Latest Kaiser Health News Stories
Food stamps for February are being distributed about two weeks early because officials say the federal money to pay for them won’t be available later due to the government shutdown. State and local officials are scratching their heads about what might happen in March if the impasse continues.
As drugmakers hike prices, interest to rein them in grows on Capitol Hill. Next week marks the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court’s abortion decision, and both the House, whose leaders back abortion rights, and the Senate, controlled by abortion foes, are holding statement votes. And the government shutdown is still affecting health programs. Joanne Kenen of Politico, Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times and Alice Ollstein of Politico join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra scores a win for California and other states in his effort to block Trump administration birth control rules. It is one of many suits he has filed to defend the Affordable Care Act from efforts to erode it.
Some doctors and clinics are proactively informing patients about a proposed policy that could jeopardize the legal status of immigrants who use public benefit programs such as Medicaid. Others argue that because this “public charge” proposal isn’t final — and may never be adopted — disseminating too much information could create unnecessary alarm and cause some patients to drop benefits.
Expect more aggressive regulatory action from the Trump administration while skirmishes continue in Congress and statehouses across the country. Many of these policies will ultimately be challenged in court.
Just hours into his tenure as California’s new governor, Democrat Gavin Newsom proposed major plans to insure more Californians, including state-funded financial aid for health insurance and a requirement for Californians to have coverage.
Among the first things Democrats did after officially taking control of the House was to express support for efforts to appeal a Texas district court decision declaring the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional.
The new rule took effect Jan. 1 but, for consumers seeking hospital price information, using it to find answers may be like searching for a needle in a haystack.
From Medicare dental coverage to drug prices to fetal tissue research, the panelists answer listeners’ questions. Joanne Kenen of Politico, Stephanie Armour of The Wall Street Journal and Paige Winfield Cunningham of The Washington Post join KHN’s Julie Rovner.
Medicare and Medicaid are fine, but the food safety component of the Food and Drug Administration and bio-threat surveillance done by the Department of Homeland Security are among the public health functions feeling the pinch.
Trump administration efforts to undo Obama-era rules have helped create the buzz around this type of health coverage.
The fallout continues from that Texas court decision that ruled Congress’ 2017 elimination of the tax penalty for failing to have insurance rendered the entire Affordable Care Act unconstitutional. Meanwhile, enrollment for 2019 at healthcare.gov was down, but far less than many predicted. KHN’s Julie Rovner, along with panelists Joanne Kenen of Politico, Anna Edney of Bloomberg News and Kimberly Leonard of the Washington Examiner, discuss this, plus the best, most overhyped and nerdiest stories of 2018. Also, Rovner interviews GOP strategist and pollster Frank Luntz.
There could be a long legal struggle ahead over the decision by a judge in Texas to invalidate the federal health law. But if his decision stands, it would have long-lasting effects on health care from insurance coverage to Medicare payments to privacy protections.
The case is not expected to have an immediate effect on coverage for people who buy plans on the federal health law marketplaces because the case is likely to go to the Supreme Court — the third time that the justices will decide the fate of the landmark health law.
Sign-ups for insurance under the Affordable Care Act are still well behind last year’s mark with just a week until the end of open enrollment in most states. The Supreme Court declines a case that could have allowed states to defund Planned Parenthood. And the Trump administration gets hundreds of thousands of comments about its proposed changes to immigration rules that could penalize people who use government-funded health care and other social service programs. Alice Ollstein of Politico, Anna Edney of Bloomberg News and Rebecca Adams of CQ Roll Call join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and, for “extra credit,” provide their favorite health policy stories of the week.