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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: A Big Week for Biden


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Well being coverage was entrance and heart as Congress rushed to cross main laws earlier than leaving for its summer time break. President Joe Biden signed a invoice this week offering well being advantages to navy veterans who have been sickened by publicity to poisonous burn pits and can doubtless quickly signal a measure permitting Medicare to barter the value of prescribed drugs and lengthen enhanced subsidies for individuals who purchase their insurance coverage by the Inexpensive Care Act’s marketplaces.

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In the meantime, the abortion debate continues to rage across the nation, with Indiana changing into the primary state to cross a brand new ban for the reason that Supreme Court docket overturned Roe v. Wade in June.

This week’s panelists are Julie Rovner of KHN, Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet, and Rachel Cohrs of Stat.

Among the many takeaways from this week’s episode:

  • The Senate parliamentarian determines whether or not provisions in particular finances laws known as reconciliation payments meet the necessities to not be topic to a filibuster and are as a substitute eligible to be handed with a easy majority vote. With the Inflation Discount Act, she pressured Democrats final week to drop a few of the drug pricing provisions that will have utilized to shoppers within the personal medical insurance market. That features a plan that will have required drugmakers to carry any will increase within the value of sure medication to the speed of inflation.
  • Democrats have been additionally dissatisfied that the parliamentarian denied their efforts to cross a value cap on insulin sufferers who will not be coated by Medicare and that Republicans didn’t help an effort to cross the measure. A number of different payments designed to assist hold the price of the lifesaving medication reasonably priced are languishing in Congress and are unlikely to get a vote within the Senate this yr.
  • However the invoice nonetheless supplies key ensures for Medicare beneficiaries and is a serious change in how the federal government will work together with drugmakers. Getting laws like this — so strongly opposed by the trade — was a formidable feat for the Democrats in an evenly divided Senate.
  • If the invoice passes the Home on Friday, as anticipated, a few of the modifications to Medicare, together with the value negotiations, is not going to take impact instantly. So shoppers should wait to comprehend all the advantages of the brand new legislation.
  • Indiana’s new abortion legislation is ready to take impact subsequent month. However the legislative debate uncovered tensions amongst anti-abortion teams over how strict to be about abortion entry for individuals who might have been raped. Ultimately, Indiana lawmakers opted to depart in exceptions for rape and incest.
  • The brand new Indiana abortion legislation, nonetheless, prompted a press release by drugmaker Lilly, which is headquartered within the state, saying that the restrictions may harm the corporate’s efforts to recruit employees and that the corporate will present help to staff who have to exit of state for abortion care.
  • The Biden administration final week declared a public well being emergency for monkeypox, and Well being and Human Companies Secretary Xavier Becerra this week gave the FDA authority to grant emergency use authorizations for monkeypox vaccines.
  • Considerations are rising in regards to the massive variety of individuals within the U.S. who’re bothered with long-term well being issues brought on by covid-19. But there seems to be little curiosity on Capitol Hill in funding research or applications to assist this inhabitants.

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

Julie Rovner: The Washington Submit’s “For Sleep Apnea Sufferers With Recalled CPAP Machines, Stressed Nights,” by Laurie McGinley

Rachel Cohrs: The Washington Submit’s “Conservatives Skeptical of Coronavirus Vaccines Battle to Lead a Hospital,” by Tim Craig

Alice Miranda Ollstein: The AP’s “Research Connects Local weather Hazards to 58% of Infectious Ailments,” by Seth Borenstein

Sarah Karlin-Smith: The Pink Sheet’s “US FDA Commissioner Califf Takes on Misinformation, Beginning With ‘Rumor Management,’” by Sue Sutter

Additionally talked about on this week’s episode:

The Washington Submit’s “Abortion Bans Complicate Entry to Medicine for Most cancers, Arthritis, Even Ulcers,” by Katie Shepherd and Frances Stead Sellers

Politico’s “Republicans Activate Every Different Amid Submit-Roe Chaos,” by Megan Messerly and Alice Miranda Ollstein

The Indianapolis Star’s “‘A Slap within the Face’: Some Upset Lilly, Cumming Wait to Criticize Abortion Ban Till Holcomb Signed It,” by Binghui Huang and Lizzie Kane

NBC Information’ “Pregnant Ladies in States With Abortion Bans Face the Actuality of a Submit-Roe World,” by Lauren Dunn and Kristen Dahlgren

Politico’s “Tim Kaine Has Lengthy Covid. That’s Not Shifting Congress to Act,” by Alice Miranda Ollstein


To listen to all our podcasts, click on right here.

And subscribe to KHN’s What the Well being? on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts, or wherever you hearken to podcasts.

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