Health Care Costs

Latest Kaiser Health News Stories

Despite Covid, Many Wealthy Hospitals Had a Banner Year With Federal Bailout

KHN Original

As the crisis crushed smaller providers, some of the nation’s richest health systems thrived, reporting hundreds of millions of dollars in surpluses after accepting huge grants for pandemic relief. But poorer hospitals — many serving rural and minority populations — got a smaller slice of the pie and limped through the year with deficits and a bleak fiscal future.

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Getting Down to Work at HHS

KHN Original

After a bruising confirmation process, Xavier Becerra was sworn in as secretary of Health and Human Services this week. The Senate also confirmed the nominations of former U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy to return to the post he held in the Obama administration, and former Pennsylvania health secretary Rachel Levine as assistant secretary for health. Levine is the first openly transgender person to receive Senate confirmation. Meanwhile, questions continue to swirl around the AstraZeneca covid vaccine, which some public health experts worry will create more hesitancy toward other vaccines.

Democrats Eye Medicare Negotiations to Lower Drug Prices

KHN Original

Progressive and conservative Democratic lawmakers, as well as President Joe Biden, are in favor of authorizing federal officials to negotiate with drugmakers over what Medicare pays for at least some of the most expensive brand-name drugs and to base those prices on the drugs’ clinical benefits. Such a measure could put Republicans in the uncomfortable position of opposing an idea that most voters from both parties generally support.

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Expanding the ACA in an Unpredicted Way

KHN Original

Beyond the billions of dollars aimed squarely at the pandemic, the covid relief bill cleared by Congress this week includes significant changes to health policy. Among them are the first major expansions to the Affordable Care Act since its enactment 11 years ago and changes that could expand coverage for the Medicaid program. Tami Luhby of CNN, Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico 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.