In his campaign, President Joe Biden promised to undo policies, particularly health policies, implemented by former President Donald Trump. Yet, despite immense executive power, reversing four years of action takes time and resources.
After a bruising confirmation process, Xavier Becerra was sworn in as secretary of Health and Human Services this week. The Senate also confirmed the nominations of former U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy to return to the post he held in the Obama administration, and former Pennsylvania health secretary Rachel Levine as assistant secretary for health. Levine is the first openly transgender person to receive Senate confirmation. Meanwhile, questions continue to swirl around the AstraZeneca covid vaccine, which some public health experts worry will create more hesitancy toward other vaccines.
The $1.9 trillion covid relief bill expands subsidies for private insurance plans. That will lighten the burden on consumers, but it locks taxpayers into yet more support for the health care industry.
Democrats’ $1.9 trillion covid relief package will offer some of the most significant help for Americans to pay for health insurance in a decade. But the temporary provisions are complicated. KHN offers tips for consumers.
Progressive and conservative Democratic lawmakers, as well as President Joe Biden, are in favor of authorizing federal officials to negotiate with drugmakers over what Medicare pays for at least some of the most expensive brand-name drugs and to base those prices on the drugs’ clinical benefits. Such a measure could put Republicans in the uncomfortable position of opposing an idea that most voters from both parties generally support.
Covid vaccinations are ramping up, so “An Arm and a Leg” checked in on the effort in Philadelphia, where capitalism and compassion have clashed.
Sick with ailments similar to those suffered by 9/11 first responders, military service members exposed to toxic burning garbage in Iraq and Afghanistan may finally see Congress address their plight. President Joe Biden believes his son Beau’s brain cancer may have been caused by such exposure.
President Joe Biden may want to continue the previous administration’s efforts to lower drug prices and make medical costs transparent.
The numbers of people wearing these monitors are soaring as prices have fallen and device-makers promote them to doctors and patients. But few studies show the devices lead to better outcomes for the nearly 25 million Americans with Type 2 diabetes who don’t inject insulin to regulate their blood sugar.
Beyond the billions of dollars aimed squarely at the pandemic, the covid relief bill cleared by Congress this week includes significant changes to health policy. Among them are the first major expansions to the Affordable Care Act since its enactment 11 years ago and changes that could expand coverage for the Medicaid program. Tami Luhby of CNN, Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico and Rachel Cohrs of Stat join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Plus, for extra credit, the panelists recommend their favorite health policy stories of the week they think you should read, too.