KHN has teamed up with PolitiFact to track what becomes of President Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign promises over the next four years. As he moves into the West Wing, what are his chances of making progress on health care?
Those walking away free were facing years in prison for crimes of “unbounded greed.”
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.
In late December, then-President Donald Trump signed a law that eliminates — only for people with Lou Gehrig’s disease — the required five-month waiting period before benefits begin under the Social Security Disability Insurance program. Gaining SSDI also gives these patients immediate Medicare health coverage.
On the day before the inauguration of a new president, the country marks a once unthinkable milestone of 400,000 deaths. The winter surge of the pandemic claimed 100,000 Americans in just five weeks.
Several large business groups, including health industry organizations, are cutting off contributions to Republicans who voted against the certification of Joe Biden’s election even after riots shut down the Capitol on Jan. 6. Meanwhile, the outgoing Trump administration not only approved a Medicaid block grant for Tennessee, but also made it difficult for the incoming Biden administration to undo. Joanne Kenen of Politico, Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times and Kimberly Leonard of Business Insider join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Plus, Rovner interviews KHN’s Victoria Knight about the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” episode.
In California, the largest vaccination campaign in U.S. history is run largely by the same overworked and underfunded local health departments tasked with covid-19 testing and contact tracing. It’s a daunting undertaking as the pandemic continues to surge.
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.
The plan, long endorsed by conservatives, would give the state broad authority in running the health insurance program for the poor in exchange for capping its annual federal funding.
President Donald Trump made substantial changes to the nation’s health care system using executive branch authority. But reversing policies that Democrats oppose would take time and personnel resources, competing with other priorities of the new administration.