Latest Morning Briefing Stories
The nationwide shortage of baby formula, which has been simmering for months, finally burst into public consciousness as more parents become less able to find food for their babies, prompting a belated federal response. Meanwhile, covid-19 cases rise but prevention activities don’t, and abortion-rights backers ready their legal arsenal for a post-Roe world. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Tami Luhby of CNN, and Rachel Cohrs of Stat join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Plus, for extra credit, the panelists suggest their favorite health policy stories of the week they think you should read, too.
Jessica Altman took over in March as executive director of California’s health insurance marketplace, which serves 1.8 million people. She warns that if Congress does not renew the tax credit enhancements that have made health plans more affordable, consumers will face significantly higher premiums, which could cause many to forgo coverage.
Even the savviest Medicare drug plan shoppers can get a shock when they fill prescriptions: That great deal on medications is no bargain after prices go up.
Congress is back in session, but covid diagnoses for Vice President Kamala Harris and two Democratic senators have temporarily left the Senate without a working majority to approve continued covid funding. Meanwhile, opponents of the Affordable Care Act have filed yet another lawsuit challenging a portion of the law, and we say goodbye to the late Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, who left a long legacy of health laws. Rachel Cohrs of STAT News, Anna Edney of Bloomberg News, and Rebecca Adams of KHN join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more.
Federal funding that paid for covid testing, treatment, and vaccines for uninsured people has run out. While some states struggle to make up the difference, California is relying on other state and local programs to continue free testing.
A controversial proposal to grant HMO giant Kaiser Permanente a no-bid statewide Medicaid contract is headed for its first legislative hearing amid vocal opposition from a coalition of counties, competing health plans, community clinics, and a national health care labor union.
KHN gives readers a chance to comment on a recent batch of stories.
Congress is in recess, so the slower-than-average news week gives us a chance to catch up on underreported topics, like Medicare’s coverage decision for the controversial Alzheimer’s disease drug Aduhelm and ominous new statistics on drug overdose deaths and sexually transmitted diseases. Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times, Joanne Kenen of Politico and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico 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.
As states prepare for the end of the covid public health emergency, they are making plans to reevaluate each Medicaid enrollee’s eligibility. They will rely primarily on mail and email because not many states can text enrollees.
The company awarded the state’s Medi-Cal Rx contract was taken over by another company, Centene. That left the state with a contractor it didn’t pick — one that has been accused of overbilling nine other state Medicaid programs and is now under investigation by California.
It is a perilous time to throw low- and middle-income Americans off the insurance cliff: A new omicron subvariant is spreading, and a program that provided coronavirus testing and covid-19 treatment at no cost to the uninsured has expired.
The Biden administration unveiled a new special enrollment option aimed at signing up low-income Americans for Affordable Care Act coverage — even if it is outside of the usual annual open enrollment period. But insurers are cutting broker commissions at the same time.
The pandemic crisis has overwhelmed understaffed state Medicaid agencies, already delaying access to the insurance program in Missouri. As the public health emergency ends, low-income people nationwide could find it even harder to have coverage.
KHN and California Healthline staff made the rounds on national and local media this week to discuss their stories. Here’s a collection of their appearances.
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.
Los trabajadores comunitarios de salud son críticos para ayudar a los más vulnerables. Pero sus empleos están en peligro a medida que disminuyen los casos de covid.
As states expand Medicaid’s dental benefits, they’re running up against a shortage of dentists willing to work on those patients, especially in rural communities. So Tennessee is helping dental schools expand and offering to pay off student loans for those who work in high-need areas.
Illinois used federal pandemic money to hire community health workers who connect people with food banks and rental assistance programs, just like public health officials have long hoped to do. What will happen to the community trust that has been built up when the federal money runs out and the workers disappear?
Prosecutors say opioid-seeking patients drove hours to get their prescriptions filled in Celina, Tennessee, where pharmacies ignored signs of substance misuse and paid cash — or “monkey bucks” — to keep customers coming back.
State health officials are using Medicaid funds to send children in their care to treatment programs in states with less stringent regulations, including programs accused of abuse and mistreatment.