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Latest KFF Health News Stories

KFF Health News' 'What the Health?': Congress Is Out. The Presidential Campaign Is In.

Podcast

Congress is in recess until after Labor Day, and lawmakers won’t have much time when they return to get the government funded before the next fiscal year. Meanwhile, the Republican campaign for president has begun in earnest, and while repealing the Affordable Care Act is no longer the top promise, some candidates have lively ideas about what to do with federal health programs. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Sandhya Raman of CQ Roll Call, and Lauren Weber of The Washington Post join KFF Health News’ chief Washington correspondent, Julie Rovner, to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews KFF Health News’ Phil Galewitz, who reported the latest KFF Health News-NPR “Bill of the Month,” about how a bill that should never have been sent created headaches for one patient.

KFF Health News' 'What the Health?': Let’s Talk About the Weather

Podcast

It’s been the summer of broken weather records around the world — for heat, rain, and wildfire smoke — advertising the risks of climate change in a big way. But, apparently, it’s not enough to break the logjam in Washington over how to address the growing climate crisis. Meanwhile, in Texas, women who were unable to get care for pregnancy complications took their stories to court, and Congress gears up to — maybe — do something about prescription drug prices. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Shefali Luthra of The 19th, and Rachel Cohrs of Stat join Julie Rovner, KFF Health News’ chief Washington correspondent, to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews Meena Seshamani, the top administrator for the federal Medicare program.

KFF Health News' 'What the Health?': A Year Without Roe

Podcast

It’s been a year since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and, with it, the nationwide right to abortion. The decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization set off widespread uncertainty in government and the courts about the legality or illegality of the procedure. But the decision has had other consequences too, including affecting where health professionals choose to locate. In this special episode of KFF Health News’ “What the Health?” Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Shefali Luthra of The 19th, and Sandhya Raman of CQ Roll Call join KFF Health News chief Washington correspondent Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews KFF’s Alina Salganicoff about the organization’s research and other work on women’s health policy over the past year.

KFF Health News' 'What the Health?': Slow Your Disenroll

Podcast

More than a million Americans have lost Medicaid coverage since pandemic protections ended. The Biden administration is asking states to slow disenrollment, but that does not mean states must listen. Meanwhile, a Supreme Court decision gives Medicaid beneficiaries the right to sue over their care, and a new deal preserves coverage of preventive services nationwide as a Texas court case continues. Rachel Cohrs of Stat, Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, and Sandhya Raman of CQ Roll Call join KFF Health News’ Mary Agnes Carey to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, KFF Health News’ Julie Rovner interviews Dan Mendelson, CEO of Morgan Health, a new unit of JPMorgan Chase, about employers’ role in insurance coverage.

How the Mixed Messaging of Vaccine Skeptics Sows Seeds of Doubt

KFF Health News Original

Some GOP members of the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic have two-stepped around vaccine skepticism, proclaiming themselves to be pro-vaccine while also validating the beliefs of people who oppose vaccine mandates. The result could have serious public health consequences.

KFF Health News' 'What the Health?': Debt Deal Leaves Health Programs (Mostly) Intact

Podcast

The bipartisan deal to extend the U.S. government’s borrowing authority includes future cuts to federal health agencies, but they are smaller than many expected and do not touch Medicare and Medicaid. Meanwhile, Merck & Co. becomes the first drugmaker to sue Medicare officials over the federal health insurance program’s new authority to negotiate drug prices. Joanne Kenen of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Politico, Lauren Weber of The Washington Post, and Jessie Hellmann of CQ Roll Call join KFF Health News’ chief Washington correspondent, Julie Rovner, to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews KFF Health News senior correspondent Sarah Jane Tribble, who reported the latest KFF Health News-NPR “Bill of the Month” feature, about the perils of visiting the U.S. with European health insurance.

KFF Health News' 'What the Health?': When an Anti-Vaccine Activist Runs for President

Podcast

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s official entry into the presidential race poses a thorny challenge for journalists: how to cover a candidate who’s opposed to vaccines without amplifying misinformation. And South Carolina becomes the latest state in the South to ban abortion after roughly six weeks of pregnancy. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Rachel Cohrs of Stat, and Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet join KFF Health News chief Washington correspondent Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews KFF Health News senior correspondent Aneri Pattani about her project to track the billions of dollars coming from opioid makers to settle lawsuits.

KFF Health News' 'What the Health?': The Abortion Pill Goes Back to Court

Podcast

A three-judge appeals court panel heard testimony this week about revoking the FDA’s 22-year-old approval of a key pill used in medication abortion and miscarriage management. The judges all have track records of siding with abortion foes. Meanwhile, as the standoff over raising the federal debt ceiling continues in Washington, a major sticking point is whether to impose work requirements on recipients of Medicaid coverage. Victoria Knight of Axios, Rachel Roubein of The Washington Post, and Sandhya Raman of CQ Roll Call join KFF Health News chief Washington correspondent Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more.

KFF Health News' 'What the Health?': Dancing Under the Debt Ceiling

Podcast

House Republicans passed their plan to raise the nation’s debt ceiling, along with major cuts to health (and other domestic) programs. Unlikely to become law, it calls for new work requirements for adults on Medicaid. Meanwhile, state efforts targeting trans people bear a striking resemblance to the fight against abortion rights. Jessie Hellmann of CQ Roll Call, Shefali Luthra of The 19th, and Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet join KFF Health News chief Washington correspondent Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews Renuka Rayasam, who reported the latest KFF Health News-NPR “Bill of the Month” feature, about a specialist’s demand to be paid as much as $15,000 before treating a woman’s serious pregnancy complication.