Podcasts

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: A(nother) Very Sad Week

Two mass shootings in two weeks — one at a Texas elementary school that killed 19 fourth graders and two teachers — have reignited the “guns-as-public-health-problem” debate. But political consensus seems as far away as ever. Meanwhile, the FDA is in the congressional hot seat over its handling of the infant formula shortage. Joanne Kenen of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Politico, Anna Edney of Bloomberg News, and Rachana Pradhan of KHN join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews Dr. Richard Baron, head of the American Board of Internal Medicine, about how doctors should discipline colleagues who spread medical misinformation.

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Waking Up to Baby Formula Shortage

The nationwide shortage of baby formula, which has been simmering for months, finally burst into public consciousness as more parents become less able to find food for their babies, prompting a belated federal response. Meanwhile, covid-19 cases rise but prevention activities don’t, and abortion-rights backers ready their legal arsenal for a post-Roe world. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Tami Luhby of CNN, and Rachel Cohrs of Stat 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?’: The Invisible Pandemic

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

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?’: More Covid Complications for Congress

Congress is back in session, but covid diagnoses for Vice President Kamala Harris and two Democratic senators have temporarily left the Senate without a working majority to approve continued covid funding. Meanwhile, opponents of the Affordable Care Act have filed yet another lawsuit challenging a portion of the law, and we say goodbye to the late Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, who left a long legacy of health laws. Rachel Cohrs of STAT News, Anna Edney of Bloomberg News, and Rebecca Adams of KHN join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more.

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: A Conversation With Peter Lee on What’s Next for the ACA

Amid covid-19, the potential overturn of Roe v. Wade, and a war in Europe, the Affordable Care Act has been flying under the radar in 2022. But this will be a pivotal year for the federal health law. Unless Congress acts, millions of Americans could see their costs for coverage rise dramatically as expanded subsidies expire. At the same time, the end of the public health emergency could boost the uninsured rate as states disenroll people from Medicaid. Peter Lee, who recently stepped down as the first executive director of the largest state-run ACA insurance marketplace, Covered California, has thought long and hard about how the ACA came to be, how it’s been implemented, and what should happen to it now. He joins host and KHN chief Washington correspondent Julie Rovner for a wide-ranging discussion on the state of the ACA.

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

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?’: Finally, a Fix for the ‘Family Glitch’

President Joe Biden welcomed former President Barack Obama back to the White House this week to announce a new policy for the Affordable Care Act that would make subsidies available to more families with unaffordable employer coverage. Meanwhile, Congress struggled to find a compromise for continued federal funding of covid-19 vaccines, testing, and treatments. Tami Luhby of CNN, Shefali Luthra of The 19th, and Jessie Hellmann of CQ Roll Call join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more.

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Funding for the Next Pandemic

In his proposed budget, President Joe Biden called for a boost in health spending that includes billions of dollars to prepare for a future pandemic. But that doesn’t include money he says is needed immediately for testing and treating covid-19. Also this week, federal regulators authorized a second booster shot for people 50 and older yet gave little guidance to consumers about who needs the shot and when. Amy Goldstein of The Washington Post, Jennifer Haberkorn of the Los Angeles Times, and Rachana Pradhan of KHN join KHN’s Mary Agnes Carey to discuss these issues and more. Plus, Julie Rovner interviews KHN’s Julie Appleby, who reported and wrote the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” episode about a very expensive air ambulance ride.

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: The ACA Turns 12

Although its fate was in doubt more than a few times, the Affordable Care Act turned 12 this week. Year 13 could be pivotal in determining how many Americans receive ACA health insurance, and at what price. Meanwhile, three leading credit bureaus agreed to stop using most medical debt to measure U.S. consumers’ creditworthiness. Anna Edney of Bloomberg News, Rachel Cohrs of Stat, and KHN’s Mary Agnes Carey join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more.

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: We May Be Done With Covid, But Covid’s Not Done With Us

The White House makes a move as a new wave of covid threatens. President Joe Biden brings in Dr. Ashish Jha to take over the executive branch effort. Meanwhile, it remains unclear if and when Congress can come up with the funds to continue much of the federal anti-covid effort. Joanne Kenen of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Politico, Sandhya Raman of CQ Roll Call, and Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more.

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.

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.

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Contemplating a Post-‘Roe’ World

In anticipation of the Supreme Court rolling back abortion rights this year, both Democrats and Republicans are arguing among themselves over how best to proceed to either protect or restrict the procedure. Meanwhile, millions of Americans are at risk of losing their health insurance when the federal government declares an end to the current “public health emergency.” Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Shefali Luthra of The 19th, and Rachana Pradhan of KHN join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews KHN’s Jay Hancock, who wrote the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” episode about a couple whose insurance company deemed their twins’ stay in intensive care not an emergency.

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

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.