Podcast: KHN’s ‘What The Health?’ Nothing In Health Care Ever Goes Away

Congressional Republicans have struck a decidedly totally different tone when speaking concerning the Affordable Care Act, and the Democrats have launched a brand new Medicare enlargement invoice.

Meanwhile, states are speaking about Medicaid enlargement, and a federal courtroom’s ruling on Maryland’s proposal to battle drug price-gouging sends shock waves nationwide. Both chambers of Congress have been busy introducing legislative fixes for the nation’s opioid epidemic with lawmakers promising that laws will land this spring.

This week’s panelists for KHN’s “What the Health?” are Sarah Jane Tribble of Kaiser Health News, Joanne Kenen of Politico, Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times and Paige Winfield Cunningham of The Washington Post.

Among the takeaways from this week’s podcast:

In the upcoming election season, the tables could also be turned: Democrats possible will spend extra on well being care adverts than Republicans. Democrats suppose that this congressional marketing campaign season they’ll successfully goal weak Republicans by specializing in the GOP’s help for repealing and changing the Affordable Care Act. Republicans, alternatively, predict they’ve a successful argument with their repeal of the unpopular requirement that folks get insurance coverage or pay a penalty. Campaigns possible may also level to the social gathering’s efforts to encourage extra versatile — however maybe much less protecting — protection choices, resembling affiliation and short-term well being plans. Two Democratic senators, Jeff Merkley of Oregon and Chris Murphy of Connecticut, launched a invoice this week that will enable people who haven’t but reached 65 and small companies to purchase into the Medicare program. It would additionally considerably improve subsidies for folks shopping for ACA market plans. Democratic efforts to increase the inhabitants that may use Medicare may hit opposition from two key teams: well being care suppliers, resembling hospitals and medical doctors, who object to the decrease reimbursement, and seniors, who could also be afraid that sources might be stretched too skinny. Medicaid enlargement advocates in some conservative states search to comply with Maine in getting the problem on the poll, however these efforts in very conservative states, resembling Utah and Idaho, face immense obstacles. Despite a courtroom final week throwing out Maryland’s new regulation on drug pricing, different states are transferring ahead on efforts to convey extra transparency to what customers are charged for his or her prescriptions. Lawmakers are scurrying to push by Congress efforts to assist battle the nation’s opioid epidemic. One measure, by Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.), is predicted to be marked up subsequent week. Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), the pinnacle of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, says his panel will convey a invoice to the ground by Memorial Day.

Plus, for “extra credit,” the panelists advocate their favourite well being tales of the week they suppose it’s best to learn, too.

Joanne Kenen: The New York Times’ “How Profiteers Lure Women Into Often-Unneeded Surgery,” by Matthew Goldstein and Jessica Silver-Greenberg

Margot Sanger-Katz:’s “A ‘Breakthrough in Organ Preservation’: Study Shows Keeping Livers Warm Helps Preserve Them for Transplant,” by Eric Boodman

Paige Winfield Cunningham: The Washington Post’s “Science Hinted That Cancer Patients Could Take Less of a $148,000-a-Year Drug. Its Maker Tripled the Price of a Pill,” by Carolyn Y. Johnson

Sarah Jane Tribble: The Washington Post’s “‘One Last Time’: Barbara Bush Had Already Faced a Death More Painful Than Her Own,” by Steve Hendrix

Additional Reading

Sanger-Katz beneficial two tales throughout the opioid dialogue. Here are the hyperlinks to these, too:

Reason’s “America’s War on Pain Pills Is Killing Addicts and Leaving Patients in Agony,” by Jacob Sullum

Harper’s “The Pain Refugees: The Forgotten Victims of America’s Opioid Crisis,” by Brian Goldstone

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