Just about every state is lifting some coronavirus-related restrictions, but it’s unclear how things are really going, considering data on the spread of the virus lags and may not be reliable. Meanwhile, the federal government continues to throw more responsibility for dealing with the pandemic to state and local governments. Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times, Kimberly Leonard of Business Insider and Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this and more.
A podcast listener who works in the health insurance industry says that when you’re trying to untangle a problem with your health insurance company ask the representative on the phone to slow down. And if need be, don’t hesitate to ask to speak with a supervisor.
House Democrats unveiled legislation that would effectively double what the federal government has spent on relief for the COVID-19 pandemic, but Republicans say they want to wait before even talking about another bill. Meanwhile, a key Republican senator called the GOP court case challenging the Affordable Care Act “flimsy.” Rebecca Adams of CQ Roll Call and Joanne Kenen of Politico join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this and more.
Poverty is real in the Coachella Valley, a region known for its glitzy resorts and music festival. During the COVID crisis, the California National Guard and California Conservation Corps are helping an area food bank distribute food to older residents and those with disabilities.
In 470,000 American homes spread across every state, washing hands to prevent COVID-19 may not be as easy as turning on a faucet. They don’t have showers or toilets or, in some cases, even water piped into their homes. Nearly a million U.S. homes don’t have complete kitchens and millions more are overcrowded, making it much tougher for people to shelter in place and avoid infection.
In the first quarter of 2020, half the country’s economic devastation happened in the health care sector. Much of the slowdown came after hospitals postponed elective surgeries and as Americans skipped routine doctor’s office visits.
Frustration from inside the Trump administration over the management of the COVID-19 pandemic is starting to become public, as whistleblowers ― some anonymous, some named — tell how the effort is being undermined by favoritism, incompetence and a disdain for science. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court heard a case that could threaten the Affordable Care Act’s birth control benefit. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Anna Edney of Bloomberg News and Rachana Pradhan of Kaiser Health News join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this and more. Also, for “extra credit,” the panelists recommend their favorite stories of the week they think you should read, too.
The Supreme Court this week, in an 8-1 decision, ruled that insurers are due the roughly $12 billion that Congress several years ago tried to cut off in payments under the Affordable Care Act’s “risk corridors” provision. And while the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage in many places around the country, states are starting to reopen their economies at the urging of President Donald Trump and over objections of public health officials. Caitlin Owens of Axios and Mary Ellen McIntire of CQ Roll Call join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this and more. Also, Rovner interviews KHN’s Carmen Heredia Rodriguez, who wrote the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” installment about COVID testing that should have been free but was not.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act requires private insurers to pay for certain services related to coronavirus testing at no cost to the patient. But gaps in the protections expose patients to unexpected medical bills.
This week on “An Arm and a Leg,” a front-line physician wonders if the health care industry’s drive for “efficiency” has robbed the system of surge capacity, leaving the nation underprepared to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.