Nearly 14 million Americans have enrolled in Affordable Care Act marketplace health plans for next year — a record since the health law’s coverage expansion took effect in 2014. A boost in subsidies marketing and assistance in navigating the process increased the rolls of the insured.
Even before the omicron variant of covid starts to spread widely in the U.S., hospitals are filling up with post-holiday delta cases. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court signals — loudly — that 2022 will be the year it rolls back abortion rights in a big way. Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times, Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico and Mary Ellen McIntire of CQ Roll Call join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more.
The decision does not address the fate of abortion rights nationally, but the justices took up those arguments in a separate case earlier this month that will likely be decided in the summer.
Last week, on the same day the Supreme Court heard a case that could overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark ruling on abortion rights, Texas enacted a law that creates criminal penalties for anyone who prescribes medication abortions via telehealth or mail.
A Supreme Court majority appears ready to overturn nearly 50 years of abortion rights, at least judging by the latest round of oral arguments before the justices. And a new covid variant, omicron, gains attention as it spreads around the world. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet and Shefali Luthra of The 19th join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews Blake Farmer of Nashville Public Radio about the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” episode.
In California, health insurers blame long waits for therapy appointments on workforce shortages, but state lawmakers say that’s an excuse. A new law requires insurers to reduce wait times for mental health appointments to no more than 10 business days.
While anti-abortion activists say abortion exceptions are a “punishment” to “innocent human life,” social workers say Texas’ new abortion law rigidly curtails options for rape and incest survivors at a moment when they need the “power and control” of choice to begin healing.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers guidance but calls for localities to set quarantine rules for unvaccinated children exposed to someone with covid-19. That’s led to a pandemic patchwork of rules.
Theater companies and musical ensembles are restarting live performances after a crippling pandemic pause. In some conservative states, artists find creative ways to get around state laws that go against public health recommendations.
The infrastructure bill passed Friday funnels $15 billion into lead pipe remediation. Water quality experts say the cost of getting rid of all lead pipes could ultimately cost $60 billion. Still, some health advocates say the new funding will be transformative in allowing communities such as Houston’s Fifth Ward to fix its pipes.