The new Democratic majority within the House of Representatives took its first steps on well being care — voting to intervene within the attraction of a Texas-led lawsuit that discovered the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional in December. And across the nation, Democratic governors and mayors unveiled new initiatives geared toward making well being care cheaper and extra accessible.
In Washington, the partial shutdown of the federal government has left most well being companies untouched however shuttered main elements of the Food and Drug Administration and the Indian Health Service.
This week’s panelists for KHN’s “What the Health?” are Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News, Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times, Anna Edney of Bloomberg News and Rebecca Adams of CQ Roll Call.
Among the takeaways from this week’s podcast:
Much of the eye on the influence of the federal choose’s determination in Texas to invalidate the ACA has centered on the way it impacts folks with preexisting medical situations. But the ruling is far more far-reaching and will have an effect on broad swaths of well being care within the nation. The partial authorities shutdown has had solely a small influence on the Department of Health and Human Services, which already obtained its funding. But the FDA, which is funded by the Agriculture Department’s appropriations invoice, is affected. Officials there say they’re making an attempt to maintain up with high-risk meals inspections and will carry some staff again to work. The FDA receives a considerable a part of its funds by the charges paid by pharmaceutical corporations for overview of their merchandise. But in the course of the shutdown, the company is just not allowed to simply accept extra charges, so it can run out of cash for drug software critiques in a few month, officers stated. Recent efforts by some Democratic state and native officers spotlight the intraparty debate over well being care. New California Gov. Gavin Newsom has proposed increasing insurance coverage premium subsidies to folks making as much as 600 % of the federal poverty degree (about $72,800 for a person) — up from the legislation’s present 400 % (about $48,500) — whereas Washington Gov. Jay Inslee needs to arrange a government-run plan that might be an possibility for folks shopping for their very own insurance coverage. And in New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio needs to supply protection to people who find themselves within the nation illegally. The newest authorities enrollment figures present that greater than 11 million folks signed up for protection supplied within the ACA marketplaces. That is down a bit from prior years, however nonetheless greater than business watchers predicted given the tax penalty for not having protection expired this 12 months. The small slippage in enrollment previously two years, following modifications made by the Trump administration and a Republican-led Congress, might sign challenges sooner or later, particularly in small markets the place getting competitors has been robust.
Also this week, Julie Rovner interviews KHN senior correspondent Jordan Rau, who investigated and wrote the most recent “Bill of the Month” characteristic for Kaiser Health News and NPR. It’s a few snowboarding accident that required repeat surgical procedures — and payments for the affected person, though she did nothing fallacious. You can learn the story here, and its replace here.
If you might have a medical invoice you desire to NPR and KHN to analyze, you’ll be able to submit it here.
Plus, for additional credit score, the panelists suggest their favourite well being coverage tales of the week they suppose it’s best to learn, too:
Julie Rovner: Rewire.News’ “There’s Almost No Data About What Happens When Catholic Hospitals Deny Reproductive Care,” by Amy Littlefield
Rebecca Adams: The Washington Post Magazine’s “Life, Death and Insulin,” by Tiffany Stanley
Margot Sanger-Katz: Vox.com’s “A $20,243 Bike Crash: Zuckerberg Hospital’s Aggressive Tactics Leave Patients With Big Bills,” by Sarah Kliff
Anna Edney: The Washington Post’s “The FDA Is Still Letting Doctors Implant Untested Devices Into Our Bodies,” by Jeanne Lenzer and Shannon Brownlee
To hear all our podcasts, click here.