Podcast: KHN’s ‘What The Health?’ VA Secretary Out, Privatization In?


David Shulkin, the secretary of Veterans Affairs, was fired Wednesday night time by President Donald Trump. To substitute him, Trump will nominate his White House doctor, naval Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson. Shulkin, nonetheless, will not be going quietly. He took to The New York Times op-ed web page to say he was pushed out by those that wish to privatize VA well being companies for revenue.

Meanwhile, two extra states, Iowa and Utah, handed laws that will sidestep a few of the necessities of the Affordable Care Act. Iowa needs to permit the sale of well being plans that cowl fewer advantages — or limit protection for individuals with preexisting well being circumstances. Utah needs to broaden Medicaid to these increased up the earnings scale — however not as excessive as prescribed by the ACA.

This week’s panelists for KHN’s “What the Health?” are Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News, Anna Edney of Bloomberg News, Sarah Kliff of and Alice Ollstein of Talking Points Memo.

Among the takeaways from this week’s podcast:

If Shulkin is correct that the administration is eager on privatizing the VA, wouldn’t it transfer to one thing akin to the Medicaid managed-care techniques that many states have arrange? Veterans teams haven’t but proven their playing cards on whether or not they suppose Jackson is an appropriate selection to exchange Shulkin. Iowa is poised to permit farmers teams to supply well being plans that might sidestep a few of the shopper protections within the federal Affordable Care Act, equivalent to requiring that preexisting circumstances be coated. Tennessee has a program just like what Iowa is implementing, and a few shopper teams have complained it pulls wholesome people out of the ACA market and drives up premiums for many who stay. Utah’s request for a federal waiver in order that it may possibly supply a Medicaid growth program to individuals incomes as much as 100 % of the federal poverty degree — and never the 138 % included within the ACA — will present whether or not the Trump administration has a special customary than the Obama administration. Obama officers rejected partial Medicaid growth requests. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) launched a invoice that provides provisions to assist middle-income prospects shopping for insurance coverage on the ACA market. But it suggests Democrats are nonetheless undecided what’s the greatest well being care technique heading into the midterm elections.

New Segment: ‘Bill Of The Month’

This month, Shefali Luthra talks about the case of the $1,500 tube of toenail fungus cream and the way sufferers can by no means be too cautious in asking how a lot a prescription will price.

If you wish to submit a invoice for the “Bill of the Month” collection, right here is the form.

Several different information retailers are reaching out to sufferers to crowdsource some well being tales. If you’re uninsured and also you wish to share your story with Bloomberg News, here’s where you can do that.

And you probably have an emergency room invoice you’d prefer to share for this project, right here’s the form.

Plus, for “extra credit,” the panelists suggest their favourite well being tales of the week they suppose you need to learn, too.

Julie Rovner: Bloomberg News’ “Why Some Americans Are Risking It and Skipping Health Insurance,” by John Tozzi.

Anna Edney: Kaiser Health News’ “As Trump Targets Immigrants, Elderly Brace To Lose Caregivers,” by Melissa Bailey.

Alice Ollstein: The Brookings Institution and the University of Southern California’s “Do States Regret Expanding Medicaid?” by Mark Hall.

Sarah Kliff: Kaiser Health News’ “Reporter’s Notebook: The Tale Of Theranos And The Mysterious Fire Alarm,” by Jenny Gold.

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