KHN’s ‘What The Health?’

Join Julie Rovner, chief Washington correspondent for Kaiser Health News, along with top health policy reporters from The New York Times, The Washington Post, Politico and other media outlets to discuss the latest news and explain what the health is going on here in Washington.

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If you have a question for the podcast, you can send it to whatthehealth@kff.org.

KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: High Court’s Surprising Abortion Decision

In a decision that surprised both sides of the polarized abortion debate, the Supreme Court struck down a Louisiana law that would require doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico and Jennifer Haberkorn of the Los Angeles Times join KHN’s Julie Rovner to break down what happened, what comes next and how this case could provide a clue to the one challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act.

KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: The Pandemic Shifts; The Politics, Not So Much

While federal and state officials continue to wrangle over coronavirus testing, the population testing positive is skewing younger. Meanwhile, the Trump administration wins a round in court over its requirements for hospitals to publicly reveal their prices, and the fight over the fate of the Affordable Care Act heats up once again. Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times, Paige Winfield Cunningham of The Washington Post and Kimberly Leonard of Business Insider join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this and more. Also, Rovner interviews former Obama administration health aide Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, who has written a new book comparing international health systems.

KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: SCOTUS, Trump Collide Over Transgender Rights

The Trump administration rolled back protections for transgender patients just days before the Supreme Court cemented LGBTQ rights under the Civil Rights Act. So, what now? Meanwhile, coronavirus politics reaches beyond health care settings. Anna Edney of Bloomberg News, Tami Luhby of CNN and Shefali Luthra of KHN join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this and more. Also, for extra credit, the panelists recommend their favorite health stories of the week they think you should read, too.

KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: Say What? The Spread Of Coronavirus Confusion

Months into the COVID-19 pandemic, the public seems more confused than ever. And health officials still are not all on the same page; this week the World Health Organization had to walk back an official’s statement about how commonly the virus is spread by people without symptoms. Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times, Paige Winfield Cunningham of The Washington Post and Mary Ellen McIntire of CQ Roll Call join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this and more. Also, Rovner interviews Michael Mackert, a professor and health communications expert at the University of Texas-Austin, about how health information can best be translated to the public.

KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: Protests And The Pandemic

The outrage over the death of an African American man, George Floyd, after he was restrained and knelt on by Minneapolis police officers has sparked national protests, including in places where the coronavirus is still spreading. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump’s attempt to withdraw the U.S. from the World Health Organization could have ramifications for Americans. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Mary Agnes Carey of KHN and Joanne Kenen of Politico join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this and more. Also, Rovner interviews Jonathan Oberlander, a University of North Carolina health policy professor and the editor of the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, about articles examining the COVID-19 pandemic through the lens of health inequity and structural racism.

KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: Still Seeking A Federal Coronavirus Strategy

Democrats were not impressed with the Trump administration’s COVID-19 national testing strategy document submitted to Congress this week. They say the pandemic requires more direction from the federal government, while the administration wants to give nearly all the responsibility to the states. Meanwhile, in an effort to shore up his base of senior voters, President Donald Trump has unveiled a plan to limit what those on Medicare must pay out-of-pocket for insulin. Anna Edney of Bloomberg News, Erin Mershon of STAT News and Joanne Kenen of Politico join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this and more. Also, Rovner interviews KHN’s Phil Galewitz, who wrote the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” installment about a patient who thought he might have COVID-19, did everything right and got a big bill, anyway.

KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: When It Comes To COVID-19, States Are On Their Own

Just about every state is lifting some coronavirus-related restrictions, but it’s unclear how things are really going, considering data on the spread of the virus lags and may not be reliable. Meanwhile, the federal government continues to throw more responsibility for dealing with the pandemic to state and local governments. Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times, Kimberly Leonard of Business Insider and Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this and more.

KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: What’s In The Next Round Of COVID-19 Relief?

House Democrats unveiled legislation that would effectively double what the federal government has spent on relief for the COVID-19 pandemic, but Republicans say they want to wait before even talking about another bill. Meanwhile, a key Republican senator called the GOP court case challenging the Affordable Care Act “flimsy.” Rebecca Adams of CQ Roll Call and Joanne Kenen of Politico join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this and more.

KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: Blowing The Whistle On Trump Team’s COVID Policies

Frustration from inside the Trump administration over the management of the COVID-19 pandemic is starting to become public, as whistleblowers ― some anonymous, some named — tell how the effort is being undermined by favoritism, incompetence and a disdain for science. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court heard a case that could threaten the Affordable Care Act’s birth control benefit. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Anna Edney of Bloomberg News and Rachana Pradhan of Kaiser Health News join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this and more. Also, for “extra credit,” the panelists recommend their favorite stories of the week they think you should read, too.

KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: SCOTUS Decides An ACA Case. No, Not THAT Case.

The Supreme Court this week, in an 8-1 decision, ruled that insurers are due the roughly $12 billion that Congress several years ago tried to cut off in payments under the Affordable Care Act’s “risk corridors” provision. And while the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage in many places around the country, states are starting to reopen their economies at the urging of President Donald Trump and over objections of public health officials. Caitlin Owens of Axios and Mary Ellen McIntire of CQ Roll Call join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this and more. Also, Rovner interviews KHN’s Carmen Heredia Rodriguez, who wrote the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” installment about COVID testing that should have been free but was not.

KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: Whom Do We Trust For COVID Info?

The messaging from the White House coronavirus press briefings is becoming more confusing as President Donald Trump and his science advisers appear to not see eye to eye. Meanwhile, Congress is ready to approve more money to address both the health and economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. And the virus is taking an almost unimaginable toll on the nation’s nursing homes and putting strain on patients and health care providers with non-COVID ailments. Joanne Kenen of Politico, Jennifer Haberkorn of the Los Angeles Times and Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these topics and more.

KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: How Will We Reopen The Economy?

The politics of COVID-19 are pretty polarized, but health experts across the ideological spectrum agree: The U.S. will need more robust testing before it’s safe to relax social-distancing requirements. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump, Congress and the nation’s governors continue to spar over who should be responsible for what. Kimberly Leonard of Business Insider, Tami Luhby of CNN and Anna Edney of Bloomberg News join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this and more. Also, 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?’: Who Will Pay For COVID-19 Care?

The spread of COVID-19 is prompting changes in pricing, coverage and other health care issues that have been subjects of political debate for years. But the politics remain polarized. Paige Winfield Cunningham of The Washington Post and Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this and more. Also, for extra credit, the panelists suggest their favorite health policy stories of the week that they think you should read, too.

KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: All Coronavirus All The Time

The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing changes to the U.S. health system that were previously unthinkable. Yet some fights ― including over the Affordable Care Act and abortion — persist even in this time of national emergency. Joanne Kenen of Politico, Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times and Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this and more. Also, Rovner interviews KHN’s Liz Szabo about the latest installment of KHN-NPR’s “Bill of the Month.”

KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: The Affordable Care Act Turns 10

Next week is the 10th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act. Millions of Americans have benefited from the law, yet its future is in the hands of both the Supreme Court and voters in November. For this special episode of “What the Health?” host Julie Rovner interviews Kathleen Sebelius, who was Obama’s secretary of Health and Human Services when the law was passed. Then Rovner, Joanne Kenen of Politico and Mary Agnes Carey of Kaiser Health News discuss its history, impact and prospects for the future.

KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: Coronavirus Goes Viral

The rapidly spreading coronavirus has led to the cancellation of sporting events, conferences and travel, with Congress and President Donald Trump scrambling to catch up to the spiraling public health crisis. Meanwhile, the Trump administration has issued long-awaited rules aimed at making it easier for patients to carry copies of their medical records. Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times, Paige Winfield Cunningham of The Washington Post and Kimberly Leonard of Business Insider join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this and more. Also, 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?’: A ‘Super Tuesday’ For The Health Debate?

The wide field of Democrats vying to face President Donald Trump in the fall has been reduced to two major candidates, former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, each with a different prescription for the health system. Meanwhile, Congress and the Trump administration scramble to address the spread of the novel coronavirus. And the Supreme Court agrees to consider the latest case against the Affordable Care Act. Kimberly Leonard of the Washington Examiner, Tami Luhby of CNN and Emmarie Huetteman of Kaiser Health News join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this and more.

KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: Prepping For A Possible Pandemic

Official Washington is sitting up and taking notice of the threat from the novel coronavirus as Congress and the Trump administration prepare for a potential pandemic. Meanwhile, the Democratic candidates for president are still arguing about “Medicare for All.” Joanne Kenen of Politico, Kimberly Leonard of the Washington Examiner and Shefali Luthra of Kaiser Health News join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this and more. Also, Rovner interviews NPR’s Sydney Lupkin about the latest “Bill of the Month” installment.

KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: The Labor Pains Of ‘Medicare For All’

Organized labor is divided over whether to support “Medicare for All.” Meanwhile, many of the Democratic presidential candidates seem unable to use the health issue to their advantage. Rebecca Adams of CQ Roll Call, Jennifer Haberkorn of the Los Angeles Times and Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this and more. Also, for extra credit, the panelists offer their favorite health policy stories of the week they think you should read, too.