Before “Medicare for All,” there was just Medicare, the federal program that provides insurance to 60 million Americans. This week, KHN’s Julie Rovner talks to Tricia Neuman of the Kaiser Family Foundation about how Medicare works and whom it serves. Then, Joanne Kenen of Politico, Paige Winfield Cunningham of The Washington Post and Kimberly Leonard of the Washington Examiner join Rovner to talk about some current Medicare issues being debated in Washington, D.C.
You asked about drug prices, the “Cadillac tax” on generous insurance plans and why Americans don’t know that most other countries also have combination public-private insurance systems. This week, Anna Edney of Bloomberg News, Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico and Caitlin Owens of Axios join KHN’s Julie Rovner to answer those questions.
The recent tragic mass shootings have refocused efforts to treat gun violence as a public health issue rather than strictly a law enforcement problem. Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times, Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico and Mary Agnes Carey of Kaiser Health News join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this, plus the health implications of the budget deal passed by Congress and signed by President Donald Trump, as well as reaction from Canada to a proposal to allow broader imports of its prescription drugs. Plus, for “extra credit,” the panelists recommend their favorite health stories of the week.
Health care was a major topic at the Democratic presidential candidate debates in Detroit on Tuesday and Wednesday, but the focus on plan minutiae may have left viewers more confused than edified. Alice Ollstein of Politico, Kimberly Leonard of the Washington Examiner and Caitlin Owens of Axios join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss the points made by the candidates plus a series of Trump administration health initiatives on drug prices and hospital shopping.
A small health center in Goshen, Ind., near the border with Michigan, puts “listening to patients’ stories” first. “The rest is housekeeping.”
Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee unveiled their long-awaited proposal to try to rein in prescription drug costs, even as bipartisan leaders of the other Senate committee that oversees health announced it would not bring its drug price bill to the Senate floor until fall. Paige Winfield Cunningham of The Washington Post, Rebecca Adams of CQ Roll Call and Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this, plus court actions on health issues.
Are physicians asking patients the right questions in order to provide good care? Laser-focused on biomedical symptoms, some doctors miss the psychosocial factors that can be a barrier to good health. In Episode 7 of the podcast, we hear about a creative study that uncovers how some medical errors happen.
Presidential candidate Joe Biden unveiled a health plan intended to provide a more moderate alternative to his competitors’ “Medicare for All” plans. It would build on the Affordable Care Act but would go much further. Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times, Joanne Kenen of Politico and Kimberly Leonard of the Washington Examiner join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this, plus Planned Parenthood’s very bad week, the U.S. House vote to repeal the health law’s “Cadillac tax” on generous health plans, and the reduction in deaths from opioids.
Check the fine print. When you get a prescription for expensive medical equipment, you may need to follow the doctor’s orders — to the letter — to get your health insurance company to pay up.
Is the entire Affordable Care Act unconstitutional? That was the question before a federal appeals court in New Orleans this week. Two of the three judges on the panel seemed inclined to agree with a lower court that the elimination of the tax penalty for failure to maintain coverage could mean the entire health law should fall. Also this week, President Donald Trump wants to improve care for people with kidney disease. Joanne Kenen of Politico, Kimberly Leonard of the Washington Examiner and Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this, plus courts blocking efforts to require drug prices in TV ads and to kick Planned Parenthood out of the federal family planning program. Plus, Rovner interviews University of Michigan law professor Nicholas Bagley about the latest legal threat to the ACA.
Skipping meals. Rationing medicine to make it last. The high cost of insulin has pushed some people with diabetes to make hard choices. Hear about insulin’s backstory and the hacks that might make it affordable.
Need to know more about “Medicare for All?” It’s a top issue in the Democratic presidential primary campaign. This holiday week, we are rerunning our explainer on the subject. But first, KHN’s “What the Health?” host Julie Rovner talks to KHN’s Shefali Luthra about how health played out in the first Democratic candidate debates last week.
Democratic presidential candidates disagreed on how to fix health care in their first debate Wednesday, although they all called for boosting insurance coverage and lowering prices. Meanwhile, the Trump administration is keeping health care in the news, too, with a new plan to make medical prices more available to the public. Stephanie Armour of The Wall Street Journal, Rebecca Adams of CQ Roll Call and Anna Edney of Bloomberg News join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this, plus the latest in news about bipartisan progress on catch-all legislation to address “surprise” medical bills. Plus, Rovner interviews NPR’s Jon Hamilton about the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” installment.
Beware at the pharmacy counter: Your insurance company could be in cahoots with a pharmacy benefit manager — and the negotiations that go on between them are trade secrets.
How big an issue will health really be in the 2020 election? Will the Republicans find their political footing on the issue? In this episode of KHN’s “What the Health?” Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News, Joanne Kenen of Politico and Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times report from the Aspen Ideas: Health festival in Aspen, Colo. Joining them are Chris Jennings, who advised Democratic Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama on health policy, and Lanhee Chen, who advised GOP presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Marco Rubio.
Doctors routinely order MRIs, but the price patients pay can be unpredictable. Hear how one determined woman scanned her options to find the best deal.
Lawmakers and patients want to eliminate “surprise” out-of-network medical bills. Hospitals, doctors and insurers say they want to eliminate them, too, but their opposition to one another’s proposals could complicate legislative efforts. Stephanie Armour of The Wall Street Journal, Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico and Kimberly Leonard of the Washington Examiner join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this, plus the latest in news about reproductive health and health care sharing ministries.
An unexpected hospital bill can bust the family budget. That leaves lots of people with bills they can’t pay. Turns out, that’s a crisis for hospitals too, and some are getting creative about collecting debt.
Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times, Joanne Kenen of Politico and Paige Winfield Cunningham of The Washington Post join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss the Trump administration’s efforts to curtail federally funded research using fetal tissue, the backlash from former Vice President Joe Biden’s support for the anti-abortion Hyde Amendment and how health policy intersects with both trade and immigration policy.
Health care — and how much it costs — is scary. But you’re not alone with this stuff, and knowledge is power. “An Arm and a Leg” is a podcast about these issues, and its second season is co-produced by KHN.