Latest Morning Briefing Stories

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Delta Blues

KHN Original

Covid is back with a vengeance, with some people clamoring for booster shots while others harden their resistance to getting vaccinated at all. Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration is pushing hard on drugmaker Pfizer’s request to upgrade the emergency authorization for its vaccine and give it final approval. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Rachel Cohrs of Stat and Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also, for “extra credit,” the panelists suggest their favorite health policy stories of the week they think you should read, too.

Claims That CDC’s PCR Test Can’t Tell Covid From Flu Are Wrong

KHN Original

Posts circulating on Facebook and Instagram incorrectly claim that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is withdrawing its covid test because it can’t differentiate between that virus and flu viruses. These statements could be an attempt to blur the high cumulative numbers of covid cases.

Bus Stop by Bus Stop, Denver-Area Officials Microtarget Vaccine Hesitancy

KHN Original

Using detailed maps that show vaccination rates down to the ZIP code or census tract level, health departments highlight areas of greater Denver where vaccinations lag behind state or county averages, then partner with community organizations to overcome barriers. Can this be a model for President Joe Biden’s “neighborhood by neighborhood” approach?

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Hot Covid Summer

KHN Original

The summer that promised to let Americans resume a relatively normal life is turning into another summer of anxiety and face masks, as the delta variant drives covid caseloads up in all 50 states. Meanwhile, the Americans with Disabilities Act turns 35, and the Missouri Supreme Court orders the state to expand Medicaid after all. Mary Ellen McIntire of CQ Roll Call, Anna Edney of Bloomberg News and Rachana Pradhan of KHN join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also, Rovner interviews KHN’s Samantha Young, who reported and wrote the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” episode about an Olympic-level athlete with an Olympic-size medical bill.

Bye-Bye to Health Insurance ‘Birthday Rule’? Kansas Lawmaker Floats Fix

KHN Original

U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids (D-Kansas) introduced a bill to do away with a health insurance rule that dictates which parent’s plan becomes a new baby’s primary insurer. This could save some parents from unexpected, sometimes massive medical bills. Davids took up the issue after a KHN/NPR Bill of the Month story on one family’s unexpected $207,455 NICU bill.