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?’: Trump Merges Health And Immigration

President Donald Trump has ordered that legal immigrants obtain health insurance within 30 days of arriving or prove they can pay for any possible medical need ― another policy certain to be challenged in court. Meanwhile, health issues continue to play a major role in campaign 2020. This week, Paige Winfield Cunningham of The Washington Post, Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico and Julie Appleby of Kaiser Health News join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more.

KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: Trump Turns To Medicare

President Donald Trump, dogged by an impeachment inquiry, tries to change the subject by unveiling an executive order aimed at expanding the role of private Medicare health plans. The Trump administration also launched an effort this week to expand “wellness” programs aimed at getting people with insurance to practice better health habits – even though research has shown the efforts don’t generally improve health or save money. This week, Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Kimberly Leonard of the Washington Examiner and Rebecca Adams of CQ Roll Call join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more.

KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: Impeachment And The Health Agenda

Washington is abuzz with impeachment talk, but what impact would such a move have on congressional action on prescription drug prices and surprise bills? Also, a study out this week shows that health insurance costs for both employers and workers continue to rise. This week, Joanne Kenen of Politico, Paige Winfield Cunningham of The Washington Post and Rebecca Adams of CQ Roll Call join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more.

KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: Tennessee Seeks Medicaid Changes

Tennessee wants to convert its Medicaid program to a block grant. But is its plan legal? Meanwhile, Congress continues to struggle with legislation to rein in prescription drug prices and surprise medical bills. This week, Anna Edney of Bloomberg News, Jennifer Haberkorn of the Los Angeles Times and Kimberly Leonard of the Washington Examiner join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Rovner also interviews Dr. Marty Makary, author of the new book “The Price We Pay” about why health care costs so much.

KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: Despite Booming Economy, Uninsured Rate Ticks Up

Nearly 2 million more Americans were uninsured in 2018 than in the previous year, according to the Census Bureau’s annual report. Plus, the Trump administration announced plans to ban flavored vape liquids, and Congress is back and working to address high prescription drug prices and “surprise” medical bills. This week, Joanne Kenen of Politico, Tami Luhby of CNN and Rebecca Adams of CQ Roll Call join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more.

KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: Waiting For The Trump Health Plan

President Donald Trump keeps promising a new health plan, but so far it’s nowhere to be seen. Meanwhile, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is proposing a plan to cancel billions of dollars in medical debt owed by patients. This week, 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 these issues and more. Rovner also interviews KHN’s Rachel Bluth about the latest “Bill of the Month” feature. Plus, for “extra credit,” the panelists recommend their favorite health stories of the week.

KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: All About Medicare

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.

KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: We Answer Your Questions

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.

KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: Gun Violence And The Politics Of Public Health

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.

KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: Deciphering The Democrats’ Health Debate

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.

KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: Cue The Drug Price Debate

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.

KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: Biden Doubles Down On Obamacare

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.

KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: Could The ACA Really Go Away?

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.

KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: All About ‘Medicare for All’

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.

KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: Dems Debate Health Care

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.

KHN’s ‘What The Health’: Politics Heading Into 2020: Live From Aspen!

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.

KHN’s ‘What The Health’: Who Will Pay To Fix Problem Of Surprise Medical Bills?

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.

KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: Fetal Tissue Research Is Latest Flashpoint In Abortion Debate

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.

Podcast: KHN’s ‘What The Health?’ The State Of The Abortion Debate — A Deep Dive

For our 100th episode, Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Jen Haberkorn of the Los Angeles Times and Sandhya Ramen of CQ Roll Call join KHN’s Julie Rovner to take a deep dive into the abortion debate, discussing everything from the latest news to the history of the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence as well as how states are trying to further expand or restrict abortion rights and access. Also, Rovner interviews KHN’s Lauren Weber about the latest “Bill of the Month” installment.

Podcast: KHN’s ‘What The Health?’ Is ‘Medicare For All’ Losing Steam?

Joanne Kenen of Politico, Stephanie Armour of The Wall Street Journal and Kimberly Leonard of the Washington Examiner join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss the latest Democratic efforts to push “Medicare for All” in the U.S. House. They also review new initiatives to raise the federal minimum age to purchase tobacco to 21 and new lawsuits challenging the Trump administration’s actions on reproductive health. Also, for extra credit, the panelists suggest their favorite health policy stories of the week they think you should read, too.