Latest Kaiser Health News Stories
The drug industry has the biggest lobbying war chest.
Even some Republicans who supported a sweeping bipartisan bill to rein in drug costs may not back it in the Senate vote.
Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee unveiled their long-awaited proposal to try to rein in prescription drug costs, even as bipartisan leaders of the other Senate committee that oversees health announced it would not bring its drug price bill to the Senate floor until fall. Paige Winfield Cunningham of The Washington Post, Rebecca Adams of CQ Roll Call and Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this, plus court actions on health issues.
Efforts to control drug prices seemed on a glide path earlier this year after gaining traction at the White House and in Congress. But prospects today look less certain and highly controversial.
The Americans for Tax Reform commercial takes too broad a brush against an initiative under consideration by the administration that would be part of the president’s promise to curb high drug prices.
Presidential candidate Joe Biden unveiled a health plan intended to provide a more moderate alternative to his competitors’ “Medicare for All” plans. It would build on the Affordable Care Act but would go much further. Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times, Joanne Kenen of Politico and Kimberly Leonard of the Washington Examiner join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this, plus Planned Parenthood’s very bad week, the U.S. House vote to repeal the health law’s “Cadillac tax” on generous health plans, and the reduction in deaths from opioids.
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A wide variety of medications used to treat allergies, insomnia, leaky bladders, diarrhea, dizziness, motion sickness, asthma, Parkinson’s disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and psychiatric disorders can interfere with cognition in older patients.
Oklahoma is seeking $17 billion in damages from Johnson & Johnson, the pharmaceutical giant. After a seven-week trial, a judge will decide if the opioid drugmaker is liable and if so, for how much.
Banking on new cost estimates, a bipartisan coalition in Congress is poised to try — once again — to end a three-year limit on coverage for lifesaving medication required to keep the organs functioning.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommended that people who are at high risk of contracting HIV take PrEP, a preventive treatment. The decision means most health plans will be required to cover the drugs without charging patients. But the recommendation doesn’t apply to the other clinical and lab services people need.
Is the entire Affordable Care Act unconstitutional? That was the question before a federal appeals court in New Orleans this week. Two of the three judges on the panel seemed inclined to agree with a lower court that the elimination of the tax penalty for failure to maintain coverage could mean the entire health law should fall. Also this week, President Donald Trump wants to improve care for people with kidney disease. Joanne Kenen of Politico, Kimberly Leonard of the Washington Examiner and Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this, plus courts blocking efforts to require drug prices in TV ads and to kick Planned Parenthood out of the federal family planning program. Plus, Rovner interviews University of Michigan law professor Nicholas Bagley about the latest legal threat to the ACA.
A pricing tool embedded in their electronic health record and prescribing system lets doctors see how much patients will pay out-of-pocket based on their insurance and the pharmacy. But doctors have been slow to adopt the technology, which has limitations.
KHN, in collaboration with PBS NewsHour, reports on the skyrocketing cost of insulin — and the trend’s deadly consequences. The price in the U.S. nearly doubled from 2012 to 2016, prompting some patients and activists to travel to Canada, where insulin can be 90% cheaper.
A draft plan spearheaded by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would allow the federal government for the first time to negotiate prices for 250 drugs for Medicare and apply those prices to all payers, including employers and insurers.
Colorado, Florida and Vermont — with the support of President Donald Trump — are exploring plans to bring drugs across the border from Canada to help lower costs.
Democratic presidential candidates disagreed on how to fix health care in their first debate Wednesday, although they all called for boosting insurance coverage and lowering prices. Meanwhile, the Trump administration is keeping health care in the news, too, with a new plan to make medical prices more available to the public. Stephanie Armour of The Wall Street Journal, Rebecca Adams of CQ Roll Call and Anna Edney of Bloomberg News join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this, plus the latest in news about bipartisan progress on catch-all legislation to address “surprise” medical bills. Plus, Rovner interviews NPR’s Jon Hamilton about the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” installment.