The FDA authorized the emergency use of a one-shot vaccine made by Johnson & Johnson, which could help accelerate the pace of vaccinations to prevent covid-19. But after a dramatic decline, case numbers are again rising, and several states are rolling back public health mitigation efforts. Mary Ellen McIntire of CQ Roll Call, Joanne Kenen of Politico and Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews KHN’s Jordan Rau about the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” episode.
As the speed of covid vaccinations picks up, so do the reports of doses going to waste. Health officials are trying to rein in waste without slowing down vaccinations.
“An Arm and a Leg” is updating a story, first reported in 2019, about how insulin got to be so expensive. The latest news is more encouraging than expected.
Dr. Paloma Marin-Nevarez graduated from medical school during the pandemic. We follow the rookie doctor for her first months working at a hospital in Fresno, California, as she grapples with isolation, anti-mask rallies and an overwhelming number of deaths.
More than a month into the Biden administration, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, the nominee to run the Department of Health and Human Services, finally got his confirmation hearings in the Senate, along with nominees for surgeon general and assistant secretary for health. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court announced it would hear a case challenging the Trump administration’s regulation that effectively evicted Planned Parenthood from the federal family planning program. Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times, Tami Luhby of CNN and Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews HuffPost’s Jonathan Cohn, whose new book, “The Ten Year War: Obamacare and the Unfinished Crusade for Universal Coverage,” is out this week.
Keeping a campaign promise, President Joe Biden has reopened enrollment for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act on healthcare.gov — and states that run their own health insurance marketplaces followed suit. At the same time, the Biden administration is moving to revoke the Trump administration’s permission for states to impose work requirements for some adults on the Medicaid health insurance program. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Kimberly Leonard of Business Insider and Rachel Cohrs of Stat join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also, Rovner interviews medical student Inam Sakinah, president of the new group Future Doctors in Politics.
A video on the social media platform TikTok explains how consumers can “crush” their hospital bills using charity care policies. This won’t work for all medical bills, but it might be a good place to start.
Even while the Senate is busy with Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, the House has gotten down to work on a covid relief bill using the budget reconciliation process. Meanwhile, the watchword for covid this week among the public is confusion — over masks, vaccines and just about everything else science-related. Joanne Kenen of Politico, Paige Winfield Cunningham of The Washington Post and Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, the panelists recommend their favorite “health policy valentines” along with their favorite health policy stories they think you should read, too.
Covid-19 has now killed more Americans than World War II did. That fact helps some people put the viral death toll in perspective, while others find it offensive.
In the past two months, covid-related infection and death rates have jumped exponentially in California’s least populated counties. The winter surge has scarred corners of the state that went largely unscathed for much of 2020.