KFF Health News tells the stories of Georgia and the rest of the South. 

KFF Health News' 'What the Health?': Arizona Turns Back the Clock on Abortion Access

A week after the Florida Supreme Court said the state could enforce an abortion ban passed in 2023, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled that state could enforce a near-total ban passed in 1864 — over a half-century before Arizona became a state. The move further scrambled the abortion issue for Republicans and posed an immediate quandary for former President Donald Trump, who has been seeking an elusive middle ground in the polarized debate. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Rachel Cohrs Zhang of Stat, and Rachel Roubein of The Washington Post join KFF Health News’ Julie Rovner to discuss these stories and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews KFF Health News’ Molly Castle Work, who reported and wrote the latest KFF Health News-NPR “Bill of the Month” feature, about an air-ambulance ride for an infant with RSV that his insurer deemed not medically necessary.

Becerra Joins the Fray Over Reproductive Rights

Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra is racking up frequent-flier miles as he hopscotches the country to highlight health issues the White House hopes will become pivotal for voters this year — none more so than reproductive rights.  “No woman today should fear [not having] access to the care that she needs. President Biden […]

KFF Health News' 'What the Health?': Florida Limits Abortion — For Now

The Florida Supreme Court handed down dual abortion rulings this week. One said voters will be allowed to decide in November whether to create a state right to abortion. The other ruling, though, allows a 15-week ban to take effect immediately — before an even more sweeping, six-week ban replaces it in May. Meanwhile, President Joe Biden is doubling down on his administration’s health care accomplishments as he kicks off his general election campaign. Lauren Weber of The Washington Post, Joanne Kenen of the Johns Hopkins University schools of nursing and public health, and Tami Luhby of CNN join KFF Health News’ Julie Rovner to discuss these stories and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews health care analyst Jeff Goldsmith about the growing size and influence of UnitedHealth Group in the wake of the Change Healthcare hack.

Feds Join Ranks of Employers with Generous Fertility Benefits

Starting this year, federal employees can choose plans that cover a broad menu of fertility services, including up to $25,000 annually for in vitro fertilization procedures. At the same time, politics around IVF and reproductive health have become a central issue in the current election-year debate.

The GOP Keeps Pushing Medicaid Work Requirements, Despite Setbacks

Work requirements in Medicaid expansion programs are back on the agenda in many statehouses — despite their lackluster track record. In Mississippi, the idea has momentum from GOP lawmakers advancing legislation to expand Medicaid. In Kansas, the Democratic governor proposed work requirements to try to soften Republican opposition to expansion. (She’s had little luck, so […]

KFF Health News' 'What the Health?': The Supreme Court and the Abortion Pill

The Supreme Court this week heard its first abortion case since overturning Roe v. Wade in 2022, about an appeals court ruling that would dramatically restrict the availability of the abortion pill mifepristone. But while it seems likely that this case could be dismissed on a technicality, abortion opponents have more challenges in the pipeline. Meanwhile, health issues are heating up on the campaign trail, as Republicans continue to take aim at Medicare, Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act — all things Democrats are delighted to defend. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet, and Lauren Weber of The Washington Post join KFF Health News chief Washington correspondent Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews KFF Health News’ Tony Leys, who wrote a KFF Health News-NPR “Bill of the Month” feature about Medicare and a very expensive air-ambulance ride. Plus, for “extra credit,” the panelists suggest health policy stories they read this week they think you should read, too.

A State-Sanctioned Hospital Monopoly Raises Concerns

The Federal Trade Commission has long argued that competition makes the economy better. But some states have stopped the agency from blocking hospital mergers that create local or regional monopolies, and the results have been messy. Two dozen states have at some point passed controversial legislation waiving anti-monopoly laws, allowing rival hospitals to merge and replacing competition […]