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The nationwide shortage of baby formula, which has been simmering for months, finally burst into public consciousness as more parents become less able to find food for their babies, prompting a belated federal response. Meanwhile, covid-19 cases rise but prevention activities don’t, and abortion-rights backers ready their legal arsenal for a post-Roe world. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Tami Luhby of CNN, and Rachel Cohrs of Stat join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Plus, for extra credit, the panelists suggest their favorite health policy stories of the week they think you should read, too.

Covid cases are again climbing, but you wouldn’t know it from the behavior of public health and elected officials, much less the general public, all of whom seem to want to put the pandemic in the rearview mirror. Meanwhile, the fallout over the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion on abortion continues even as the Senate fails — again — to muster the votes to write abortion rights into law. Joanne Kenen of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Politico, Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, and Sandhya Raman of CQ Roll Call join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Plus, for extra credit, the panelists suggest their favorite health policy stories of the week they think you should read, too.

The Senate could start work this week on a bipartisan bill to make it much easier for veterans to get health care and benefits if they get sick from exposure to massive, open-air incineration pits in war zones. The legislation has gained minimal support among Senate Republicans, who say they are concerned about the cost and the ability of Veterans Affairs to handle such a large new mission.

Congress is back in session, but covid diagnoses for Vice President Kamala Harris and two Democratic senators have temporarily left the Senate without a working majority to approve continued covid funding. Meanwhile, opponents of the Affordable Care Act have filed yet another lawsuit challenging a portion of the law, and we say goodbye to the late Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, who left a long legacy of health laws. Rachel Cohrs of STAT News, Anna Edney of Bloomberg News, and Rebecca Adams of KHN join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more.

In his proposed budget, President Joe Biden called for a boost in health spending that includes billions of dollars to prepare for a future pandemic. But that doesn’t include money he says is needed immediately for testing and treating covid-19. Also this week, federal regulators authorized a second booster shot for people 50 and older yet gave little guidance to consumers about who needs the shot and when. Amy Goldstein of The Washington Post, Jennifer Haberkorn of the Los Angeles Times, and Rachana Pradhan of KHN join KHN’s Mary Agnes Carey to discuss these issues and more. Plus, Julie Rovner interviews KHN’s Julie Appleby, who reported and wrote the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” episode about a very expensive air ambulance ride.

Although its fate was in doubt more than a few times, the Affordable Care Act turned 12 this week. Year 13 could be pivotal in determining how many Americans receive ACA health insurance, and at what price. Meanwhile, three leading credit bureaus agreed to stop using most medical debt to measure U.S. consumers’ creditworthiness. Anna Edney of Bloomberg News, Rachel Cohrs of Stat, and KHN’s Mary Agnes Carey join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more.