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Latest Morning Briefing Stories

KFF Health News' 'What the Health?': Biden Wins Early Court Test for Medicare Drug Negotiations

Podcast

A federal district court judge dismissed a lawsuit attempting to invalidate the Biden administration’s Medicare prescription-drug price negotiation program. But the suit turned on a technicality, and several more court challenges are in the pipeline. Meanwhile, health policy pops up in Super Bowl ads, as Congress approaches yet another funding deadline. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Lauren Weber of The Washington Post, and Rachel Cohrs of Stat 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 they think you should read, too.

KFF Health News' 'What the Health?': The Struggle Over Who Gets the Last Word

Podcast

As science skepticism pervades politics, the Supreme Court will soon consider two cases that seek to define the power of “experts.” Meanwhile, abortion opponents are laying out plans for how Donald Trump, if reelected as president, could effectively curtail abortion even in states where it remains legal. Sandhya Raman of CQ Roll Call, Joanne Kenen of Johns Hopkins University and Politico Magazine, and Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet join KFF Health News’ Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews Samantha Liss, who reported and wrote the latest KFF Health News-NPR “Bill of the Month” feature about a husband and wife who got billed for preventive care that should have been fully covered.

Records Show Publix Opioid Sales Grew Even as Addiction Crisis Prompted Other Chains’ Pullback

KFF Health News Original

As national prescription drug distributors and pharmacies restricted the flow of oxycodone and other painkillers in response to the growing opioid crisis, Florida’s most popular grocery store ramped up its sales and distribution of the highly addictive drugs, according to a Tampa Bay Times analysis of federal data.

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

Podcast

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.

The FTC Escalates Biden’s Fight Against Drug Prices

KFF Health News Original

It’s daggers out at the Federal Trade Commission in its fight against anticompetitive practices in health care. This past year, it has issued more stringent guidelines to block and discourage hospital mergers, and it investigated practices by middlemen in the drug supply chain. Now drug manufacturers themselves are in the agency’s crosshairs. In November, the FTC challenged the validity of more […]

Alex Azar’s Unusual Spin Through the Revolving Door

KFF Health News Original

Washington’s infamous revolving door took an unusual turn for former Health and Human Services secretary Alex Azar. Azar spent about a decade with pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and Co. before coming to the nation’s capital to lead HHS in the Trump administration. But in September 2020, just a couple of months before former president Donald […]

KFF Health News' 'What the Health?': 2023 Is a Wrap

Podcast

2023 was another busy year in health care. As the covid-19 pandemic waned, policymakers looked anew at long-standing obstacles to obtaining and paying for care in the nation’s health care system. Meanwhile, abortion has continued to be an issue in much of the nation, as states respond to the Supreme Court’s 2022 decision overturning the constitutional right to the procedure. This week, Rachel Cohrs of Stat, Sandhya Raman of CQ Roll Call, and Joanne Kenen of Johns Hopkins University and Politico Magazine join KFF Health News chief Washington correspondent Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and wrap up the year in health. Also this week, Rovner interviews KFF Health News’ Jordan Rau about his joint KFF Health News-New York Times series “Dying Broke.”

The Year in Opioid Settlements: 5 Things You Need to Know

KFF Health News Original

In the past year, opioid settlement money has gone from an emerging funding stream for which people had lofty but uncertain aspirations to a coveted pot of billions being invested in remediation efforts. Here are some important and evolving factors to watch going forward.