Latest Kaiser Health News Stories
Jan. 22 marks the 49th — and very likely last — anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark abortion decision, Roe v. Wade. The court’s conservative supermajority seems poised to overturn later this year the ruling that legalized abortion nationwide. Also this week, the Biden administration turns 1, with much of its domestic and health agenda yet unrealized. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Shefali Luthra of the 19th, and Kimberly Leonard of Insider join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, about what a post-Roe world might look like.
The Supreme Court temporarily blocked a federal rule requiring larger businesses to mandate employees be vaccinated or wear masks and undergo weekly testing. At the same time, however, it allowed a federal order that health care workers be vaccinated.
Medicare officials tentatively plan to restrict the use of a controversial Alzheimer’s drug to only those patients participating in clinical trials, while the Department of Health and Human Services looks into lowering the monthly Medicare Part B premium. Meanwhile, covid confusion still reigns, as the Biden administration moves, belatedly, to make more masks and tests available. Joanne Kenen of Politico and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet and Rachel Cohrs of Stat join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more.
On Jan. 1, California started buying prescription drugs for its nearly 14 million Medicaid enrollees, a responsibility that had primarily been held by managed-care insurance plans. State officials estimate California will save hundreds of millions of dollars by flexing its purchasing power, but some health clinics expect to lose money.
The court is considering whether to let the rules go into effect as opponents fight them in lower courts. Conservative justices pressed lawyers hard about whether the administration overstepped its authority, but liberal members of the high court questioned why the government shouldn’t be expected to move forcefully when facing a severe health crisis.
If a judge decides someone cannot make their own decisions, the person can be placed under a court-appointed guardianship, also known as a conservatorship. Some states are beginning to allow less-restrictive alternatives.
It’s 2022 and the covid-19 pandemic is still with us, as are congressional efforts to pass President Joe Biden’s big health and social spending bill. But other issues seem certain to take center stage on this year’s health agenda, including abortion, the state of the health care workforce, and prescription drug prices. Tami Luhby of CNN, Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico and Mary Ellen McIntire of CQ Roll Call join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews KHN’s Victoria Knight, who reported the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” episode.
The letters function as liens that “protect” spine surgery clinics while patients could be left with inflated medical bills and unexpected health risks.
Even before the omicron variant of covid starts to spread widely in the U.S., hospitals are filling up with post-holiday delta cases. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court signals — loudly — that 2022 will be the year it rolls back abortion rights in a big way. Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times, Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico and Mary Ellen McIntire of CQ Roll Call join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more.
The decision does not address the fate of abortion rights nationally, but the justices took up those arguments in a separate case earlier this month that will likely be decided in the summer.
The American Medical Association and American Hospital Association are not arguing to halt the law that protects patients from unexpected bills from providers they didn’t know were outside their insurance network. Instead, they want to change the rules for the mediators who will settle the dispute between insurers and providers.
The fight over covid vaccines continues to intensify, with Republicans on Capitol Hill pushing — with some success — to cancel President Joe Biden’s “test regularly or vaccinate” requirement for private employers. Meanwhile, abortion is not the only health issue before the Supreme Court this term. Joanne Kenen of Politico and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet and Rachel Cohrs of Stat News join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more.
A Supreme Court majority appears ready to overturn nearly 50 years of abortion rights, at least judging by the latest round of oral arguments before the justices. And a new covid variant, omicron, gains attention as it spreads around the world. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet and Shefali Luthra of The 19th join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews Blake Farmer of Nashville Public Radio about the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” episode.
A majority of the members of the Supreme Court seemed sympathetic Wednesday during arguments to Mississippi’s assertion that the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized the procedure throughout the country, was wrongly decided.
President Joe Biden’s social spending budget is on its way to the U.S. Senate, where Democratic leaders are (optimistically) hoping to complete work by the end of the year. Meanwhile, covid is surging again in parts of the country, along with the political divides it continues to cause. Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times, Joanne Kenen of Politico and the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, and Mary Agnes Carey of KHN join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner previews next week’s Supreme Court abortion oral arguments with Florida State University law professor Mary Ziegler.
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.
Congress is making slow progress toward completing its ambitious social spending bill, although its Thanksgiving deadline looks optimistic. Meanwhile, a new survey finds the average cost of an employer-provided family plan has risen to more than $22,000. That’s about the cost of a new Toyota Corolla. Alice Miranda 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 more. Also this week, Rovner interviews Rebecca Love, a nurse academic and entrepreneur, about the impending crisis in nursing.
Democratic negotiators on Capitol Hill appear to be nearing a compromise on President Joe Biden’s social spending agenda, spurred partly by Democratic losses on Election Day in Virginia. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court hints it might allow abortion providers to sue Texas over its restrictive new ban. But the relief, if it comes, could be short-lived if the court uses a second case, challenging a law in Mississippi, to weaken or overturn Roe v. Wade. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York 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 KHN’s Rae Ellen Bichell, who reported and wrote the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” feature about an emergency bill for a nonemergency birth.
The arguments before the justices did not deal directly with the state’s ban on abortions after six weeks. Instead, they centered on the unique mechanism in the law that gives state officials no role in enforcing the ban.
The Supreme Court justices, who accepted the case only 10 days before the arguments will be made, may skirt the issue of abortion and concentrate instead on the legality of the law’s unusual tack to let private citizens enforce it.