leading scorer David Perron took 10 days to explain he had indeed been vaccinated before he caught covid-19, which knocked him from playing in the NHL playoffs against the Colorado Avalanche. His case and those of other public figures raise questions about the role of celebrity in enticing people to get covid vaccinations.

More Than 100 Missouri Schools Have Bought ‘Often Unproven’ Air-Cleaning Technology

KHN Original

Across Missouri, more than 100 schools have spent over $3.5 million — often at the taxpayers’ expense — snapping up ionization and other air-purifying devices in an attempt to keep kids safe from covid-19. But experts warn the largely unregulated technology hasn’t been thoroughly tested in classroom settings and is “often unproven.”

Kidney Experts Say It’s Time to Remove Race From Medical Algorithms. Doing So Is Complicated.

KHN Original

When estimating how well a patient’s kidneys are working, doctors frequently turn to an equation that depends on a question: Is the patient Black? Kidney experts are now debating how to remove the race adjustment and whether the question is a function of sound science. It’s considered just the first step in dismantling institutional racism in kidney care.

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Roe v. Wade on the Ropes

KHN Original

The newly conservative Supreme Court will hear a case that could overturn the nationwide right to abortion and cause political upheaval. Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s abrupt announcement that vaccinated people can take off their masks in most places has caused upheaval of its own. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet and Mary Ellen McIntire of CQ Roll Call 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.

Public Health Experts Worry About Boom-Bust Cycle of Support

KHN Original

Congress has poured tens of billions of dollars into public health since last year. While health officials who have juggled bare-bones budgets for years are grateful for the money, they worry it will soon dry up, just as it has after previous crises such as 9/11, SARS and Ebola. Meanwhile, they continue to cope with an exodus from the field amid political pressure and exhaustion that meant 1 in 6 Americans lost their local health department leader.