HealthBent

KHN’s chief Washington correspondent, Julie Rovner, who has covered health care for more than 30 years, offers insight and analysis of policies and politics in her regular HealthBent columns.

Biden Is Caught in the Middle of Polarizing Abortion Politics

The president, one of the last of a disappearing group of politicians who sought moderate compromises on abortion policy, is frustrating supporters. They wanted faster changes in federal rules. But abortion opponents — including Catholic bishops— are also taking him to task.

Democrats Disagree About How to Spend Potential Prescription Drug Windfall

After a year of uncharacteristically being on the same page when it comes to health care, Democratic lawmakers are at loggerheads about what to do next. Most agree the time is ripe to tackle high drug prices. But they divide over whether to take savings from that to move to a ‘Medicare for All’ insurance system, enhance the current Medicare program or strengthen benefits under the Affordable Care Act.

What Biden Can Do to Combat COVID Right Now

Although President-elect Joe Biden is free to meet with people who will be vital to carry out his administration’s fight against COVID, he and his transition team are blocked from conferring with federal officials because the Trump administration refuses to acknowledge Biden won the election. That could have a critical impact on Biden’s efforts to help fight the coronavirus.

Coming Abortion Fight Could Threaten Birth Control, Too

In discussions of the impact Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett could have on abortion rights, many overlook related issues, including the right to birth control that the court recognized in 1965. During her confirmation hearings, Barrett refused to say whether she felt that case was correctly decided.

With Fate Of Roe V. Wade Unsure, Abortion Fight Shifts To New Territory

The Supreme Court in March will hear a Louisiana case that tests whether the new five-member conservative majority is willing to overturn the 1973 decision that made abortion legal nationwide. Even if the court does not go that far, it could hasten the procedure’s demise by saying abortion providers cannot sue on behalf of their patients.