Elections

KFF Health News' 'What the Health?': Arizona Turns Back the Clock on Abortion Access

A week after the Florida Supreme Court said the state could enforce an abortion ban passed in 2023, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled that state could enforce a near-total ban passed in 1864 — over a half-century before Arizona became a state. The move further scrambled the abortion issue for Republicans and posed an immediate quandary for former President Donald Trump, who has been seeking an elusive middle ground in the polarized debate. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Rachel Cohrs Zhang of Stat, and Rachel Roubein of The Washington Post join KFF Health News’ Julie Rovner to discuss these stories and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews KFF Health News’ Molly Castle Work, who reported and wrote the latest KFF Health News-NPR “Bill of the Month” feature, about an air-ambulance ride for an infant with RSV that his insurer deemed not medically necessary.

KFF Health News' 'What the Health?': Florida Limits Abortion — For Now

The Florida Supreme Court handed down dual abortion rulings this week. One said voters will be allowed to decide in November whether to create a state right to abortion. The other ruling, though, allows a 15-week ban to take effect immediately — before an even more sweeping, six-week ban replaces it in May. Meanwhile, President Joe Biden is doubling down on his administration’s health care accomplishments as he kicks off his general election campaign. Lauren Weber of The Washington Post, Joanne Kenen of the Johns Hopkins University schools of nursing and public health, and Tami Luhby of CNN join KFF Health News’ Julie Rovner to discuss these stories and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews health care analyst Jeff Goldsmith about the growing size and influence of UnitedHealth Group in the wake of the Change Healthcare hack.

KFF Health News' 'What the Health?': The Supreme Court and the Abortion Pill

The Supreme Court this week heard its first abortion case since overturning Roe v. Wade in 2022, about an appeals court ruling that would dramatically restrict the availability of the abortion pill mifepristone. But while it seems likely that this case could be dismissed on a technicality, abortion opponents have more challenges in the pipeline. Meanwhile, health issues are heating up on the campaign trail, as Republicans continue to take aim at Medicare, Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act — all things Democrats are delighted to defend. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet, and Lauren Weber of The Washington Post join KFF Health News chief Washington correspondent Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews KFF Health News’ Tony Leys, who wrote a KFF Health News-NPR “Bill of the Month” feature about Medicare and a very expensive air-ambulance ride. Plus, for “extra credit,” the panelists suggest health policy stories they read this week they think you should read, too.

Joe Biden’s Skittish Support for Abortion Rights

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 […]

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.

The State of the Union Is … Busy

At last, Congress is getting half of its annual spending bills across the finish line, albeit five months after the start of the fiscal year. Meanwhile, President Joe Biden delivers his annual State of the Union address, an over-the-counter birth control pill is (finally) available, and controversy erupts over new public health guidelines for covid-19 isolation. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet, and Sandhya Raman of CQ Roll Call join KFF Health News’ Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews Neera Tanden, the White House domestic policy adviser, about Biden’s health agenda. Plus, for “extra credit,” the panelists suggest health policy stories they read this week that they think you should read, too.

KFF Health News' 'What the Health?': Alabama Court Rules Embryos Are Children. What Now?

In a first-of-its-kind ruling, the Alabama Supreme Court has determined that embryos created for in vitro fertilization procedures are legally people. The decision has touched off massive confusion about potential ramifications, and the University of Alabama-Birmingham has paused its IVF program. Meanwhile, former President Donald Trump is reportedly planning to endorse a national 16-week abortion ban, while his former administration officials are planning further reproductive health restrictions for a possible second term. Lauren Weber of The Washington Post, Rachana Pradhan of KFF Health News, and Victoria Knight of Axios join KFF Health News’ Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Plus, for “extra credit,” the panelists suggest health policy stories they read this week that they think you should read, too.

Nikki Haley Wants ‘Consensus’ on Contraception. It’s Not That Easy.

Nikki Haley, the last candidate standing between Donald Trump and the GOP presidential nomination, insists that being “unapologetically pro-life” doesn’t make her anti-birth control. “Let’s find consensus,” she urged at a GOP presidential debate in November. “Let’s make sure we make contraception accessible.”  If only consensus were that easy. In some conservative circles, contraception is […]

Even in Bright-Blue California, Abortion Is on the Ballot

The race to replace the late Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein is in full swing in California. Although the state enshrined abortion rights into its constitution, the prospect of a national abortion ban has the candidates vying for a Senate seat putting a spotlight on reproductive rights. Or, at least the Democrats are. Steve Garvey, a […]

KFF Health News' 'What the Health?': Health Enters the Presidential Race

New Hampshire voters have spoken, and it seems increasingly clear that this November’s election will pit President Joe Biden against former President Donald Trump. Both appear to be making health a key part of their campaigns, with Trump vowing (again) to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and Biden stressing his support for contraception and abortion rights. Meanwhile, both candidates will try to highlight efforts to rein in prescription drug prices. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Anna Edney of Bloomberg News, 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 Sarah Somers of the National Health Law Program about the potential consequences for the health care system if the Supreme Court overturns a key precedent attempting to balance executive vs. judicial power.