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Cost & Quality

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President Joe Biden is wasting no time getting to work. On his first day in office, Biden signed a series of executive orders addressing the covid pandemic, promising more to come. But even with Democrats taking the barest majority in the Senate, the new president’s ambitious proposals on covid and other health issues could be in for a rough ride. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Tami Luhby of CNN and Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Plus, for “extra credit,” the panelists recommend their favorite health policy stories of the week they think you should read too.

With a majority too small to eliminate the filibuster, Democrats will not have enough votes in the Senate to pass many of their plans without Republicans and will also have only a razor-thin majority in the House. This combination could doom many Democratic health care proposals, like offering Americans a government-sponsored public insurance option, and complicate efforts to pass further pandemic relief.