Latest KFF Health News Stories

Rapid Rise in Syphilis Hits Native Americans Hardest

KFF Health News Original

With U.S. syphilis rates climbing to the worst level in seven decades, public health experts and the federal Indian Health Service are scrambling to detect and treat the disease in Native American communities, where babies are infected at a higher rate than in any other demographic.

A Battle Between Drugmakers and Insurers Hits Patients in the Wallet

KFF Health News Original

There’s a long-running battle between insurers and drugmakers over financial assistance programs that purport to help patients afford expensive drugs. And lately, insurers have been losing ground as lawmakers, regulators and courts weigh in. The issue is whether coupons and other copay aid many patients get from drugmakers should count toward annual insurance deductibles and […]

Needle Pain Is a Big Problem for Kids. One California Doctor Has a Plan.

KFF Health News Original

The pain and trauma from repeated needle sticks leads some kids to hold on to needle phobia into adulthood. Research shows the biggest source of pain for children in the health care system is needles. But one doctor thinks he has a solution and is putting it into practice at two children’s hospitals in Northern California.

Under Fire for Massive Health System Hack, Biden Team Leans on Insurers

KFF Health News Original

The Biden administration has hit on a strategy to deal with the massive, industry-paralyzing cyberattack on a UnitedHealth Group unit: pressuring insurers to fix it. Federal officials have been in constant conversation with senior leaders at UnitedHealth and across the industry, including at a Monday meeting where Department of Health and Human Services and White […]

Joe Biden’s Skittish Support for Abortion Rights

KFF Health News Original

President Biden spent much of his State of the Union speech last week talking about two subjects central to his reelection campaign while seemingly trying not to name them. One was Donald Trump, or as Biden called him, “my predecessor.” The other was abortion. It’s hardly news that Biden, an 81-year-old devout Catholic, is uncomfortable […]

When Copay Assistance Backfires on Patients

KFF Health News Original

Drugmakers offer copay assistance programs to patients, but insurers are tapping into those funds, not counting the amounts toward patient deductibles. That leads to unexpected charges. But the practice is under growing scrutiny.

A New Orleans Neighborhood Confronts the Racist Legacy of a Toxic Stretch of Highway

KFF Health News Original

New federal funds aim to address an array of problems created by highway construction in minority neighborhoods. These are economic, social, and, perhaps above all, public health problems. In New Orleans’ Treme neighborhood, competing plans for how to deal with harm done by the Claiborne Expressway reveal the challenge of how to mitigate them meaningfully.

How Your In-Network Health Coverage Can Vanish Before You Know It

KFF Health News Original

One of the most unfair aspects of medical insurance is this: Patients can change insurance only during end-of-year enrollment periods or at the time of “qualifying life events.” But insurers’ contracts with doctors, hospitals, and pharmaceutical companies can change abruptly at any time.

KFF Health News' 'What the Health?': Maybe It’s a Health Care Election After All


Health care wasn’t expected to be a major theme for this year’s elections. But as President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump secured their respective party nominations this week, the future of both Medicare and the Affordable Care Act appears to be up for debate. Meanwhile, the cyberattack of the UnitedHealth Group subsidiary Change Healthcare continues to do damage to the companies’ finances with no quick end in sight. Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times, Anna Edney of Bloomberg News, and Joanne Kenen of Johns Hopkins University and Politico Magazine join KFF Health News’ Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews Kelly Henning of Bloomberg Philanthropies about a new, four-part documentary series on the history of public health, “The Invisible Shield.” Plus, for “extra credit” the panelists suggest health policy stories they read this week that they think you should read, too.