Negotiations on the health parts of President Joe Biden’s domestic agenda are getting serious but have yet to produce a deal every Democrat can support. Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration remains without a nominated leader but manages to take the first steps toward approving over-the-counter hearing aids. Joanne Kenen of Politico and Johns Hopkins, Tami Luhby of CNN and Rachel Cohrs of Stat join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Plus, for extra credit, the panelists recommend their favorite health policy stories of the week they think you should read too.
Scientists treating kids for MIS-C point to rare genes, leaky guts and a “superantigen.”
Like almost everything else associated with the covid-19 pandemic, partisans are taking sides over whether vaccines should be mandated. Meanwhile, Democrats on Capitol Hill are still struggling to find compromise in their effort to expand health insurance and other social programs. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Jen Haberkorn of the Los Angeles Times and Mary Ellen McIntire of CQ Roll Call join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews best-selling author Beth Macy about her book “Dopesick,” and the new Hulu miniseries based on it.
The availability of covid testing and turnaround times for results still vary widely around the country, some 19 months since the pandemic was declared a national crisis. A jumbled testing system, technician burnout and squirrely spikes in demand are all part of the problem.
Federally qualified health centers from California to Michigan are mired in a bureaucratic mess over how they should be paid under Medicaid for each dose of covid vaccine given. In California alone, clinics await reimbursement for at least 1 million shots, causing a “massive cash flow problem.”
Following a February KHN investigation into covid vaccine accessibility, the Department of Justice reached an agreement with five New York government agencies to make their websites accessible to people who are visually impaired.
The polarizing abortion issue threatens to tie up Congress, the Supreme Court and the states for the coming year. Meanwhile, Congress kicks the can down the road to December on settling its spending priorities. Joanne Kenen of Politico and the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, Yasmeen Abutaleb of The Washington Post and Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more.
Also this week, Rovner interviews KHN’s Aneri Pattani, who delivered the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” episode about a covid test that cost as much as a luxury car.
After experiencing multiple quarantines and school closures in less than two months, covid vaccine approvals for 5- to 11-year-olds can’t come soon enough for a KHN editor in Montana.
Dr. Francis Collins, who announced he is stepping down as chief of the National Institutes of Health, used his communication skills and political insights to help protect the highly acclaimed federal research institutes through difficult times.
Doctors are trying to figure out why some kids become much sicker than others and, in rare cases, don’t survive.
Patients with advanced cancer and heart disease are among those who have had to have surgeries and other treatments delayed and rescheduled as a high number of critically ill, unvaccinated covid patients strain the medical system.
After their brother died, two sisters faced a barrage of misinformation, pandemic denialism and blaming questions. Grief experts say that makes covid-19 the newest kind of “disenfranchising death.”
Germans pay less than $1 per test. Brits get them free. Why do Americans pay so much more? Because companies can still demand it.
Back-to-school season has fueled immediate covid outbreaks. Instead of beefing up protections, some districts are letting students go without masks, physical distancing and quarantines. And parents are left to make impossibly tough decisions.
Zoom in on states with overall good vaccination rates and you see a checkerboard effect, with rural areas far lagging urban zones. That’s allowed the pandemic to rage in places like Jackson County, Oregon, overwhelming hospitals.
After months of burnout from the pandemic, hospitals are scrambling to fill nursing and other jobs. Some administrators, particularly in rural areas, are afraid to implement vaccine mandates that alienate their short-handed staffs.
As covid case numbers rise nationwide, Georgia and some other states have restricted the case count data they share publicly.
Efforts by states and the private health plans that many states pay to cover low-income Americans has been scattershot and hampered by a lack of data.
The FDA’s formal approval of the first vaccine to prevent covid-19 may or may not prompt doubters to go out and get shots, but it has clearly prompted employers to make vaccination a work requirement. Meanwhile, moderates and liberals in the U.S. House put aside their differences long enough to keep a giant social-spending bill on track, at least for now. Joanne Kenen of Politico, Tami Luhby of CNN and Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Plus, for “extra credit,” the panelists suggest their favorite health policy stories of the week they think you should read, too.
Some counties are changing their covid quarantine policies in line with a law that bans discrimination based on a person’s vaccine status. But one county has decided to defy the rule.