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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.
The $1.9 trillion covid relief bill expands subsidies for private insurance plans. That will lighten the burden on consumers, but it locks taxpayers into yet more support for the health care industry.
Democrats’ $1.9 trillion covid relief package will offer some of the most significant help for Americans to pay for health insurance in a decade. But the temporary provisions are complicated. KHN offers tips for consumers.
Covid vaccinations are ramping up, so “An Arm and a Leg” checked in on the effort in Philadelphia, where capitalism and compassion have clashed.
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.
President Joe Biden may want to continue the previous administration’s efforts to lower drug prices and make medical costs transparent.
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.
Experts say the two-year expansion of subsidies for most people who buy insurance through the government exchanges would be among the most significant changes to the affordability of private insurance since the passage of the Affordable Care Act.
Aunque las estadísticas indican que la mayoría de los niños se han librado de los peores efectos de covid, se sabe poco sobre los que desarrollan una enfermedad grave.
Pediatric hospitals are creating clinics for the increasing number of children reporting lingering covid symptoms similar to those that plague some adults long after they have recovered.
“An Arm and a Leg” is updating a story, first reported in 2019, about how insulin got to be so expensive. The latest news is more encouraging than expected.
A student sought counseling help after feeling panicked when she had trouble paying a big tuition bill. A weeklong stay in a psychiatric hospital followed — along with a $3,413 bill. The hospital soft-pedaled its charity care policy.
State officials recently unveiled a “master plan” to address the needs of California’s rapidly aging population, from housing to long-term care. Kim McCoy Wade, director of the state Department of Aging, vows it will not end up on a shelf gathering dust.
Marilyn Bartlett, credited with saving Montana’s state employee health plan millions of dollars, is a busy consultant now, as states, counties and big businesses try to use her playbook to bring down hospital costs.
A video on the social media platform TikTok explains how consumers can “crush” their hospital bills using charity care policies. This won’t work for all medical bills, but it might be a good place to start.
Tweeters lit up our timeline in recent days with Health Policy Valentines about a variety of health topics. Here are some of our favorites.
The measures would impose taxes on increases in the price of drugs that don’t reflect improved clinical value and set the rates paid by state-run and commercial health plans to a benchmark based on prices in Canada.
Legislators in statehouses across the U.S. face the dual challenge of budgeting in a covid-crippled economy while planning for the pandemic’s long-term effects on mental health and substance abuse services.
Jeff Bloom, a lawyer who used to represent medical-bill collectors in court, is sharing what he knows. “I was a bad guy, for sure,” he said. Then, a few years ago, he switched sides.
Charlie Kjelshus needed neonatal intensive care for the first seven days of her life. The episode generated huge bills, and left her parents in a tangle of red tape that involved two insurers, two hospitals and two states.