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Latest KFF Health News Stories

KFF Health News' 'What the Health?': The New Speaker’s (Limited) Record on Health

Podcast

The House finally has a new speaker: Mike Johnson (R-La). He’s a relative newcomer who’s been a lower-level member of the House GOP leadership. And while he’s an outspoken opponent of abortion and same-sex marriage, his record on other health issues is scant. Meanwhile, the National Institutes of Health appears on track to be getting a new director, and Georgia’s Medicaid work requirement experiment is off to a very slow start. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico and Rachel Cohrs of Stat join KFF Health News’ Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews Michael Cannon, director of health policy studies at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank.

KFF Health News' 'What the Health?': The Open Enrollment Mixing Bowl

Podcast

Open enrollment for Medicare beneficiaries with private health plans began Oct. 15, to be followed Nov. 1 by open enrollment for Affordable Care Act plans. The selection for both is large — often too large to be navigated easily alone. And people who choose incorrectly can end up with unaffordable medical bills. Meanwhile, those on both sides of the abortion issue are looking to Ohio’s November ballot measure on abortion to see whether anti-abortion forces can break their losing streak in statewide ballot questions since the overturn of Roe v. Wade in 2022.

KFF Health News' 'What the Health?': Health Funding in Question in a Speaker-Less Congress

Podcast

A bitterly divided Congress managed to keep the federal government running for several more weeks, while House Republicans struggle — again — to choose a leader. Meanwhile, many people removed from state Medicaid rolls are not finding their way to Affordable Care Act insurance, and a major investigation by The Washington Post attributes the decline in U.S. life expectancy to more than covid-19 and opioids. Lauren Weber of The Washington Post, Victoria Knight of Axios, 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 physician-author-playwright Samuel Shem about “Our Hospital,” his new novel about the health workforce in the age of covid.

KFF Health News' 'What the Health?': Countdown to Shutdown

Podcast

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.

KFF Health News' 'What the Health?': Welcome Back, Congress. Now Get to Work. 

Podcast

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.