KHN’s ‘What The Health’: Spending Bill Slowdown

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The fiscal yr began a month and a half in the past, however Congress has nonetheless not agreed on an annual spending invoice for the Department of Health and Human Services – or any of the opposite annual spending payments that fund the federal government.

Meanwhile, Congress IS transferring on efforts to additional prohibit tobacco and vaping merchandise, significantly to restrict their advertising to underage customers. The Trump administration has been vowing to make use of its personal authority to crack down on a youth vaping epidemic, however thus far has not acted.

The administration is transferring on the drug value entrance, nonetheless, submitting a lawsuit in opposition to drugmaker Gilead for allegedly infringing a government-owned patent on a drug routine to forestall HIV.

This week’s panelists are Julie Rovner from Kaiser Health News, Rebecca Adams of CQ Roll Call and Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico.

Rovner additionally interviews Dan Weissmann, host of the podcast “An Arm and a Leg,” about why well being care prices a lot and what sufferers can do about it. KHN is co-producing the podcast’s new season.

Among the takeaways from this week’s podcast:

Among the partisan arguments holding up the HHS funding invoice are disagreements on spending for household planning packages and the quantity of a rise for HHS as a complete. A House subcommittee this week permitted new rules that will restrict flavors for vaping and different tobacco merchandise. But that comes because the administration seems more likely to step again from Trump’s earlier vow to outlaw flavored merchandise. Some lawmakers and administration officers recommend that any laws to ban flavored e-cigarette merchandise ought to embody carve-outs for some teams, together with small companies that cater to vapers and to members of the army. The latest revelation that Google is working with a serious well being care system to investigate affected person data is elevating issues about shoppers’ privateness. That and different latest points encompass well being care tech might sign that the federal privateness regulation, HIPAA, must be up to date. The Trump administration’s swimsuit in opposition to Gilead in search of to deliver down prices of its HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis drug might sign that the federal government is able to tackle different corporations with excessive value tags on medication developed with federal help.

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

Julie Rovner: The Philadelphia Inquirer’s “A Philly woman’s broken back and $36,000 bill shows how some health insurance brokers trick consumers into skimpy plans,” by Sarah Gantz.

Rebecca Adams: CQ Roll Call’s “Surprise billing fight highlights hurdles for bolder health care changes,” by Mary Ellen McIntire.

Alice Ollstein: Politico’s “Trump allies received hundreds of thousands of dollars under federal health contract,” by Dan Diamond and Adam Cancryn.

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

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