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Latest KFF Health News Stories

KFF Health News' 'What the Health?': Health Funding in Question in a Speaker-Less Congress

Podcast

A bitterly divided Congress managed to keep the federal government running for several more weeks, while House Republicans struggle — again — to choose a leader. Meanwhile, many people removed from state Medicaid rolls are not finding their way to Affordable Care Act insurance, and a major investigation by The Washington Post attributes the decline in U.S. life expectancy to more than covid-19 and opioids. Lauren Weber of The Washington Post, Victoria Knight of Axios, 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 physician-author-playwright Samuel Shem about “Our Hospital,” his new novel about the health workforce in the age of covid.

KFF Health News' 'What the Health?': Countdown to Shutdown

Podcast

Congress appears to be careening toward a government shutdown, as a small band of House conservatives vow to block any funding for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1 unless they win deeper cuts to health and other domestic programs. Meanwhile, former President Donald Trump continues to roil the GOP presidential primary field, this time with comments about abortion. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Rachel Cohrs of Stat, and Tami Luhby of CNN join KFF Health News chief Washington correspondent Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also, for “extra credit,” the panelists suggest health policy stories they read this week they think you should read, too.

KFF Health News' 'What the Health?': Welcome Back, Congress. Now Get to Work. 

Podcast

Congress returns from its summer recess with a long list of tasks and only a few work days to get them done. On top of the annual spending bills needed to keep the government operating, on the list are bills to renew the global HIV/AIDS program, PEPFAR, and the community health centers program. Meanwhile, over the recess, the Biden administration released the names of the first 10 drugs selected for the Medicare price negotiation program.

KFF Health News' 'What the Health?': On Abortion Rights, Ohio Is the New Kansas

Podcast

Nearly a year to the day after Kansas voters surprised the nation by defeating an anti-abortion ballot question, Ohio voters defeated a similar, if cagier, effort to limit access in that state. This week, they rejected an effort to raise the threshold for approval of future ballot measures from a simple majority, which would have made it harder to protect abortion access with yet another ballot question come November. Meanwhile, the number of Americans without health insurance has dropped to an all-time low, though few noticed. Joanne Kenen of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Politico, Rachel Roubein of The Washington Post, and Emmarie Huetteman of KFF Health News join KFF Health News’ chief Washington correspondent, Julie Rovner, to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews Kate McEvoy, executive director of the National Association of Medicaid Directors, about how the “Medicaid unwinding” is going, as millions have their eligibility for coverage rechecked.

Survey: Americans Want Weight Loss Drugs Despite High Cost

KFF Health News Original

A new poll reveals enthusiasm for a pricey new generation of weight loss drugs, but interest drops if users potentially have to deal with weekly injections, lack of insurance coverage, or a need to continue the medications indefinitely to avoid regaining weight.

KFF Health News' 'What the Health?': The Long Road to Reining In Short-Term Plans 

Podcast

President Biden made good on a campaign promise this week with a proposal that would limit short-term health insurance plans that boast low premiums but also few benefits. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court’s decision to outlaw affirmative action programs could set back efforts to diversify the nation’s medical workforce. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Amy Goldstein of the Washington Post, and Rachel Cohrs of Stat News join KFF Health News’ chief Washington correspondent Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews KFF Health News’ Bram Sable-Smith, who reported the latest KFF Health News-NPR “Bill of the Month” about how a hospital couldn’t track down a patient, but a debt collector could.

An Arm and a Leg: Wait, What’s a PBM?

Podcast

Pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs, are companies that negotiate the prices of prescription drugs. Hear about their role in raising drug prices and the ongoing efforts to regulate this complex industry.