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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Boosting Confusion

KHN Original

Federal health officials appear poised to extend a recommendation for covid boosters to all adults, following moves by some governors and mayors to broaden the eligible booster pool as caseloads rise. Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration finally has a nominee to head the agency: former FDA chief Robert Califf. And Medicare premiums for consumers will likely rise substantially in 2022, partly due to the approval of a controversial drug to treat Alzheimer’s disease. 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 Dan Weissmann, host of the “An Arm and a Leg” podcast.

As Workers Struggle With Pandemic’s Impact, Employers Expand Mental Health Benefits

KHN Original

Many job-based health plans broadened their mental health and substance use coverage to make sure workers had the support they needed this year as pandemic stress lingered, the annual KFF survey finds. Also, the proportion of employers offering health insurance to their workers remained steady, and increases for premiums and out-of-pocket health expenses were moderate.

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.

Denver State Capitol Building with Mountain View

What a Difference a Year Makes in Colorado’s Case for a Public Option Plan

KHN Original

Before the pandemic, Colorado was building momentum to pass what’s known as a “public option” health plan that would lower insurance premiums and force hospitals to accept lower payments. But now with hospitals and health care providers enjoying support as front-line heroes in the pandemic, state legislators have stripped the option from their bill.

Health Policy Valentines to Warm the Heart

KHN Original

Tweeters lit up our timeline in recent days with Health Policy Valentines about a variety of health topics. Here are some of our favorites.

Congressional Candidates Go Head-To-Head On Health Care — Again

KHN Original

The California Democratic members of Congress who flipped seven Republican seats two years ago made health care a major campaign issue, criticizing their opponents for voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act. As the Democrats defend their seats in this year’s elections, they are coming back to health care — but the issues are different.