Podcast: KHN’s ‘What The Health?’ Let’s Talk Politics

It appears more and more possible that well being care politics will play an vital function within the midterm elections come November. But in contrast to each election since 2010, this 12 months finds the Democrats enjoying offense and the Republicans again on their heels.

There is one well being proposal most Democrats and Republicans agree is a good suggestion — offering “reinsurance” to assist insurers pay for his or her sickest sufferers, thus enabling them to decrease premiums for everybody. This week, the Trump administration accredited reinsurance plans requested by Maine and Wisconsin. But laws in Congress that might lengthen these applications nationwide didn’t get a vote in both the House or Senate earlier this 12 months — one other casualty within the partisan combat over well being care.

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

Among the takeaways from this week’s podcast:

Congressional Democrats are making preexisting circumstances a key debating level, together with Senate candidates working in deep-red states, corresponding to Missouri and West Virginia. The assure of protection even when an individual has a medical downside is among the hottest provisions within the Affordable Care Act. Democrats are enjoying up the Trump administration’s competition in a lawsuit that because the Congress removed the penalty for individuals who don’t get well being protection, insurers don’t must cowl preexisting circumstances. Republicans are in search of to show that they care about well being care too, by pointing to their efforts to chop taxes on well being care industries and to increase well being financial savings accounts that permit customers to put aside cash for medical payments in tax-free accounts. But the GOP is in a bind as a result of typically if folks don’t really feel the direct advantages of a coverage — such because the business financial savings from the tax adjustments — politicians might not reap a lot profit. A rising variety of Democrats within the House and Senate are additionally expressing help for a “Medicare-for-all” well being care system. Although some could also be extra fascinated by skirting the advanced particulars of such a transition in favor of backing a coverage that appeals to Democratic voters.

Rovner additionally interviews KHN’s Emmarie Huetteman, who wrote the most recent Bill of the Month. It incorporates a very costly surgical invoice and a really persistent affected person. You can learn it here.

If you may have a medical invoice you’d like NPR and KHN to analyze, you may submit it here.

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

Julie Rovner: The New York Times’ “Meet the Rebate, the New Villain of High Drug Prices,” by Katie Thomas

Anna Edney: USA Today’s “Hospitals Know How to Protect Mothers. They Just Aren’t Doing It,” by Alison Young

Alice Ollstein: Politico’s “Trump Policy Shop Filters Facts to Fit His Message,” by Dan Diamond

Rebecca Adams: The Atlantic’s “Being Black in America Can Be Hazardous to Your Health,” by Olga Khazan

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Kaiser Health News (KHN) is a nationwide well being coverage information service. It is an editorially unbiased program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation which isn’t affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

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