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KFF Health News' 'What the Health?': The Struggle Over Who Gets the Last Word


As science skepticism pervades politics, the Supreme Court will soon consider two cases that seek to define the power of “experts.” Meanwhile, abortion opponents are laying out plans for how Donald Trump, if reelected as president, could effectively curtail abortion even in states where it remains legal. Sandhya Raman of CQ Roll Call, Joanne Kenen of Johns Hopkins University and Politico Magazine, and Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet join KFF Health News’ Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews Samantha Liss, who reported and wrote the latest KFF Health News-NPR “Bill of the Month” feature about a husband and wife who got billed for preventive care that should have been fully covered.

Records Show Publix Opioid Sales Grew Even as Addiction Crisis Prompted Other Chains’ Pullback

KFF Health News Original

As national prescription drug distributors and pharmacies restricted the flow of oxycodone and other painkillers in response to the growing opioid crisis, Florida’s most popular grocery store ramped up its sales and distribution of the highly addictive drugs, according to a Tampa Bay Times analysis of federal data.

The FTC Escalates Biden’s Fight Against Drug Prices

KFF Health News Original

It’s daggers out at the Federal Trade Commission in its fight against anticompetitive practices in health care. This past year, it has issued more stringent guidelines to block and discourage hospital mergers, and it investigated practices by middlemen in the drug supply chain. Now drug manufacturers themselves are in the agency’s crosshairs. In November, the FTC challenged the validity of more […]

Alex Azar’s Unusual Spin Through the Revolving Door

KFF Health News Original

Washington’s infamous revolving door took an unusual turn for former Health and Human Services secretary Alex Azar. Azar spent about a decade with pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and Co. before coming to the nation’s capital to lead HHS in the Trump administration. But in September 2020, just a couple of months before former president Donald […]

The Market for Biosimilars Is Funky. The Industry Thinks PBMs Are To Blame

KFF Health News Original

Over the past year there’s been movement to rein in the three big PBMs, which face little regulation though they help set drug prices and drug choices for 80 percent of Americans and their doctors. The House voted Dec. 11, 320-71, for legislation that would require the PBMs to change some of the ways they […]

Colorado Says Drug Industry Blocked Its Canada Dreams – And Biden Hasn’t Helped

KFF Health News Original

Colorado’s leaders had grand plans to import cheaper medicines from Canada, after the Trump administration issued rules in 2020 allowing states to try it. But officials in Denver say they’ve been stymied by opposition from drugmakers — as well as the Biden administration’s inaction on the policy. That’s according to a Dec. 1 report we […]

Health Care Is Front and Center as DeSantis and Newsom Go Mano a Mano

KFF Health News Original

Florida’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis and California’s Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom will square off in a first-of-its-kind debate on Nov. 30. KFF Health News compared the political rivals’ health care positions, showing how their policies have helped — or hindered — the health of their states’ residents.

Evolving Overdose Crisis Shakes Previously Effective Treatments

KFF Health News Original

The prevalence of synthetic drugs is undercutting a previously effective and widely embraced opioid use disorder treatment tactic. Now, the model pioneered in Vermont a decade ago and adopted at sites nationwide, especially in hard-to-reach rural areas, is being forced to evolve.