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KFF Health News' 'What the Health?': Year-End Bill Holds Big Health Changes

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The year-end spending bill passed by Congress in late December contains a wide array of health-related provisions, including a structure for states to begin to disenroll people on Medicaid whose coverage has been maintained through the pandemic. Meanwhile, the Biden administration is taking steps to make the abortion pill more widely available. Joanne Kenen of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Politico, Rachel Cohrs of Stat, and Rachel Roubein of The Washington Post join KHN’s chief Washington correspondent Julie Rovner to discuss these topics and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews Mark Kreidler, who reported and wrote the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” feature about a billing mix-up that took about a year to sort out.

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Health Spending? Only Congress Knows

KFF Health News Original

Top negotiators in Congress have agreed to a framework for government spending into next year, but there are details to iron out before a vote — such as the scheduled Medicare payment cuts that have providers worried. Also, the Biden administration reopens its program allowing Americans to request free covid-19 home tests, as hopes for pandemic preparedness measures from Congress dim. Rachel Cohrs of Stat, Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, and Rebecca Adams of KHN join KHN’s Mary Agnes Carey to discuss these topics and more. Plus, for extra credit, the panelists recommend their favorite health policy stories of the week they think you should read, too.

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Congress Races the Clock

KFF Health News Original

Sen. Raphael Warnock’s re-election in Georgia will give Democrats a clear-cut Senate majority for the first time in nearly a decade. Meanwhile, the current Congress has only days left to tackle major unfinished business on the health agenda, including fending off scheduled pay cuts for doctors and other health providers in the Medicare program. Joanne Kenen of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Politico, Anna Edney of Bloomberg News, and Sandhya Raman of CQ Roll Call join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these topics and more. Plus, for extra credit, the panelists recommend their favorite health policy stories of the week they think you should read, too.

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Medicaid Machinations

KFF Health News Original

The lame-duck Congress has returned to Washington with a long health care to-do list and only a little time. Meanwhile, some of the states that have not yet expanded Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act are rethinking those decisions. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Rachel Cohrs of Stat, and Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these topics and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews KHN’s Fred Clasen-Kelly, who reported and wrote the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” feature, about a mysterious mishap during minor surgery.

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: The Changing of the Guard

KFF Health News Original

Democrats retained control of the U.S. Senate in the midterm elections, while Republicans won a majority in the House, giving them the ability to block items on President Joe Biden’s agenda. Meanwhile, the lame-duck, Democratic-led Congress won’t have the votes to pass abortion rights legislation, although they may try to undo some long-standing anti-abortion policies in federal spending bills. Joanne Kenen of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Politico, Victoria Knight of Axios, and Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these topics and more.

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: The Midterm Shake-Up

KFF Health News Original

Election night went better than expected for Democrats. Although they could still lose control of one or both houses of Congress, the predicted “red wave” for Republicans failed to materialize. Meanwhile, voters in both red and blue states approved ballot measures to protect abortion rights. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Rachel Cohrs of Stat, and Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these topics and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews Carolee Lee, the former jewelry magnate, about her efforts to boost gender equity in medical research.

Abortion Issue Helps Limit Democrats’ Losses in Midterms

KFF Health News Original

Although control of Congress was still undecided Wednesday, Republicans seemed poised to take power in the House, while the fate of the Senate remained too close to call. Economic issues were at the top of voters’ minds, but abortion access also played a large role in their decisions.

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Biden Hits the Road to Sell Democrats’ Record

KFF Health News Original

With the midterm elections rapidly approaching, President Joe Biden has taken to the road to convince voters that he and congressional Democrats have delivered for them during two years in power. Among the health issues highlighted by the administration this week are pandemic preparedness and the availability of over-the-counter hearing aids. The president also promised to sign a bill codifying the abortion protections of Roe v. Wade if Democrats maintain control of the House and Senate — even though it’s a long shot that there will be enough votes for that. Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet, Sandhya Raman of CQ Roll Call, and Mary Agnes Carey of KHN join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these topics and more. Plus, for extra credit, the panelists recommend their favorite health policy stories of the week they think you should read, too.

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Finally Fixing the ‘Family Glitch’

KFF Health News Original

The Biden administration has decided to try to fix the so-called “family glitch” in the Affordable Care Act without an act of Congress. The provision has prevented workers’ families from getting subsidized coverage if an employer offer is unaffordable. Meanwhile, Medicare’s open enrollment period begins Oct. 15, and private Medicare Advantage plans are poised to cover more than half of Medicare’s 65 million enrollees. Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times, 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 topics and more. Plus, for extra credit, the panelists recommend their favorite health policy stories of the week they think you should read.

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Looking Ahead to the Lame-Duck Session

KFF Health News Original

Congress won’t be back in Washington until after Election Day, but lawmakers have left themselves a long list of items to finish up in November and December, including unfinished health care policies. Sandhya Raman of CQ Roll Call; Jessie Hellmann, also of CQ Roll Call; and Mary Agnes Carey of KHN join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these topics and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews KHN’s Sam Whitehead, who reported and wrote the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” episode about a family who tried to use urgent care to save money, but ended up with a big emergency room bill anyway.

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: On Government Spending, Congress Decides Not to Decide

KFF Health News Original

Congress has once again decided not to decide how to fund the federal government in time for the start of the fiscal year, racing toward a midnight Sept. 30 deadline to pass a stopgap bill that would keep the lights on for two more months. However, it does appear the FDA’s program that gets drugmakers to help fund some of the agency’s review staff will be renewed in time to stop pink slips from being sent. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Rachel Cohrs of Stat, and Victoria Knight of Axios join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these topics and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews filmmaker Cynthia Lowen, whose new documentary, “Battleground,” explores how anti-abortion forces played the long game to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Experts Question the Role of White Mulberry in the Death of Congressman’s Wife

KFF Health News Original

The Sacramento County coroner concluded that Lori McClintock, the wife of U.S. Rep. Tom McClintock, died of dehydration after ingesting white mulberry leaf. But some scientists, doctors, and pathologists are questioning that ruling, and are urging the coroner’s office, which hasn’t explained its reasoning, to reopen the case.