Latest KFF Health News Stories
On July 16, a three-digit number, 988, became the centerpiece of a nationwide effort to unify responses to Americans experiencing mental health crises. But many people, especially those in rural areas, will continue to find themselves far from help if they need more support than call operators can offer.
Paxlovid has eclipsed other available therapies for preventing life-threatening covid symptoms in high-risk patients. But even as doctors praise its effectiveness, many say they have unanswered questions about prescribing the drug and want more and better data about it.
Two things happened in Washington this week that were inevitable: President Joe Biden tested positive for covid-19, and the Senate agreed to move forward on a budget bill that includes only a sliver of what Biden hoped it would. Still, the bill to allow Medicare to negotiate some drug prices, cap out-of-pocket drug costs for seniors, and extend temporary subsidies for Affordable Care Act insurance premiums would represent a major step if Democrats can get it across the finish line. Meanwhile, abortion battles continue to escalate around the country, with Texas leading the way in restrictions. Shefali Luthra of The 19th, Joanne Kenen of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Politico, and Rachel Cohrs of Stat join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews Dr. Jack Resneck Jr., the new president of the American Medical Association.
Mark Seidman, an assistant director in the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Competition, talks with KHN about efforts to police consolidation among hospitals and other health care providers.
The president has directed the Federal Trade Commission to carefully consider health industry mergers that may stymie competition and drive up prices. The new Democratic majority appears eager to look beyond traditional hospital consolidations to deals that involve products, services, or staffing.
A rapidly changing landscape for abortion has left patients, providers, employers, and lawmakers alike wondering what is and is not legal and what to do next. Meanwhile, Democrats in Congress have resumed negotiations on legislation to lower drug prices and, potentially, continue expanded insurance subsidies for the Affordable Care Act. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Tami Luhby of CNN, and Sandhya Raman of CQ Roll Call 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.
Health workers are not OK, and that poses a threat to anyone who may need health services. That’s the central finding of the latest report from the office of U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, “Addressing Health Worker Burnout.” This special episode of KHN’s “What the Health?” podcast is a conversation about the report between Murthy and KHN chief Washington correspondent Julie Rovner, which was recorded at the annual research meeting of AcademyHealth in June.
KHN and California Healthline staff made the rounds on national and local media this week to discuss their stories. Here’s a collection of their appearances.
New government rules force health insurers to publicly disclose what they pay for just about every service. That information could help consumers and employers know whether they’re getting a fair deal.
The Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade has created far more questions than it has answered about the continued legality and availability of abortion, as both abortion rights supporters and anti-abortion activists scramble to put their marks on policy. Meanwhile, Congress completes work on its gun bill and the FDA takes up the problem of the next covid-19 booster. Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times, Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet, and Victoria Knight of KHN join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews KHN’s Angela Hart, who reported and wrote the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” episode about two identical eye surgeries with very different price tags.
The Government Accountability Office and the Health and Human Services inspector general’s office say seniors enrolled in the program are suffering and taxpayers are getting bilked for billions of dollars a year.
The FDA is using its power to regulate tobacco products — ordering the vaping device Juul off the market and announcing its intention to lower the amount of nicotine in cigarettes and other products. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court rules on Medicare and kidney dialysis, and Congress makes progress on legislation surrounding guns and mental health. Joanne Kenen of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Politico, and Rachel Cohrs of Stat join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews KHN’s Noam N. Levey about the new KHN-NPR project on the growing impact of medical debt.
One million Americans have died from covid-19 — far more per capita than in any other developed country. A new variant is doubling case rates in some states, and more than 300 people are dying a day. But our nation’s pandemic response has become mild-mannered and performative, backed by neither money, urgency, nor enforcement.
The Biden administration’s latest plan to address opioid overdose deaths includes $30 million for harm reduction measures, but many conservative states don’t allow them.
The Biden administration is considering whether Medicaid, which pays the bills for 62% of nursing home residents, should require that most of that funding be used to provide care, rather than for maintenance, capital improvements, or profits.
The U.S. House passed a package of bills seeking to keep some guns out of the hands of children and teenagers, but its fate in the Senate remains a big question mark. Meanwhile, the Federal Trade Commission takes on drug and hospital prices. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Anna Edney of Bloomberg News, and Joanne Kenen of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Politico join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews Cori Uccello of the American Academy of Actuaries about the most recent report from Medicare’s trustees board.
Stemming gun violence is back on the legislative agenda following three mass shootings in less than a month, but it’s hard to predict success when so many previous efforts have failed. Meanwhile, lawmakers must soon decide if they will extend current premium subsidies for those buying health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, and the Biden administration acts, belatedly, on Medicare premiums. Margot Sanger-Katz of the New York Times, Sandhya Raman of CQ Roll Call, and Rachel Cohrs of Stat News join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews KHN’s Michelle Andrews, who reported and wrote the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” episode about a too-common problem: denial of no-cost preventive care for a colonoscopy under the Affordable Care Act.
The Biden administration may have authority to allow the use of abortion pills even in states where the practice could be outlawed, say legal experts.
After years of failure, the Maryland company aims to attract the vaccine-hesitant with an alternative to mRNA shots. But will it find a market?
The nationwide shortage of baby formula, which has been simmering for months, finally burst into public consciousness as more parents become less able to find food for their babies, prompting a belated federal response. Meanwhile, covid-19 cases rise but prevention activities don’t, and abortion-rights backers ready their legal arsenal for a post-Roe world. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, 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 suggest their favorite health policy stories of the week they think you should read, too.