Latest Morning Briefing Stories

Epidemic: What Good Is a Vaccine When There Is No Rice?

Podcast

What good is a vaccine when there is no rice? Episode 7 of “Eradicating Smallpox” explores the barriers public health workers face in communities where people’s basic needs aren’t being met.

Epidemic: Bodies Remember What Was Done to Them

Podcast

Trust is hard to build and easy to break. In Episode 6 of the “Eradicating Smallpox” podcast, meet Chandrakant Pandav, a health worker who used laughter and song to try to rebuild trust with communities harmed by India’s sometimes violent and coercive family planning campaign.

KFF Health News' 'What the Health?': An Encore: 3 HHS Secretaries Reveal What the Job Is Really Like

Podcast

In this special encore episode, KFF Health News’ “What the Health?” asks three people who have served as the nation’s top health official: What does a day in the life of the U.S. secretary of Health and Human Services look like? And how much of their agenda is set by the White House? Taped in June before a live audience at Aspen Ideas: Health, part of the Aspen Ideas Festival, in Aspen, Colorado, host and chief Washington correspondent Julie Rovner leads a rare conversation with the current and two former HHS secretaries. Secretary Xavier Becerra and former secretaries Kathleen Sebelius and Alex Azar talk candidly about what it takes to run a department with more than 80,000 employees and a budget larger than those of many countries.

KFF Health News' 'What the Health?': More Medicaid Messiness

Podcast

At least 30 states are reinstating coverage for children wrongly removed from the rolls under Medicaid redetermination, the federal government reported. It’s just the latest hiccup in the massive effort to review the eligibility of Medicaid beneficiaries now that the program’s pandemic-era expansion has expired. And federal oversight of the so-called unwinding would be further complicated by an impending government shutdown. Rachel Roubein of The Washington Post, Sandhya Raman of CQ Roll Call, and Sarah Karlin-Smith of 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’ Samantha Liss, who reported and wrote the latest KFF Health News-NPR “Bill of the Month” feature, about a hospital bill that followed a deceased patient’s family for more than a year.