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Latest Kaiser Health News Stories

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Looking Ahead to the Lame-Duck Session

KHN Original

Congress won’t be back in Washington until after Election Day, but lawmakers have left themselves a long list of items to finish up in November and December, including unfinished health care policies. Sandhya Raman of CQ Roll Call; Jessie Hellmann, also of CQ Roll Call; and Mary Agnes Carey of KHN join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these topics and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews KHN’s Sam Whitehead, who reported and wrote the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” episode about a family who tried to use urgent care to save money, but ended up with a big emergency room bill anyway.

$80,000 and 5 ER Visits: An Ectopic Pregnancy Takes a Toll Despite NY’s Liberal Abortion Law

KHN Original

If an embryo has implanted in a fallopian tube, ending the pregnancy is imperative to protect the patient’s life. Women’s health advocates have raised concerns that the needed treatment may be hampered by restrictive abortion laws in some states. Yet women seeking treatment in states with more liberal abortion laws may still find the process expensive and harrowing.

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: On Government Spending, Congress Decides Not to Decide

KHN Original

Congress has once again decided not to decide how to fund the federal government in time for the start of the fiscal year, racing toward a midnight Sept. 30 deadline to pass a stopgap bill that would keep the lights on for two more months. However, it does appear the FDA’s program that gets drugmakers to help fund some of the agency’s review staff will be renewed in time to stop pink slips from being sent. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Rachel Cohrs of Stat, and Victoria Knight of Axios join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these topics and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews filmmaker Cynthia Lowen, whose new documentary, “Battleground,” explores how anti-abortion forces played the long game to overturn Roe v. Wade.

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Biden Declares the Pandemic ‘Over’

KHN Original

President Joe Biden, in an interview with CBS’ “60 Minutes,” declared the covid-19 pandemic “over,” stoking confusion for members of his administration trying to persuade Congress to provide more funding to fight the virus and the public to get the latest boosters. Meanwhile, concerns about a return of medical inflation is helping boost insurance premiums even as private companies race to get their piece of the health pie. Anna Edney of Bloomberg News, Joanne Kenen of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Politico, and Lauren Weber of KHN join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also, for extra credit, the panelists suggest their favorite health policy stories they think you should read, too.

Medical Coding Creates Barriers to Care for Transgender Patients

KHN Original

The codes used by U.S. medical providers to bill insurers haven’t caught up to the needs of trans patients or even international standards. Consequently, doctors are forced to get creative with what codes they use, or patients spend hours fighting big out-of-pocket bills.