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Latest Kaiser Health News Stories

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: It’s Scandal Week

KHN Original

President Donald Trump this week issued a prescription drug pricing order unlikely to lower drug prices, and he contradicted comments by his director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the need for mask-wearing and predictions for vaccine availability. Meanwhile, scandals erupted at the CDC, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Food and Drug Administration. And the number of people without health insurance grew in 2019, reported the Census Bureau, even while the economy soared. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Tami Luhby of CNN and Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this and more. Plus, for extra credit, the panelists recommend their favorite health policy stories of the week they think you should read, too.

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: The Politics of Science

KHN Original

Republicans have all but abandoned the Affordable Care Act as a campaign cudgel, judging from their national convention, at least. Meanwhile, career scientists at the federal government’s preeminent health agencies — the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health — are all coming under increasing political pressure as the pandemic drags on. Joanne Kenen of Politico, Mary Ellen McIntire of CQ Roll Call and Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this and more. Plus, Rovner interviews KHN’s Elizabeth Lawrence about the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” installment.

LA County Authorities Cautious Despite Declining COVID Numbers

KHN Original

The county, a hotbed of coronavirus infection in California, has seen a steady reduction in positive test results, new cases, hospitalizations and deaths over the past few weeks. But officials are concerned about public behavior over the Labor Day holiday weekend and wary of relaxing strictures too soon.

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’ Replay: What’s at Stake When High Court Hears ACA Case

KHN Original

We’re off this week, but the Affordable Care Act is in the news, as the GOP holds its virtual convention and the Supreme Court recently scheduled arguments in a case challenging the law. So we’re reposting our ACA 10th anniversary episode from March. For this special episode of “What the Health?” host Julie Rovner interviews Kathleen Sebelius, who was President Barack Obama’s secretary of Health and Human Services when the law was passed. Then Rovner, Joanne Kenen of Politico and Mary Agnes Carey of KHN discuss the law’s history, impact and prospects for the future.

Prognosis for Rural Hospitals Worsens With Pandemic

KHN Original

Rural hospitals were already struggling before the coronavirus emerged. Now, the loss of revenue from patients who are afraid to come to the emergency room, postponing doctor’s appointments and delaying elective surgeries is adding to the pressure.

Feeling Anxious and Depressed? You’re Right at Home in California.

KHN Original

In a series of July U.S. Census Bureau surveys, nearly half of California adult respondents reported levels of anxiety and gloom typically associated with diagnoses of generalized anxiety disorder or major depressive disorder, a stunning figure that rose through the summer alongside the menacing spread of the coronavirus.

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Democrats in Array (For Now)

KHN Original

In a highly produced, made-for-TV political convention, Democrats papered over their differences on a variety of issues, including health care, to show a unified front to defeat President Donald Trump in November. Meanwhile, COVID-19 continues to complicate efforts to get students back to school, and a federal judge blocks the Trump administration’s efforts to eliminate anti-discrimination protections for transgender people. Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times, Paige Winfield Cunningham of The Washington Post and Shefali Luthra of The 19th join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this and more. Plus, for extra credit, the panelists recommend their favorite health stories of the week they think you should read, too.

COVID Testing Choke Points

KHN Original

A case study of COVID-19 testing in Sacramento, California, shows that bottlenecks in the testing supply chain this summer limited people’s access to tests and dramatically delayed results. Similar scenarios played out in communities across the country.

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Kamala Harris on Health

KHN Original

The Democratic presidential ticket is complete, with Joe Biden’s selection of California Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate. Health has not been a major issue for Harris, whose career priority has been the criminal justice system. But expect Republicans to pounce on her on-again, off-again support for “Medicare for All.” Meanwhile, with Congress still in a stalemate over another round of COVID-19 relief, President Donald Trump is trying to use his executive power to do what lawmakers have not — with mixed success. Kimberly Leonard of Business Insider, Joanne Kenen of Politico and Mary Agnes Carey of KHN join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this and more. Plus, for extra credit, the panelists recommend their favorite health stories of the week they think you should read, too.