Like almost everything else associated with the covid-19 pandemic, partisans are taking sides over whether vaccines should be mandated. Meanwhile, Democrats on Capitol Hill are still struggling to find compromise in their effort to expand health insurance and other social programs. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Jen Haberkorn of the Los Angeles Times and Mary Ellen McIntire of CQ Roll Call join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews best-selling author Beth Macy about her book “Dopesick,” and the new Hulu miniseries based on it.
New, often lower-cost plans capitalize on the convenience of telemedicine — and patients’ growing familiarity with it. But consumers should weigh costs and care options before enrolling in a “virtual-first” plan.
The law says nonprofit hospitals are supposed to offer low-income patients financial assistance. But the average person doesn’t know about it. Here’s how to get help.
Here’s an out-of-the-box idea: Have letter carriers spend less time delivering mail and take time to perform home visits and basic health checks on the growing population of frail and elderly.
Biologic drugs, made from living organisms, and the cheaper biosimilar drugs that mimic them are more complex than chemical drugs and their generic counterparts. The Food and Drug Administration says biosimilars are as safe and effective as the biologics, and doctors agree — but they are cautious about changing the treatment regimen of patients doing well.
Congress is back in session with a short time to finish a long to-do list, including keeping the government operating and paying its bills. Hanging in the balance is President Joe Biden’s entire domestic agenda, including major changes proposed for Medicare, Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act. Meanwhile, the new Texas abortion law that bans the procedure early in pregnancy is prompting action in Washington. Joanne Kenen of Politico, Mary Ellen McIntire of CQ Roll Call and Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also, Rovner interviews former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb about his new book on the covid-19 pandemic.
Drought, wildfires, extreme heat: California lawmakers cast climate change as the culprit in an emerging series of public health threats, setting aside billions to help communities respond. But they stopped short of more aggressively reducing the state’s share of the greenhouse emissions warming the planet.
Zoom in on states with overall good vaccination rates and you see a checkerboard effect, with rural areas far lagging urban zones. That’s allowed the pandemic to rage in places like Jackson County, Oregon, overwhelming hospitals.
Back-to-school season has fueled immediate covid outbreaks. Instead of beefing up protections, some districts are letting students go without masks, physical distancing and quarantines. And parents are left to make impossibly tough decisions.
KHN and California Healthline staff made the rounds on national and local media this week to discuss their stories. Here’s a collection of their appearances.