The Health Law

Latest Kaiser Health News Stories

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Manchin Blows Up Biden’s ‘Build Back Better’

KHN Original

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) dealt a blow to congressional efforts to pass President Joe Biden’s domestic agenda bill, forcing Democrats to regroup starting in 2022. Meanwhile, the omicron covid variant spreads rapidly in the U.S., threatening the stability of the nation’s health care system. Joanne Kenen of Politico and the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, Rachel Cohrs of Stat and Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more, plus a look back at the year in health policy. Also this week, Rovner interviews Ceci Connolly, president and CEO of the Alliance of Community Health Plans.

A Title Fight Pits Physician Assistants Against Doctors

KHN Original

Physician assistants are pushing to be renamed “physician associates,” complaining their title is belittling and doesn’t convey what they do. “We don’t assist,” they insist. Doctors’ groups fear there’s more than just a name in play.

Medicare’s Open Enrollment Is Open Season for Scammers

KHN Original

Medicare officials say complaints are rising from seniors lured into private plans with misleading information or enrolled without their consent. In response, officials have threatened to penalize the private companies selling Medicare Advantage and drug plans if they or agents working on their behalf mislead consumers.

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Compromise Is Coming — Maybe

KHN Original

Democratic negotiators on Capitol Hill appear to be nearing a compromise on President Joe Biden’s social spending agenda, spurred partly by Democratic losses on Election Day in Virginia. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court hints it might allow abortion providers to sue Texas over its restrictive new ban. But the relief, if it comes, could be short-lived if the court uses a second case, challenging a law in Mississippi, to weaken or overturn Roe v. Wade. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times and Mary Ellen McIntire of CQ Roll Call join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews KHN’s Rae Ellen Bichell, who reported and wrote the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” feature about an emergency bill for a nonemergency birth.

Unvaccinated? Don’t Count on Leaving Your Family Death Benefits

KHN Original

Some front-line workers who die of covid-19 have been considered eligible for accidental death benefits because it is presumed their infection was contracted on the job. But some employers now suggest that if the workers didn’t follow established safety protocols, such as getting vaccinated, those benefits may be denied.

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Dems Agree to Agree, But Not on What to Agree On

KHN Original

Negotiations on the health parts of President Joe Biden’s domestic agenda are getting serious but have yet to produce a deal every Democrat can support. Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration remains without a nominated leader but manages to take the first steps toward approving over-the-counter hearing aids. Joanne Kenen of Politico and Johns Hopkins, Tami Luhby of CNN and Rachel Cohrs of Stat join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Plus, for extra credit, the panelists recommend their favorite health policy stories of the week they think you should read too.

The Pandemic Forced My Transgender Wife to Fight Our Insurer Over Hormones

KHN Original

The covid pandemic has caused millions of people, particularly LGBTQ adults, to lose their jobs and enroll in Medicaid or insurance through the Affordable Care Act. Yet these plans often don’t fully cover the basics needed by many transgender Americans, such as injectable estrogen, a hormone therapy commonly used by trans women.