KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: Prepping For A Possible Pandemic

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President Donald Trump has named Vice President Mike Pence to steer the nation’s effort to fight COVID-19, the contagious illness from a coronavirus that originated in China and is spreading worldwide. At the identical time, Congress is making ready to acceptable billions of dollars for prevention and remedy ought to the outbreak within the U.S. develop into critical.

Meanwhile, the Democratic candidates for president — in a debate main as much as this weekend’s voting in South Carolina and the 14 state primaries on Super Tuesday subsequent week ― are nonetheless combating over “Medicare for All.”

This week’s panelists are Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News, Joanne Kenen of Politico, Kimberly Leonard of the Washington Examiner and Shefali Luthra of Kaiser Health News.

Among the takeaways from this week’s podcast:

Some critics have argued that Trump ought to have named somebody with broad public well being expertise to coordinate the administration’s response to the coronavirus outbreak. But the Obama administration, going through issues about Ebola virus instances within the U.S., turned to Ron Klain, who was the vice chairman’s chief of workers, to deal with its response, and that labored effectively. Pence’s position as “coronavirus czar” is just not his first effort in serving to direct an emergency well being response. He was governor of Indiana when the opioid epidemic helped propel a dramatic improve in HIV infections in a single sparsely populated county. Pence was slow to adopt a needle exchange program advisable by public well being officers to assist hold that virus from spreading. Issues surrounding rural well being care made a shock look in the newest Democratic presidential debate. There is just not a lot disagreement among the many candidates on the necessity to enhance rural companies. They additionally agree that if all states adopted the federal well being regulation’s Medicaid enlargement program, extra residents of rural areas would have higher well being care choices. A research within the British medical journal The Lancet, steadily cited by Sen. Bernie Sanders as backing up his projections for the price of a government-run Medicare for All well being care program, makes assumptions that many different specialists name flawed. They level out that the research was carried out by epidemiologists and never well being care economists. An appeals court docket in California upheld the Trump administration’s efforts to evict Planned Parenthood from the federal household planning program often known as Title X. The new guidelines, unlikely to be blocked by an more and more anti-abortion Supreme Court, require recipients of federal household planning funds to cease making abortion referrals and to bodily separate amenities that do household planning and people who carry out abortions.

Also this week, Rovner interviews NPR’s Sydney Lupkin, who reported the most recent KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” installment about how two variations of the identical drug have dramatically totally different value tags. If you’ve got an outrageous medical invoice you wish to share with us, you are able to do that here.

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

Julie Rovner: Consumer Reports’ “GoodRx Saves Money on Meds ― It Also Shares Data With Google, Facebook, and Others,” by Thomas Germain

Joanne Kenen: Politico’s “Harmed Before Birth, America’s ‘Lost Children’ Overshadowed by Opioid Crisis,” by Brianna Ehley

Kimberly Leonard: The Miami Herald’s “A Miami Man Who Flew to China Worried He Might Have Coronavirus. He May Owe Thousands,” by Ben Conarck

Shefali Luthra: Last Week Tonight’s “Medicare for All” by John Oliver

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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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