The covid pandemic has caused millions of people, particularly LGBTQ adults, to lose their jobs and enroll in Medicaid or insurance through the Affordable Care Act. Yet these plans often don’t fully cover the basics needed by many transgender Americans, such as injectable estrogen, a hormone therapy commonly used by trans women.
Despite big 2020 campaign promises to deliver lower costs on prescription drugs, Democrats have failed to unite around a legislative plan.
Negotiations continue on Capitol Hill over President Joe Biden’s health agenda — along with a long list of other items. With Republicans on the sidelines, liberal Democrats delayed a House vote on a Senate-passed infrastructure bill to extract moderates’ support for a social-spending bill that includes expansions of benefits for Medicare, Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act. Meanwhile, the Biden administration’s new rules to prevent “surprise” medical bills pleases some health stakeholders and angers others. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Tami Luhby of CNN and Kimberly Leonard of Insider join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also, Rovner interviews Anna Flagg of the Marshall Project about how a century-old report on medical education contributed to racial inequities that persist today.
Patients sickened in heat waves, flooding and wildfire have raised awareness of climate change’s impact on health. Now, some hospitals are building solar panels and cutting waste to reduce their own carbon footprints, with support from a new office at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. But the industry is moving slowly.
A patient from Dallas got a PCR test in a free-standing suburban emergency room. The out-of-network charge: $54,000.
Efforts to give 2.2 million Americans health insurance hang in the balance as Congress debates a massive spending bill. The so-called Medicaid gap is felt most acutely in Texas, where about half of those who stand to gain coverage live.
More than 2 million low-income adults are uninsured because their states have not accepted Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. Congressional Democrats want to offer them coverage in the massive spending bill being debated, but competition to get into that package is fierce.
Congress is back in session with a short time to finish a long to-do list, including keeping the government operating and paying its bills. Hanging in the balance is President Joe Biden’s entire domestic agenda, including major changes proposed for Medicare, Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act. Meanwhile, the new Texas abortion law that bans the procedure early in pregnancy is prompting action in Washington. Joanne Kenen of Politico, Mary Ellen McIntire of CQ Roll Call and Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also, Rovner interviews former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb about his new book on the covid-19 pandemic.
Capitol Hill lawmakers mobilize to support a bill that would write abortion protections into federal law. Unlikely to succeed, the exercise follows a tactic that proved unsuccessful in 1992.
Here’s an out-of-the-box idea: Have letter carriers spend less time delivering mail and take time to perform home visits and basic health checks on the growing population of frail and elderly.