Latest KFF Health News Stories
Montana Passes Significant Health Policy Changes in Controversial Session
The recently ended legislative session was marked by Medicaid reimbursement hikes, abortion restrictions, anti-LGBTQ+ statutes, behavioral health spending, and workforce and insurance measures.
Can a Fetus Be an Employee? States Are Testing the Boundaries of Personhood After ‘Dobbs’
Laws granting rights to unborn children have spread in the decades since the U.S. and Missouri supreme courts allowed Missouri’s definition of life as beginning at conception to stand. Now, a wrongful death lawsuit involving a workplace accident shows how sprawling those laws — often intended to curb abortion — have become.
Health Programs Are at Risk as Debt Ceiling Cave-In Looms
A warning from the Treasury Department that the U.S. could default on its debt as soon as June 1 has galvanized lawmakers to intervene. But there is still no obvious way to reconcile Republican demands to slash federal spending with President Joe Biden’s demand to raise the debt ceiling and save the spending fight for a later date. Meanwhile, efforts to pass abortion bans in conservative states are starting to stall as some Republicans rebel against the most severe bans. Joanne Kenen of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Politico, Rachel Cohrs of Stat, and Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico join KFF Health News chief Washington correspondent Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more.
Dancing Under the Debt Ceiling
House Republicans passed their plan to raise the nation’s debt ceiling, along with major cuts to health (and other domestic) programs. Unlikely to become law, it calls for new work requirements for adults on Medicaid. Meanwhile, state efforts targeting trans people bear a striking resemblance to the fight against abortion rights. Jessie Hellmann of CQ Roll Call, Shefali Luthra of The 19th, 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 Renuka Rayasam, who reported the latest KFF Health News-NPR “Bill of the Month” feature, about a specialist’s demand to be paid as much as $15,000 before treating a woman’s serious pregnancy complication.
FDA Evaluates ‘Safety Concerns’ Over Dental Devices Featured in KHN-CBS Investigation
A KHN and CBS News investigation found that a dental appliance called the AGGA has been used by more than 10,000 patients, and multiple lawsuits allege it has caused grievous harm to patients.
GOP Lawmaker Calls for Tracking Homeless Spending, Working With Democrats on Mental Health
Republican state Sen. Roger Niello wants to know whether taxpayers are getting their money’s worth before spending more. Yet the fiscal conservative from the suburbs of Sacramento sees opportunities for bipartisanship on mental health.
California eligió a la compañía de genéricos Civica para producir insulina de bajo costo
Civica está desarrollando tres tipos de insulina genérica, conocida como biosimilar, que estarán disponibles tanto en viales como en plumas inyectables, a un costo de entre $30 y $55.
California Picks Generic Drug Company Civica to Produce Low-Cost Insulin
Gov. Gavin Newsom, who blasted pharmaceutical companies for gouging Californians, is moving ahead with state-branded insulin. He’s also eyeing other generic drugs.
As US Bumps Against Debt Ceiling, Medicare Becomes a Bargaining Chip
The debt ceiling crisis facing Washington puts Medicare and other popular entitlement programs squarely on the negotiating table this year as newly empowered Republicans demand spending cuts. Meanwhile, as more Americans than ever have health insurance, the nation’s health care workforce is straining under the load. Joanne Kenen of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Politico, Tami Luhby of CNN, and Victoria Knight of Axios join KHN’s chief Washington correspondent 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?’: Looking Ahead to the Lame-Duck Session
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?’: Graham’s Bill Recenters Abortion Debate
Republicans would like to shift the political focus away from abortion to economic issues for the midterm elections, but a bill from Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) that would ban most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy has put the issue squarely back on their agenda. The proposal was not welcomed by many of his colleagues, especially Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Also this week, the muddle about where the fight against covid stands and near-record-low numbers of uninsured in the U.S. Rachel Cohrs of Stat, Sandhya Raman of CQ Roll Call, and Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times join KHN’s partnerships editor, Mary Agnes Carey, to discuss these issues and more.
Journalists Dig Into Questions About the 988 Hotline and Inflation Reduction Act
KHN and California Healthline staff made the rounds on national and local media this week to discuss their stories. Here’s a collection of their appearances.
KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: A Big Week for Biden
Congress is leaving for its annual summer break having accomplished far more than many expected, including, barring unforeseen snags, a bill to address the cost of prescription drugs for Medicare beneficiaries and extend the enhanced subsidies for insurance premiums under the Affordable Care Act. Meanwhile, the abortion issue continues to roil the nation as Indiana becomes the first state to ban the procedure in almost all cases since the Supreme Court overruled the constitutional right to abortion in June. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet, and Rachel Cohrs of Stat join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more.
No, the Senate-Passed Reconciliation Bill Won’t Strip $300 Billion From Medicare
Under the Medicare drug negotiations provisions in the reconciliation bill, the federal government would see its outlays reduced by about $300 billion. That reduction wouldn’t result from cuts in benefits. Instead, Medicare would be empowered to leverage its market power to pay lower prices for certain drugs.
A GOP Talking Point Suggests Birth Control Is Not at Risk. Evidence Suggests Otherwise.
Republicans say Democrats are wrong to claim that birth control could be the Supreme Court’s next target. But Democrats have plenty of evidence that it might be.
A Proposal to Import Drugs from Other Countries Creates an Unusual Alliance in the Senate
As a Senate committee considered legislation to reauthorize the FDA’s user fee program, Sens. Bernie Sanders and Rand Paul agreed on a proposed amendment related to importing drugs from Canada, the U.K., and other nations.
A KFF Health News database tracks campaign donations from drugmakers over the past 10 years.
Biden Pledges Better Nursing Home Care, but He Likely Won’t Fast-Track It
CMS chief Chiquita Brooks-LaSure says the agency reserves its power to quickly institute new regulations for “absolute emergencies.” On staffing, nursing home residents might need to wait years to see any real change.
KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Boosting Confusion
Federal health officials appear poised to extend a recommendation for covid boosters to all adults, following moves by some governors and mayors to broaden the eligible booster pool as caseloads rise. Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration finally has a nominee to head the agency: former FDA chief Robert Califf. And Medicare premiums for consumers will likely rise substantially in 2022, partly due to the approval of a controversial drug to treat Alzheimer’s disease. Tami Luhby of CNN, Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet and Rachel Cohrs of Stat join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews Dan Weissmann, host of the “An Arm and a Leg” podcast.
KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Why Health Care Is So Expensive, Chapter $22K
Congress is making slow progress toward completing its ambitious social spending bill, although its Thanksgiving deadline looks optimistic. Meanwhile, a new survey finds the average cost of an employer-provided family plan has risen to more than $22,000. That’s about the cost of a new Toyota Corolla. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Anna Edney of Bloomberg News and Rebecca Adams of CQ Roll Call join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews Rebecca Love, a nurse academic and entrepreneur, about the impending crisis in nursing.