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KHN’s ‘What The Health?’

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The annual accounting of national health spending is out. And the 2018 health bill for the U.S. was $3.6 trillion, consuming nearly a fifth of the nation’s economy. Meanwhile, Congress is nearing the end of the year without having finished either its annual spending bills or several other high-priority health items. Kimberly Leonard of the Washington Examiner, Joanne Kenen of Politico and Mary Agnes Carey of Kaiser Health News join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this and more. Also, Rovner interviews KHN’s Markian Hawryluk about the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month.”

Open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act’s marketplace plans is halfway over and, so far, the number of people signing up is down, but not dramatically. Meanwhile, Congress and President Donald Trump can’t seem to agree on what to do about teen vaping, drug prices or “surprise” medical bills. And Democrats lurch to the left on abortion. Paige Winfield Cunningham of The Washington Post, Kimberly Leonard of the Washington Examiner and Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this and more health news.

Health care is still a top issue in the Democratic primary debate for president, but the candidates’ complicated plans may be doing more to confuse than to educate voters. Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times, Caitlin Owens of Axios and Julie Appleby of Kaiser Health News join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this and more health news. Also, for extra credit, the panelists recommend their favorite health policy stories of the week.

It’s November, do you know where your HHS spending bill is? Still stuck in Congress. Meanwhile, lawmakers move ahead on restricting tobacco products for youth while the administration’s proposal is MIA. Rebecca Adams of CQ Roll Call and Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this and more health news from the week. Also, Rovner interviews Dan Weissmann, host of the podcast “An Arm and a Leg.”

Key Democratic wins in 2019 state elections in Virginia and (probably) Kentucky could have big implications for health care in general and Medicaid in particular. And in the Democratic presidential primary, Elizabeth Warren is catching flak from all sides over her “Medicare For All” plan. This week, Joanne Kenen of Politico, Caitlin Owens of Axios and Kimberly Leonard of the Washington Examiner join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Plus, Rovner interviews KHN’s Laura Ungar, who wrote the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month.” For “extra credit,” the panelists recommend their favorite health stories of the week.

If it’s Halloween, that means open enrollment for plans on the Affordable Care Act exchanges is right around the corner. Prices are down this year, but the future of the health law remains in doubt due to a lawsuit seeking to have the entire measure thrown out. This week, Stephanie Armour of The Wall Street Journal, Mary Agnes Carey of Kaiser Health News and Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, the panelists read the top entries in KHN’s Halloween Health Haiku Contest.

Medicare’s sister program actually covers more people than Medicare. It’s complex and sometimes confusing, but Medicaid is critical to states, health care providers and the more than 70 million people it serves. In this episode of KHN’s “What the Health?” host Julie Rovner interviews Diane Rowland of the Kaiser Family Foundation, one of the nation’s top Medicaid experts. Then Rovner, Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times, Tami Luhby of CNN and Joanne Kenen of Politico discuss some of the current debates surrounding Medicaid and its future.

House Democrats start legislative work on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s prescription drug pricing bill; health is again a featured player in the Democratic presidential candidate debate; and courts around the country hold up President Donald Trump’s health agenda. This week, Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times, Tami Luhby of CNN, and Joanne Kenen of Politico join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Plus, for “extra credit,” the panelists recommend their favorite health stories of the week.

President Donald Trump has ordered that legal immigrants obtain health insurance within 30 days of arriving or prove they can pay for any possible medical need ― another policy certain to be challenged in court. Meanwhile, health issues continue to play a major role in campaign 2020. This week, Paige Winfield Cunningham of The Washington Post, Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico and Julie Appleby of Kaiser Health News join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more.

President Donald Trump, dogged by an impeachment inquiry, tries to change the subject by unveiling an executive order aimed at expanding the role of private Medicare health plans. The Trump administration also launched an effort this week to expand “wellness” programs aimed at getting people with insurance to practice better health habits – even though research has shown the efforts don’t generally improve health or save money. This week, Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Kimberly Leonard of the Washington Examiner and Rebecca Adams of CQ Roll Call join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more.