Latest KFF Health News Stories

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.

Debt Deal Leaves Health Programs (Mostly) Intact


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.

California Confronts the Threat of ‘Tranq’ as Overdose Crisis Rages

KFF Health News Original

California officials are stepping up efforts to combat the spread of xylazine, a powerful animal sedative that’s increasingly being used by people, often with devastating results. It’s mostly been an East Coast phenomenon, but ‘tranq,’ as it is known, is beginning to appear in the Golden State.

Will a ‘National Patient Safety Board,’ Modeled After the NTSB, Actually Fly?

KFF Health News Original

A push is underway to create a National Patient Safety Board modeled after the National Transportation Safety Board, an independent federal agency that investigates plane crashes and other transportation disasters. But unlike the NTSB, some patient safety advocates say, the current proposal is toothless and wouldn’t provide transparency about the nation’s hospitals.

Our 300th Episode!


When KFF Health News’ “What the Health?” podcast launched in 2017, Republicans in Washington were engaged in an (ultimately unsuccessful) campaign to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act. The next six years would see a pandemic, increasingly unaffordable care, and a health care workforce experiencing unprecedented burnout. In the podcast’s 300th episode, host and chief Washington correspondent Julie Rovner explores the past and possible future of the U.S. health care system with three prominent “big thinkers” in health policy: Ezekiel Emanuel of the University of Pennsylvania, Jeff Goldsmith of Health Futures, and Farzad Mostashari of Aledade.

More States OK Postpartum Medicaid Coverage Beyond Two Months

KFF Health News Original

Montana, Alaska, Mississippi, Missouri, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming are among the latest states moving to provide health coverage for up to a year after pregnancy through the federal-state health insurance program for low-income people.