Kaiser Health News tells the stories of Georgia and the rest of the South. 

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Booster Time

As the delta variant continues to spread around the U.S., the Biden administration is taking steps to authorize covid vaccine boosters, require nursing home workers to be vaccinated and protect school officials who want to require masks despite state laws banning those mandates. Meanwhile, the U.S. House is returning from its summer break early to start work on its giant budget bill, which includes a long list of health policy changes. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times and Kimberly Leonard of Business Insider join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more.

Veterans Push for Medical Marijuana in Conservative South

North Carolina claims to be the “Nation’s Most Military Friendly State.” Now veterans are trying to capitalize on this dedication to the troops to persuade lawmakers to pass medical marijuana legislation. It’s an advocacy model that has led to success for pro-cannabis efforts elsewhere.

Pharmacies Face Extra Audit Burdens That Threaten Their Existence

Pharmacy benefit managers have curtailed in-person audits of pharmacy claims during the pandemic, switching to virtual audits done by computer. That has markedly increased the number of claims they can review — and the chances for payment denials — squeezing pharmacies and bringing in more cash for the benefit companies.

Shot of shelves stocked with various medicinal products in a pharmacy

Why is the South the Epicenter of Anti-Abortion Fervor?

The Supreme Court, come autumn, will consider a Mississippi law that bans nearly all abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. That’s hardly the most restrictive abortion law passed in the South. How did anti-abortion views become concentrated in the South?

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

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.