KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: Tennessee Seeks Medicaid Changes

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Tennessee introduced this week that it hopes to turn into the primary state to take the Trump administration up on its provide to rework funding for its Medicaid program right into a block grant. Tennessee, anticipated to formally file its plan this fall, is betting it could discover methods to decrease the prices of caring for its low-income sufferers with out reducing advantages or enrollment. But it stays unclear if Tennessee’s plan might be allowed underneath Medicaid regulation.

Meanwhile, open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act begins in lower than six weeks. By all indications, shoppers in most components of the nation can have extra decisions and smaller premium will increase than in earlier years, even with out the authorized requirement for most individuals to have protection or pay a tax penalty.

And Congress continues to be struggling to seek out compromises on laws to deal with rising prescription drug costs and shock medical payments.

This week’s panelists are Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News, Anna Edney of Bloomberg News, Jennifer Haberkorn of the Los Angeles Times and Kimberly Leonard of the Washington Examiner.

Also this week, Rovner interviews Johns Hopkins surgeon Dr. Marty Makary, who has a brand new ebook, “The Price We Pay,” exploring why well being care within the U.S. prices a lot.

Among the takeaways from this week’s podcast:

The Trump administration and a few conservative Republican lawmakers have lengthy sought to maneuver Medicaid to a block-grant system, during which states would get an outlined federal fee and thus have extra management over easy methods to spend the cash to supply well being care to low-income residents. But the massive unknown is the chance states take with such a system, particularly if some financial issue all of the sudden makes extra individuals eligible for Medicaid. The improved situations for shoppers shopping for medical insurance on the marketplaces in November come regardless of the GOP’s elimination of the tax penalty for not having insurance coverage. So have been Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump fallacious in arguing that the ACA couldn’t stand with out the mandate? Earlier this summer time, one factor appeared sure: Congress would move some kind of laws to guard shoppers in opposition to shock medical payments, which they get after being handled by a health care provider or hospital exterior their insurance coverage community. Democrats, Republicans and the White House needed it. But an promoting blitz by non-public fairness corporations that personal doctor practices appears to be fraying that resolve. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s plan to curb drug costs — introduced Thursday — is prone to face a troublesome time getting by means of a Republican Senate. But it may show a potent argument for the Democrats within the 2020 elections. The Democratic presidential candidates’ battle over the place the get together is headed on well being coverage is complicated voters and should make them a bit cynical in regards to the probabilities of fixing present issues. That may have dire penalties for the get together, since a lot of the Democrats’ success within the 2018 midterm elections was attributed to their message about well being care.

Plus, for further credit score, the panelists suggest their favourite well being coverage tales of the week they suppose you need to learn too:

Julie Rovner: Bloomberg News’ “Carcinogens Have Infiltrated the Generic Drug Supply in the U.S.” by Anna Edney, Susan Berfield and Evelyn Yu, and “Carcinogen Scare Sets off Global Race to Contain Tainted Zantac,” by Edney

Anna Edney: The Washington Post’s “The Vaping Industry Has Close Ties to Trump. His Ban Still Caught Them Off Guard,” by Laurie McGinley, Neena Satija, Josh Dawsey and Yasmeen Abutaleb

Jennifer Haberkorn: The Los Angeles Times’ “Americans’ Struggles With Medical Bills Are a Foreign Concept in Other Countries,” by Noam Levey

Kimberly Leonard: The (Toronto) Globe and Mail’s “Toronto-Based Hospital Network Commits Land to Building Affordable Housing,” by Kelly Grant

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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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