Latest KFF Health News Stories
Congress appears to be careening toward a government shutdown, as a small band of House conservatives vow to block any funding for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1 unless they win deeper cuts to health and other domestic programs. Meanwhile, former President Donald Trump continues to roil the GOP presidential primary field, this time with comments about abortion. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Rachel Cohrs of Stat, and Tami Luhby of CNN join KFF Health News chief Washington correspondent Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also, for “extra credit,” the panelists suggest health policy stories they read this week they think you should read, too.
Before covid-19, hepatitis C held the distinction of claiming more American lives each year than any other infectious disease — that’s despite the marketing of several relatively affordable, highly effective treatments.
The percentage of working-age adults with health insurance went up and the uninsured rate dropped last year, the U.S. Census Bureau reported this week. There isn’t much suspense about which way the uninsured rate is now trending, as states continue efforts to strip ineligible beneficiaries from their Medicaid rolls. But is the focus on the uninsured obscuring the struggles of the underinsured? Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times, Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet, and Joanne Kenen of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Politico join KFF Health News’ Emmarie Huetteman to discuss these issues and more.
Congress returns from its summer recess with a long list of tasks and only a few work days to get them done. On top of the annual spending bills needed to keep the government operating, on the list are bills to renew the global HIV/AIDS program, PEPFAR, and the community health centers program. Meanwhile, over the recess, the Biden administration released the names of the first 10 drugs selected for the Medicare price negotiation program.
The proposal would require major hiring at the most sparsely staffed homes. But the proposal is already badly received by the nursing home industry, which claims it can’t boost wages enough to attract workers.
Community health workers, who often help patients get to their appointments and pick up prescriptions for them, have increasingly been recognized as an integral part of treating chronic illnesses. But state-run Medicaid programs don’t always reimburse them equally, usually excluding those who work on tribal lands.
The federal government is proposing having Medicare pay professionals to train family caregivers how to perform tasks like bathing and dressing their loved ones, and properly use medical equipment.
Pueblo, Colorado, residents have higher-than-average medical debt, while the city’s two tax-exempt hospitals provide relatively low levels of charity care.
KFF Health News 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.
Novo Nordisk, the dominant company in the multibillion-dollar market for weight loss drugs, focuses on Black lawmakers and opinion leaders to spread the message that obesity is a chronic disease that needs treatment.
Each year, Medicare punishes hospitals that have high rates of readmissions and high rates of infections and patient injuries. Check out which hospitals have been penalized.
The annual cost of lecanemab treatment quadruples if the expense of brain scans to monitor for bleeds and other associated care is factored in. The full financial toll likely puts it beyond reach for low-income seniors at risk of Alzheimer’s, experts say.
Medicare was supposed to cover the entire cost of his procedure. But after the anesthesia provider failed to file its claims in a timely manner, it billed the patient instead.
President Joe Biden is kicking off his reelection campaign in part by trying to finish a decades-long effort to establish parity in insurance benefits between mental and physical health. Meanwhile, House Republicans are working to add abortion and other contentious amendments to must-pass spending bills. Joanne Kenen of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Politico, Anna Edney of Bloomberg, 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’ Céline Gounder about her podcast “Epidemic.” The new season focuses on the successful public health effort to eradicate smallpox.
Although nearly 40% of Americans 60 and older are obese, Medicare doesn’t cover weight loss medications. Meanwhile, studies haven’t thoroughly examined new drugs’ impact on older adults.
President Biden made good on a campaign promise this week with a proposal that would limit short-term health insurance plans that boast low premiums but also few benefits. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court’s decision to outlaw affirmative action programs could set back efforts to diversify the nation’s medical workforce. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Amy Goldstein of the Washington Post, and Rachel Cohrs of Stat News join KFF Health News’ chief Washington correspondent Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews KFF Health News’ Bram Sable-Smith, who reported the latest KFF Health News-NPR “Bill of the Month” about how a hospital couldn’t track down a patient, but a debt collector could.
More than a million Americans have lost Medicaid coverage since pandemic protections ended. The Biden administration is asking states to slow disenrollment, but that does not mean states must listen. Meanwhile, a Supreme Court decision gives Medicaid beneficiaries the right to sue over their care, and a new deal preserves coverage of preventive services nationwide as a Texas court case continues. Rachel Cohrs of Stat, Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, and Sandhya Raman of CQ Roll Call join KFF Health News’ Mary Agnes Carey to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, KFF Health News’ Julie Rovner interviews Dan Mendelson, CEO of Morgan Health, a new unit of JPMorgan Chase, about employers’ role in insurance coverage.
The bipartisan deal to extend the U.S. government’s borrowing authority includes future cuts to federal health agencies, but they are smaller than many expected and do not touch Medicare and Medicaid. Meanwhile, Merck & Co. becomes the first drugmaker to sue Medicare officials over the federal health insurance program’s new authority to negotiate drug prices. Joanne Kenen of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Politico, Lauren Weber of The Washington Post, 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 KFF Health News senior correspondent Sarah Jane Tribble, who reported the latest KFF Health News-NPR “Bill of the Month” feature, about the perils of visiting the U.S. with European health insurance.
A bipartisan deal to raise the government’s borrowing limit dashed Republican hopes for new Medicaid work requirements and other health spending cuts. Democrats secured the compromise by making relatively modest concessions, including ordering the return of unspent covid funds and limiting other health spending.
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.