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Surprise Bills

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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.

Congress seems on the verge of finishing a long-delayed COVID-19 relief bill, which will reportedly include neither of the things each party wanted most — for Republicans, liability protections; for Democrats, funding for states and localities. That bill is likely to be tied to a package to fund the federal government for the rest of the fiscal year and, possibly, include a fix for “surprise” medical bills that patients receive when they inadvertently receive care outside their insurance network. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Rebecca Adams of CQ Roll Call and Mary Agnes Carey of KHN join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner talks to Elizabeth Mitchell, president and CEO of the Pacific Business Group on Health, about the future of employer-provided health insurance.