Health Care Costs

Latest Kaiser Health News Stories

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Funding for the Next Pandemic

KHN Original

In his proposed budget, President Joe Biden called for a boost in health spending that includes billions of dollars to prepare for a future pandemic. But that doesn’t include money he says is needed immediately for testing and treating covid-19. Also this week, federal regulators authorized a second booster shot for people 50 and older yet gave little guidance to consumers about who needs the shot and when. Amy Goldstein of The Washington Post, Jennifer Haberkorn of the Los Angeles Times, and Rachana Pradhan of KHN join KHN’s Mary Agnes Carey to discuss these issues and more. Plus, Julie Rovner interviews KHN’s Julie Appleby, who reported and wrote the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” episode about a very expensive air ambulance ride.

Sean Deines sits at a table in his home with his wife, Rebekah, standing behind him with her hands on his shoulders.

The Case of the $489,000 Air Ambulance Ride

KHN Original

Diagnosed with aggressive leukemia on a Western trip, a young man thought his insurance would cover an air ambulance ride home to North Carolina. Instead, questions about medical necessity left him with an astronomical bill.

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: The ACA Turns 12

KHN Original

Although its fate was in doubt more than a few times, the Affordable Care Act turned 12 this week. Year 13 could be pivotal in determining how many Americans receive ACA health insurance, and at what price. Meanwhile, three leading credit bureaus agreed to stop using most medical debt to measure U.S. consumers’ creditworthiness. Anna Edney of Bloomberg News, Rachel Cohrs of Stat, and KHN’s Mary Agnes Carey join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more.

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Congress Shelves Covid Funding for Now

KHN Original

The Biden administration’s request for billions more in funding to fight covid-19 hit a snag on Capitol Hill this week, as Democrats objected to Republican demands that money allocated to states but not yet spent be reclaimed. Meanwhile, the big annual spending bill about to cross the finish line addresses other health policy changes, such as giving the FDA authority to regulate “synthetic” nicotine. Joanne Kenen of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Politico, Rachel Cohrs of Stat, and Jessie Hellmann of Modern Healthcare 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.

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: A Health-Heavy State of the Union

KHN Original

President Joe Biden spent a large portion of his first State of the Union address talking about foreign affairs, but he also spent time on an array of health topics, including mental health, nursing home regulation, and toxic burn pits. Also this week, the administration unveiled a strategy to address the covid pandemic going forward. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Amy Goldstein of The Washington Post, 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 recommend their favorite health policy stories of the week they think you should read, too.