KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Biden Declares the Pandemic ‘Over’
President Joe Biden, in an interview with CBS’ “60 Minutes,” declared the covid-19 pandemic “over,” stoking confusion for members of his administration trying to persuade Congress to provide more funding to fight the virus and the public to get the latest boosters. Meanwhile, concerns about a return of medical inflation is helping boost insurance premiums even as private companies race to get their piece of the health pie. Anna Edney of Bloomberg News, Joanne Kenen of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Politico, and Lauren Weber of KHN join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also, for extra credit, the panelists suggest their favorite health policy stories they think you should read, too.
Covid Still Kills, but the Demographics of Its Victims Are Shifting
Californians were far less likely to die from covid in the first seven months of 2022 than during the first two years of the pandemic. Still, the virus remained among the state’s leading causes of death in July, outpacing diabetes, accidental death, and a host of debilitating diseases. We break down who’s at risk.
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.
Did the US Jump the Gun With the New Omicron-Targeted Vaccines?
With fears of a winter surge looming, government agencies have authorized and encouraged vaccination with a newly formulated booster. But the science to support that decision remains inconclusive.
KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Judge Takes Aim at the Affordable Care Act’s Preventive Care Benefits
A federal judge in Texas — the same one who tried to strike down the Affordable Care Act as unconstitutional in 2018 — has ruled against some of the ACA’s preventive benefits, including the requirement that employers cover medication to prevent HIV. Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs tries to make abortions slightly more available to veterans and their dependents. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet, and Joanne Kenen of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Politico join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews KHN’s Lauren Sausser, who reported and wrote the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” installment.
Unraveling the Interplay of Omicron, Reinfections, and Long Covid
The omicron variant has proved adept at finding hosts, often by reinfecting people who recovered from earlier bouts of covid. But whether omicron triggers long covid as often and severe as previous variants is a matter of heated study.
Wastewater Surveillance Has Become a Critical Covid Tracking Tool, but Funding Is Inconsistent
Dashboards that rely on positive covid test results reported to local health departments no longer paint a reliable picture of how covid is spreading in an area. Some experts say wastewater surveillance is the most accurate way to measure viral activity. Meanwhile, some wastewater labs face funding shortfalls.
Grassroots Work Leads to Vaccination Success in Georgia Refugee Community
Public health officials and resettlement groups across the U.S. have used community organizers to encourage newly arrived refugees and other vulnerable people to get vaccinated against covid-19. In a Georgia city that is home to many refugees, the vaccination rate is higher than in the state, county, and surrounding communities of similar socioeconomic status.
El trabajo de base aumenta la tasa de vacunación en la comunidad de refugiados de Georgia
Funcionarios de salud pública y grupos de reasentamiento han utilizado estrategias exitosas y han logrado altas tasas de vacunación en comunidades vulnerables.
Readers and Tweeters Place Value on Community Services and Life-Sustaining Care
KHN gives readers a chance to comment on a recent batch of stories.
KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Wrapping Up Summer’s Health News
President Joe Biden has signed the Inflation Reduction Act and Congress is gone until after Labor Day. But the administration and lawmakers left lots of health policy achievements behind, including new rules to facilitate the sale of over-the-counter hearing aids and a potential reorganization of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Anna Edney of Bloomberg News, Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, and Joanne Kenen of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Politico join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also, for extra credit, the panelists suggest their favorite health policy stories of the week they think you should read, too.
Public Health Agencies Adapt Covid Lessons to Curb Overdoses, STDs, and Gun Violence
Know-how gained through the covid pandemic is seeping into other public health areas. But in a nation that has chronically underfunded its public health system, it’s hard to know which changes will stick.
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.
Laboratorios de análisis de aguas residuales para covid se suman a la caza de la viruela del simio
Las mismas técnicas de vigilancia de aguas residuales para detectar brotes de covid-19 se están adaptando para monitorear la alarmante propagación de la viruela del simio.
Covid Sewage Surveillance Labs Join the Hunt for Monkeypox
Wastewater testing has proved a reliable early alarm bell for covid outbreaks. U.S. researchers are now adapting the approach to track the explosive spread of monkeypox.
‘American Diagnosis’: ‘We Need to Be at the Table’: Native-Led Medical Research Aims to Rebuild Trust
Exploitative practices in medical research have contributed to the underrepresentation of Native people in clinical trials. Episode 10 explores the efforts of Indigenous scientists to rebuild this broken trust through tribally controlled research.
Journalists Put Polio, Price Transparency, and a Personal Covid Battle in Perspective
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.
Cognitive Rehab May Help Older Adults Clear Covid-Related Brain Fog
People whose brains have been injured by concussions, traumatic accidents, strokes, or neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson’s disease can benefit from targeted therapy. Experts also employ therapies for long-covid patients with memory and language problems.
KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Kansas Makes a Statement
In the first official test vote since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, voters in Kansas’ primary said in no uncertain terms they want to keep a right to abortion in their state constitution. Meanwhile, the Senate is still working to reach a vote before summer recess on its health care-climate-tax measure, but progress is slow. Tami Luhby of CNN, Sandhya Raman of CQ Roll Call, and Rachel Cohrs of Stat join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews KHN’s Bram Sable-Smith, who wrote the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” installment about a very expensive ambulance trip.
The Time Has Come for DIY Mandates on Covid
Yes, lots of us suffer from pandemic fatigue and have been getting sloppy about precautions in recent months. But with covid an ongoing menace — and governments reluctant to return to sweeping mandates — it’s time for all of us to step up our game.