Elections

KFF Health News' 'What the Health?': When an Anti-Vaccine Activist Runs for President

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s official entry into the presidential race poses a thorny challenge for journalists: how to cover a candidate who’s opposed to vaccines without amplifying misinformation. And South Carolina becomes the latest state in the South to ban abortion after roughly six weeks of pregnancy. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Rachel Cohrs of Stat, 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 KFF Health News senior correspondent Aneri Pattani about her project to track the billions of dollars coming from opioid makers to settle lawsuits.

Why Do Politicians Weaponize Medicare? Because It Works

Politicians are again pointing fingers over who wants to cut Medicare. As past Washington brawls show, the party accused of threatening popular entitlements tends to lose elections — although it’s the beneficiaries relying on lawmakers to fund it who stand to lose the most.

KFF Health News' 'What the Health?': Au Revoir, Public Health Emergency

The Biden administration this week announced it would let the covid-19 public health emergency lapse on May 11, even as the Republican-led House was voting to immediately eliminate the special authorities of the so-called PHE. Meanwhile, anti-abortion forces are pressuring legislators to both tighten abortion restrictions and pay for every birth in the nation. Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times, Rachel Roubein of The Washington Post, and Victoria Knight of Axios join KHN’s chief Washington correspondent Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews Hannah Wesolowski of the National Alliance on Mental Illness about the rollout of the national 988 suicide prevention hotline.

KFF Health News' 'What the Health?': 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.

Ask Voters Directly, and Abortion Rights Wins Most Ballot Fights

Anti-abortion candidates have fared well in recent elections. But decades of ballot initiatives — including a half-dozen measures considered after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last June — show that when voters are asked directly, they usually side with preserving abortion rights.

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: The Changing of the Guard

Democrats retained control of the U.S. Senate in the midterm elections, while Republicans won a majority in the House, giving them the ability to block items on President Joe Biden’s agenda. Meanwhile, the lame-duck, Democratic-led Congress won’t have the votes to pass abortion rights legislation, although they may try to undo some long-standing anti-abortion policies in federal spending bills. Joanne Kenen of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Politico, Victoria Knight of Axios, and Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these topics and more.

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: The Midterm Shake-Up

Election night went better than expected for Democrats. Although they could still lose control of one or both houses of Congress, the predicted “red wave” for Republicans failed to materialize. Meanwhile, voters in both red and blue states approved ballot measures to protect abortion rights. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Rachel Cohrs of Stat, and Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these topics and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews Carolee Lee, the former jewelry magnate, about her efforts to boost gender equity in medical research.

Abortion Issue Helps Limit Democrats’ Losses in Midterms

Although control of Congress was still undecided Wednesday, Republicans seemed poised to take power in the House, while the fate of the Senate remained too close to call. Economic issues were at the top of voters’ minds, but abortion access also played a large role in their decisions.