“What is health?” from KHN: Planning for the second round

Don’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud.

Congress is out of session, but that hasn’t stopped Democrats from planning their next round of health care legislation. With President Joe Biden, they are exploring a wide range of possibilities, from allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices to add more benefits to the program to creating a publicly funded “public option” insurance plan. government that consumers could choose.

Meanwhile, despite financial incentives for states to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, the Wyoming legislature this week killed off a nascent effort to expand the government’s health care program, and Republicans in Missouri are trying to block the implementation of a voter-approved extension in 2020.

This week’s panelists are KHN’s Julie Rovner, Politico’s Alice Miranda Ollstein, Stat’s Rachel Cohrs, and Business Insider’s Kimberly Leonard.

Among the takeaways from this week’s podcast:

  • As Democratic lawmakers weigh options for health care proposals this year, they appear divided on priorities. Some members of the party’s progressive wing want to move forward with establishing a government-run health plan that would be an option for consumers in the Affordable Care Act insurance markets. , but there are disagreements within the party over the scope and timing of such a move. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has thrown cold water on making public option legislation right now.
  • As those conversations swirl on Capitol Hill, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is considering again using a special legislative procedure known as reconciliation that would allow Democrats — if they can agree on a bill – to pass certain health care initiatives without any Republicans. votes and avoid filibuster. Schumer thinks he may have found a way to use this technique even more frequently than is considered the limit under Senate rules.
  • The Supreme Court has announced it will take up an unusual case from Kentucky rooted in an abortion dispute, but the case likely won’t specifically address the issue of abortion. The state’s attorney general is seeking permission to defend Kentucky’s law banning a common abortion procedure after the governor and his appointed officials chose not to appeal a court ruling striking down the law.
  • The Biden administration is at a key moment in the fight against covid. Officials are keen to highlight the success of the vaccination campaign as tens of millions of people have been vaccinated – and the hope of returning to a more normal lifestyle. At the same time, they are seeking to instill more caution in the public as they fear a further surge, propelled by more transmissible covid variants.
  • Amid a flurry of vaccinations, some businesses and community leaders are calling for the use of vaccine passports to help ensure that people who shop, eat out, travel to sporting events or shows and the like gatherings will not spread the covid virus. But some consumer advocates suggest it could discriminate against communities that are vaccine hesitant or have struggled to access vaccines.

Also this week, Rovner interviews KHN’s Lauren Weber, who reported on the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” story – about a woman whose regular arthritis treatment suddenly became much more expensive. If you have an outrageous medical bill that you would like to share with us, you can do so here.

Plus, for extra credit, the panelists recommend their favorite health policy stories of the week that they think you should read too:

Julie Rovner: The Atlantic “The Vaccine Line Is an Illusion”, by Olga Khazan

Alice Miranda Ollstein: “How do the plague stories end?” from the New Yorker. by Jill Lepore

Kimberly Leonard: “People rushed to Florida and Texas for a lower cost of living during the pandemic,” according to Business Insider. They were shocked when their health care became much more expensive,” by Kimberly Leonard

Rachel Cohrs: “The Peculiar Torment of Dying, Now, of Covid-19” from Stat, by Andrew Joseph

To listen to all our podcasts, click here.

And subscribe to What the Health? on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, Spotify or Pocket Casts.

Related Topics

Contact us Submit a tip

Comments are closed.