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Massachusetts

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As the pandemic wanes, for now, the ever-rising cost of health care is again taking center stage. Meanwhile, a year into the Biden administration, the FDA finally has a Senate-confirmed commissioner, Dr. Robert Califf. Tami Luhby of CNN, Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet, and Rachel Cohrs of Stat join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews Hannah Wesolowski of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, about how the pandemic has worsened the nation’s mental health crisis and what can be done about it.

Mass General Brigham’s $2.3 billion expansion plan is raising state officials’ concerns that it will reduce competition and raise the price of care in Massachusetts. It also signals a national shift from a focus on hospital mergers and purchases of physician practices — which boost the cost of care — to individual hospitals’ expansions to gain a bigger share of the market.