Latest KFF Health News Stories
Remote Work: An Underestimated Benefit for Family Caregivers
The debate about whether employees should be required to return to the workplace has generally focused on commuting, convenience, and child care. A fourth C, caregiving, has rarely been mentioned.
The Abortion Pill Goes Back to Court
A three-judge appeals court panel heard testimony this week about revoking the FDA’s 22-year-old approval of a key pill used in medication abortion and miscarriage management. The judges all have track records of siding with abortion foes. Meanwhile, as the standoff over raising the federal debt ceiling continues in Washington, a major sticking point is whether to impose work requirements on recipients of Medicaid coverage. Victoria Knight of Axios, Rachel Roubein of The Washington Post, and Sandhya Raman of CQ Roll Call join KFF Health News chief Washington correspondent Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more.
Thousands Face Medicaid Whiplash in South Dakota and North Carolina
Thousands of South Dakotans are being knocked off Medicaid, only to be eligible to requalify several months later. Even more enrollees are likely to experience a temporary loss of coverage in North Carolina.
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.
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.
Millions Are Stuck in Dental Deserts, With No Access to Oral Health Care
Vulnerable and marginalized communities are getting left behind in dental deserts, where patient volume exceeds provider capacity or too few dentists are willing to serve the uninsured or those on Medicaid.
For California Teen, Coverage of Early Psychosis Treatment Proved a Lifesaver
A Medi-Cal patient illustrates how early schizophrenia treatments can yield big benefits. Advocates want California to expand such services to more people living with severe mental illness, which they argue will not only improve lives but also save money over time.
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.
Will They or Won’t They (Block the Abortion Pill)?
The Supreme Court is considering the future of the abortion pill mifepristone, after GenBioPro sued the FDA over limitations that effectively block generic production of the drug, a major part of the market. Congress is considering proposals that would impose Medicaid work requirements, crack down on pharmacy benefit managers, and more. And President Joe Biden moved to expand health coverage to young immigrants known as “Dreamers.” Rachel Cohrs of Stat, Sandhya Raman of CQ Roll Call, and Joanne Kenen of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Politico join KFF Health News’ Mary Agnes Carey to discuss these issues and more.
California’s Medicaid Experiment Spends Money to Save Money — And Help the Homeless
Gov. Gavin Newsom’s ambitious experiment in health care is supposed to cut costs as it fills the needs of hard-to-reach people. The program’s start is chaotic and limited, but it shows promise.
Para pacientes de cáncer sin seguro, conseguir atención médica es una lotería
Los estudios demuestran que, a veces, los adultos sin seguro retrasan la atención, lo que puede perjudicar las probabilidades de supervivencia. Pero que los pacientes obtengan un seguro para cubrir el tratamiento se parece un poco al juego de la ruleta, es decir, depende de dónde vivan y del tipo de cáncer que padezcan.
Special Medicaid Funds Help Most States, but Prompt Oversight Concerns
Georgia is among 35-plus states that have used an under-the-radar federal funding mechanism to boost payments for hospitals and other providers under Medicaid. But a government watchdog and a congressional advisory commission say sparse oversight makes it hard to tell if the “directed payments” program is meeting its goals.
For Uninsured People With Cancer, Securing Care Can Be Like Spinning a Roulette Wheel
When uninsured people are diagnosed with cancer, accessing resources and paying for treatment can be daunting. The safety nets meant to help often fall short, say cancer physicians and health policy experts who study access to care. Some patients find it easier to play the odds.
High Inflation and Housing Costs Force Many Americans to Delay Needed Care
A recent Gallup Poll suggests that Americans are putting off medical care because of costs. Inflation and rising rents make it harder for people to make ends meet.
As of April 1, states were allowed to begin reevaluating Medicaid eligibility for millions of Americans who qualified for the program during the covid-19 pandemic but may no longer meet the income or other requirements. As many as 15 million people could lose health coverage as a result. Meanwhile, the Medicare Hospital Insurance Trust Fund is projected to stay solvent until 2031, its trustees reported, taking some pressure off of lawmakers to finally fix that program’s underlying financial weaknesses. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Rachel Roubein of The Washington Post, and Amy Goldstein of The Washington Post join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews Daniel Chang, who reported the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” feature about a child not yet old enough for kindergarten whose medical bill landed him in collections.
In Texas, Medicaid Coverage Ends Soon After Childbirth. Will Lawmakers Allow More Time?
Pregnancy-related Medicaid coverage ends just two months after childbirth in Texas — some advocates and researchers say that cutoff contributes to maternal deaths and illnesses in the state.
A Judicial Body Blow to the ACA
A federal judge in Texas has dealt a big setback to the Affordable Care Act. The same judge who tried in 2018 to declare the entire ACA unconstitutional has now ruled that the law’s main provisions for preventive care are unconstitutional and, therefore, unenforceable nationwide. Also this week, North Carolina became the 40th state to expand Medicaid under the ACA. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Rachel Cohrs of Stat, and Sandhya Raman of CQ Roll Call join KHN chief Washington correspondent Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more.
Journalists Delve Into Insulin Costs and Prior Authorization Policy
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.
Health Providers Scramble to Keep Remaining Staff Amid Medicaid Rate Debate
The ranks of community-based behavioral health providers in Montana have diminished amid rising costs, greater need, and stagnant Medicaid reimbursement rates. Now, as state lawmakers debate solutions, providers are hoping just to cover their costs.
Prescription for Housing? California Wants Medicaid to Cover 6 Months of Rent
Gov. Gavin Newsom is making a bold push for Medicaid health plans to provide more housing support. He argues it’s cheaper to pay for rent than to allow homeless people to fall into crisis, which requires costly care in hospitals, nursing homes, and jails.