Latest Kaiser Health News Stories
While covid is generally mild in children, doctors report a growing number of long-haul covid symptoms and MIS-C cases, particularly among Black and Latino children.
With covid cases on the upswing again around the country, partisan division remains over how to address the pandemic. Meanwhile, the Biden administration proposes bigger penalties for hospitals that fail to make their prices public as required. Stephanie Armour of The Wall Street Journal, Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico and Tami Luhby of CNN join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also, for “extra credit,” the panelists suggest their favorite stories of the week they think you should read, too.
Unvaccinated Westerners are flocking to movie theaters, malls and other indoor spaces to beat the smoke and heat. Health officials worry that may fuel covid outbreaks.
Novavax is a vaccine company that, despite $2 billion in new federal and international funding, still hasn’t come through with a licensed covid vaccine. It hopes it can still help to fight the global covid scourge, but will it deliver?
A vaccine clinic came to an international soccer tournament in Denver recently. It was an attempt to reach Latino Coloradans, whose vaccination rates trail those of non-Hispanic whites.
Democrats in Congress reached a tentative agreement to press ahead on a partisan bill that would dramatically expand health benefits for people on Medicare, those who buy their own insurance and individuals who have been shut out of coverage in states that didn’t expand Medicaid. Meanwhile, controversy continues to rage over whether vaccinated Americans will need a booster to protect against covid-19 variants, and who will pay for a new drug to treat Alzheimer’s disease. Rachel Cohrs of Stat and Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also, Rovner interviews KHN’s Rae Ellen Bichell, who reported and wrote the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” episode about a mother and daughter who fought an enormous emergency room bill.
Two intractable failings of the U.S. health care system — addiction treatment and medical costs — come to a head in the ER, where patients desperate for addiction treatment arrive, only to find the facility may not be equipped to deal with substance use or, if they are, treatment is prohibitively expensive.
Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra is the special guest for this bonus episode of KHN’s “What the Health?” podcast. He and host Julie Rovner discuss a breadth of topics the secretary oversees, including covid-19, prescription drug prices, Medicare, Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act.
As vaccination rates rise across the state, the overall numbers of covid cases and deaths have plunged. But health officials are still reporting nearly 1,000 new cases and more than two dozen deaths a day. So, where does covid continue to simmer in California? And why?
Veteran health journalist Marshall Allen has been exposing health care grifters for years. Now he’s written a book about how to fight them. Host Dan Weissmann spoke with Allen about some of the best tips from “Never Pay the First Bill: And Other Ways to Fight the Health Care System and Win.”
The Biden administration is moving to undo many of the changes the Trump administration made to the enrollment process for the Affordable Care Act to encourage more people to sign up for health insurance. Meanwhile, Congress is opening investigations into the controversial approval by the Food and Drug Administration of an expensive drug that might (or might not) slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Joanne Kenen of Politico, Kimberly Leonard of Insider and Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also, Rovner interviews Marshall Allen of ProPublica about his new book, “Never Pay the First Bill: And Other Ways to Fight the Health Care System and Win.”
Long before covid, music therapists used singing and wind instruments to help COPD and asthma patients. These same therapies might help patients recover from covid’s lingering symptoms as well. And though it wasn’t clinical music therapy, singing with an online choir has helped me navigate long covid.
Democrats in Congress and the states are devising strategies to expand health coverage — through the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, Medicaid and a “public option.” But progress remains halting, at best. Meanwhile, lawmakers in Washington may have to agree on how to control prescription drug prices if they wish to finance their coverage initiatives. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Tami Luhby of CNN and Shefali Luthra of The 19th join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also, Rovner interviews Michelle Andrews, who reported and wrote last month’s KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” episode about a very expensive sleep study.
In Texas’ border communities, which are overwhelmingly Hispanic, covid-19 death rates for people under age 65 were double those in the rest of the state and three times the national average. They were also significantly higher than rates in New Mexico border areas.
Eager to control costs, health systems and insurers are trying to address patients’ social needs such as food insecurity, transportation and housing. Yet, after years of testing, there’s slim evidence these efforts pay off.
In a surprisingly strong 7-2 decision, the Supreme Court turned back the latest constitutional challenge to the Affordable Care Act, likely heralding the end of GOP efforts to strike the law in its entirety through court action. Meanwhile, Democratic lawmakers are looking for ways to expand health benefits. Joanne Kenen of Politico, Mary Ellen McIntire of CQ Roll Call and Rachel Cohrs of Stat join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also, Rovner interviews Andy Slavitt, who recently stepped down from the Biden administration’s covid response team, about his new book on the pandemic.
More than 80 million Americans with low incomes were receiving health coverage through the federal-state program in January. The program now covers nearly 1 in 4 people nationwide.
Federal officials say that some of the money changing hands has corrupted doctors and endangered patients.
HCA charges patients an “activation fee” of up to $50,000 for trauma teams at centers located in half its 179 hospitals — and they often don’t need trauma care, an analysis of insurance claims data shows.
Health care insiders get surprise medical bills, too. One of them shares tips for writing an insurance appeal.