President Donald Trump this week issued a prescription drug pricing order unlikely to lower drug prices, and he contradicted comments by his director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the need for mask-wearing and predictions for vaccine availability. Meanwhile, scandals erupted at the CDC, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Food and Drug Administration. And the number of people without health insurance grew in 2019, reported the Census Bureau, even while the economy soared. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Tami Luhby of CNN and Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this and more. Plus, for extra credit, the panelists recommend their favorite health policy stories of the week they think you should read, too.
Rural hospitals have been closing at a quickening pace in recent years, but a number of inner-city hospitals now face a similar fate. Experts fear that the economic damage inflicted by the COVID pandemic is helping push some of these urban hospitals over the edge at the very time their services are most needed.
Midwifery was a tradition among slaves from Africa, but in more recent decades, pregnant Black women have generally shunned the approach. Now, home births and midwives are making a comeback in the Black community.
Epidemiologists and disease modelers tried to predict what would happen when students moved back to campus. Although some universities listened to their advice, that didn’t stop outbreaks from happening.
A KHN review found more than 20 states either don’t count or have incomplete data on the use of COVID-19 antigen tests, leaving the public in the dark about the true scope of the pandemic.
The National Institutes of Health has suggested minorities should be overrepresented in COVID-19 vaccine trials — perhaps at rates that are double their percentage of the U.S. population. But efforts to recruit patients from racial minority groups are just beginning, while some trials have already advanced to phase 3.
Respiratory symptoms stemming from coronavirus infection and smoke inhalation are too similar to distinguish without a full workup. This is complicating the jobs of health care workers as wildfires rage up and down the West Coast.
A new treatment for tooth decay is cheaper, quicker and less painful than getting a filling. Originally touted as a solution for kids, silver diamine fluoride is poised to become a game changer for treating cavities in older adults or those with disabilities that make oral care difficult.
Many actors, directors, backstage workers and others in the entertainment industry are often eligible for health coverage through their unions, a model that some experts promote for other gig workers. But coverage is determined by past employment, and many of these professionals aren’t working because of the coronavirus.
As people leave COVID-stricken cities to settle semi-permanently in vacation communities, locals assess how these new residents are changing demands on medical services.