KHN’s ‘What the Well being?’: Paging the HHS Secretary


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Well being and Human Companies Secretary Xavier Becerra is changing into a goal for each Democrats and Republicans over what they name an absence of coordination of covid efforts inside his division. However on the similar time, officers from the Biden administration have made it clear from the beginning that the covid marketing campaign could be orchestrated by the White Home, so it’s not clear whether or not the secretary was speculated to play a serious position.

In the meantime, as covid instances decline, covid-weary politicians and the general public are pushing to ease the newest spherical of restrictions. However these with compromised immune programs and different disabilities concern they may pay the value.

This week’s panelists are Julie Rovner of KHN, Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Instances, Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, and Rachel Cohrs of Stat.

Among the many takeaways from this week’s episode:

  • The criticism seeping out about Becerra may sign frustration within the administration and on Capitol Hill that the nation remains to be topic to so many pandemic-driven restraints and the general public is on the lookout for options.
  • Nonetheless, it seems that congressional Republicans — in the event that they win a majority later this yr within the midterm elections — may use this challenge to press their rivalry that the administration has not been efficient sufficient within the battle in opposition to covid.
  • The nomination of Dr. Robert Califf to go the FDA seems to be languishing within the Senate. Some Democrats are involved that when he labored there earlier than he wasn’t attuned to the rising risks of the opioid epidemic, whereas others object to his ties to trade. Republicans, whom the administration was relying on to assist push the nomination by way of, are underneath stress to withstand from their allies within the anti-abortion motion who cost that Califf will enable extra flexibility for girls searching for treatment abortions.
  • The Division of Labor, armed with new enforcement authority, is investigating 30 medical health insurance plans for failing to abide by the necessities for insurance coverage protection parity for psychological well being. Congress has been making an attempt to require equal therapy for psychological and bodily well being because the mid-Nineties, however thus far it stays extra of an aspiration.
  • A federal appeals courtroom has allowed to face, not less than for now, a Tennessee legislation that bans abortions primarily based on intercourse, race, or a Down syndrome prognosis. An appeals courtroom panel had quickly halted the legislation, however the full appeals courtroom overturned that call and mentioned it will wait to see what the Supreme Courtroom decides this yr in a Mississippi case that might change the landmark Roe v. Wade choice making abortion authorized all through the nation.
  • Some consultants have recommended that the choice years in the past by medical doctors to maneuver most abortions out of their places of work and into specialised clinics has made the clinics a simple goal and given teams against the process a bonus of their battle. That is perhaps countered by the growing use of abortion drugs that medical doctors can prescribe for girls.
  • California lawmakers searching for to arrange a state-funded well being system, typically referred to as a single-payer system, this week conceded they didn’t have the votes to maneuver ahead. The proposal was vastly costly and it will have had two main exemptions: folks on Medicare and people lined by giant corporations which have plans regulated by the federal authorities.

Additionally this week, Rovner interviews KHN’s Noam N. Levey, who reported and wrote the newest KHN-NPR “Invoice of the Month” episode a couple of very giant invoice for a really small quantity of medical care. In case you have an outrageous medical invoice you’d wish to share with us, you are able to do that right here.

Plus, for further credit score, the panelists advocate their favourite well being coverage tales of the week they assume it is best to learn, too:

Julie Rovner: The Washington Publish’s “Researchers Are Asking Why Some International locations Have been Higher Ready for Covid. One Shocking Reply: Belief,” by Adam Taylor

Alice Miranda Ollstein: Politico’s “Subsequent Massive Well being Disaster: 15M Individuals May Lose Medicaid When Pandemic Ends,” by Megan Messerly

Margot Sanger-Katz: KHN’s “Faxes and Snail Mail: Will Pandemic-Period Flaws Unleash Improved Well being Expertise?” by Bram Sable-Smith

Rachel Cohrs: Stat’s “How a Many years-Outdated Database Grew to become a Vastly Worthwhile File on the Well being of 270 Million People,” by Casey Ross

Additionally mentioned on this week’s podcast:

The New York Instances’ “In Medication, a Lack of Braveness Has Helped Put Roe in Jeopardy,” by Eyal Press

The New York Instances’ “On Abortion Regulation, the U.S. Is Uncommon. With out Roe, It Would Be, Too,” by Claire Cain Miller and Margot Sanger-Katz

The New York Instances Journal’s “The New Abortion Suppliers,” by Emily Bazelon

Mom Jones’ “Determined Sufferers Are Shelling Out Hundreds for a Lengthy Covid Treatment. Is It for Actual?” by Kiera Butler

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KHN (Kaiser Well being Information) is a nationwide newsroom that produces in-depth journalism about well being points. Along with Coverage Evaluation and Polling, KHN is among the three main working packages at KFF (Kaiser Household Basis). KFF is an endowed nonprofit group offering data on well being points to the nation.

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