President Donald Trump keeps promising a comprehensive plan to replace the Affordable Care Act. And he keeps not delivering. Meanwhile, members of Congress and White House officials seem unable to agree on a new COVID-19 relief bill. And Missouri becomes the sixth state where voters approved a Medicaid expansion ballot measure. Tami Luhby of CNN, Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico and Kimberly Leonard of Business Insider join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this and more. Plus, for extra credit, the panelists recommend their favorite health stories of the week they think you should read, too.
Virginia Mason Health System and CHI Franciscan announced plans in July to merge 12 hospitals and more than 250 other treatment sites in the Puget Sound region and the Yakima area. Some patient advocacy groups warn the proposal would jeopardize access to needed services, such as emergency termination of pregnancies, contraception and physician aid in dying.
Americans are avoiding hospitals and clinics by the millions, even when they shouldn’t, and many experts expect a jump in preventable disease diagnoses after the COVID crisis eases. Paradoxically, the pandemic may have been good for some heart patients, however.
Democrats want to bind employers to follow a safety plan, while Republicans seek to shield employers and doctors from lawsuits.
Attorneys say some state workers’ compensation laws leave workers and families struggling for benefits after a COVID illness or death.
Unlike earlier in the year, most hospitals are not proactively canceling elective surgeries, even in some places seeing spikes in coronavirus patients.
In an investigation last year, KHN detailed the rise and fall of Miami businessman Jorge A. Perez’s rural hospital empire, which spanned eight states and encompassed half of the rural hospital bankruptcies in 2019.
As health workers were dying of COVID-19, federal work-safety officials filed just one citation against an employer and rapidly closed complaints about protective gear.
While federal and state officials continue to wrangle over coronavirus testing, the population testing positive is skewing younger. Meanwhile, the Trump administration wins a round in court over its requirements for hospitals to publicly reveal their prices, and the fight over the fate of the Affordable Care Act heats up once again. Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times, Paige Winfield Cunningham of The Washington Post and Kimberly Leonard of Business Insider join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this and more. Also, Rovner interviews former Obama administration health aide Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, who has written a new book comparing international health systems.
With stay-at-home orders in place, hospitals experimented with delivering many treatments to patients where they lived. They were a success. As society reopens, the return of old payment practices may prevent the adoption of this new, efficient model of care.