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President Donald Trump this week issued a prescription drug pricing order unlikely to lower drug prices, and he contradicted comments by his director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the need for mask-wearing and predictions for vaccine availability. Meanwhile, scandals erupted at the CDC, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Food and Drug Administration. And the number of people without health insurance grew in 2019, reported the Census Bureau, even while the economy soared. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Tami Luhby of CNN and Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this and more. Plus, for extra credit, the panelists recommend their favorite health policy stories of the week they think you should read, too.

Republicans have all but abandoned the Affordable Care Act as a campaign cudgel, judging from their national convention, at least. Meanwhile, career scientists at the federal government’s preeminent health agencies — the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health — are all coming under increasing political pressure as the pandemic drags on. Joanne Kenen of Politico, Mary Ellen McIntire of CQ Roll Call and Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this and more. Plus, Rovner interviews KHN’s Elizabeth Lawrence about the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” installment.

President Donald Trump has, for now at least, become a realist on the extent of the COVID-19 crisis around the country, and he is urging Americans to socially distance and wear masks. Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, Republicans facing a July 31 deadline are scrambling to come together on their version of the next COVID relief bill. Joanne Kenen of Politico, Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times and Tami Luhby of CNN join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this and more. Also, Rovner interviews NPR’s Pam Fessler, author of the new book “Carville’s Cure,” which traces the history of the United States’ only federal leprosarium.