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President Joe Biden is wasting no time getting to work. On his first day in office, Biden signed a series of executive orders addressing the covid pandemic, promising more to come. But even with Democrats taking the barest majority in the Senate, the new president’s ambitious proposals on covid and other health issues could be in for a rough ride. Alice Miranda Ollstein 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 recommend their favorite health policy stories of the week they think you should read too.
In late December, then-President Donald Trump signed a law that eliminates — only for people with Lou Gehrig’s disease — the required five-month waiting period before benefits begin under the Social Security Disability Insurance program. Gaining SSDI also gives these patients immediate Medicare health coverage.
Months after President Donald Trump credited monoclonal antibody therapy for his quick recovery from covid-19, only a trickle of the product has found its way into regular people. While hundreds of thousands of vials sit unused, sick patients who might benefit from early treatment have been left on their own to vie for access.
Host Dan Weissmann talked about a new federal rule — a requirement for hospitals to make public the prices they negotiate with insurers — with Niala Boodhoo for the daily-news podcast “Axios Today.”
California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s 2021-22 budget blueprint would direct billions in state covid assistance to schools, businesses and the state’s vaccination effort. But he didn’t propose more funding for the state’s 61 local health agencies, which have taken on increased responsibility for testing, contact tracing and enforcement of health orders.
Con el control del Senado y la Cámara de Representantes, tendrán el poder de elegir qué propuestas de salud se votarán en el Congreso. Pero no será tan fácil.
Former health care executive Wendell Potter said, “What I used to do for a living was mislead people into thinking that we had the best health care system in the world.” Now, Potter is a health care whistleblower and spent part of 2020 publishing high-profile apologies for the work he used to do.
With a majority too small to eliminate the filibuster, Democrats will not have enough votes in the Senate to pass many of their plans without Republicans and will also have only a razor-thin majority in the House. This combination could doom many Democratic health care proposals, like offering Americans a government-sponsored public insurance option, and complicate efforts to pass further pandemic relief.
T.K. Dutes — a former nurse who is now a radio host and podcast-maker — interviewed ‘An Arm and a Leg’ host Dan Weissmann about what he learned in 2020, and what’s ahead for the show.
While many private insurers cap what members pay in health costs, Medicare does not. Democrats and Republicans in Congress have proposed annual limits ranging from $2,000 to $3,100. But there’s disagreement about how to pay for that cost cap.
The coronavirus pandemic colored just about everything in 2020. But there was other health policy news that you either never heard or might have forgotten about: the Affordable Care Act going before the Supreme Court with its survival on the line; ditto for Medicaid work requirements. And a surprise ending to the “surprise bill” saga. Joanne Kenen of Politico, Anna Edney of Bloomberg News and Sarah Karlin-Smith of Pink Sheet join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more.
A gynecologist in Carlsbad, New Mexico, tested the 60-year-old grandmother for various sexually transmitted infections without her knowledge. Her share of the lab fee was more than $3,000.
A long-debated measure to stop doctors, hospitals and other health care providers from billing patients for charges not covered by their insurance will gain congressional approval as part of the sweeping government spending package.
Congress seems on the verge of finishing a long-delayed COVID-19 relief bill, which will reportedly include neither of the things each party wanted most — for Republicans, liability protections; for Democrats, funding for states and localities. That bill is likely to be tied to a package to fund the federal government for the rest of the fiscal year and, possibly, include a fix for “surprise” medical bills that patients receive when they inadvertently receive care outside their insurance network. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Rebecca Adams of CQ Roll Call and Mary Agnes Carey of KHN join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner talks to Elizabeth Mitchell, president and CEO of the Pacific Business Group on Health, about the future of employer-provided health insurance.
The coronavirus pandemic has hit hard for Troy Muenzer of Chicago. He had a “suspected case” of COVID in the spring, was billed nearly $1,000 after he unsuccessfully sought to get tested for COVID-19 and has been furloughed after the airline he worked for saw a major decline in passengers.
Host Dan Weissmann gives us an inside look at his family’s quest to pick health insurance for next year. COVID-19 makes it more complicated.
On the latest episode of ‘An Arm and a Leg’: Come for insights from an Obama administration health policy leader, stay to hear how frank health policy conversations can get uncomfortable.
Millions of people are looking for coverage on the federal and state marketplaces right now. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between a comprehensive plan and a “junk” plan with limited benefits and coverage restrictions.
The official transition to a Joe Biden administration has finally begun, and he is expected to announce his health care team soon, including a new secretary of Health and Human Services. Meanwhile, as the COVID-19 pandemic worsens in the U.S., officials are preparing for the effort to get Americans vaccinated as soon as vaccines are approved by the FDA. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times and Paige Winfield Cunningham of The Washington Post join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews KHN’s Julie Appleby, who wrote the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” installment.