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Cost & Quality

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House Democrats unveiled legislation that would effectively double what the federal government has spent on relief for the COVID-19 pandemic, but Republicans say they want to wait before even talking about another bill. Meanwhile, a key Republican senator called the GOP court case challenging the Affordable Care Act “flimsy.” Rebecca Adams of CQ Roll Call and Joanne Kenen of Politico join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this and more.

The Supreme Court this week, in an 8-1 decision, ruled that insurers are due the roughly $12 billion that Congress several years ago tried to cut off in payments under the Affordable Care Act’s “risk corridors” provision. And while the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage in many places around the country, states are starting to reopen their economies at the urging of President Donald Trump and over objections of public health officials. Caitlin Owens of Axios and Mary Ellen McIntire of CQ Roll Call join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this and more. Also, Rovner interviews KHN’s Carmen Heredia Rodriguez, who wrote the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” installment about COVID testing that should have been free but was not.

The volunteer medical providers at the Tree of Life Free Clinic in Tupelo, Mississippi, give crucial health care to the uninsured in the best of times, drawing crowds who line up for hours. Amid the current COVID pandemic, clinic staffers were advised to close. Instead, they chose to adapt — even without critical N95 masks to protect themselves — as the economic crisis intensifies the need for free care.