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The polarizing abortion issue threatens to tie up Congress, the Supreme Court and the states for the coming year. Meanwhile, Congress kicks the can down the road to December on settling its spending priorities. Joanne Kenen of Politico and the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, Yasmeen Abutaleb 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, Rovner interviews KHN’s Aneri Pattani, who delivered the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” episode about a covid test that cost as much as a luxury car.

With real-time data streaming in from highly specialized researchers in the U.S. and abroad, NIH scientists became convinced that boosting the covid-19 vaccine was needed to save lives, prompting the president to announce a plan with a Sept. 20 start date. Scientists at the regulatory agencies weren’t yet convinced. A meeting Friday will determine what happens next. Here’s the story from behind the scenes.