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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.

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.

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.