KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: Coronavirus Goes Viral

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This was the week the coronavirus hit the U.S. basically and Washington, D.C., particularly in a giant approach. More than a half-dozen lawmakers are in self-quarantine after being uncovered to somebody who examined optimistic for the virus; shares formally entered a bear market; and the White House and Congress are scrambling to attempt to get forward of a fast-moving public well being disaster.

In the early a part of the week, whereas the Trump administration downplayed the menace from the coronavirus, officers issued a long-awaited set of rules geared toward making it simpler for digital medical data packages made by totally different firms to speak to 1 one other ― and to sufferers.

This week’s panelists are Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News, Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times, Paige Winfield Cunningham of The Washington Post and Kimberly Leonard of Business Insider.

Among the takeaways from this week’s podcast:

A lot of members of Congress are 65 or older — as many as 48 of the senators and greater than 150 House members ― and ought to be taking precautionary measures to keep away from the coronavirus, together with not attending massive gatherings. But there are not any provisions for dealing with votes and congressional enterprise remotely. In his speech Wednesday evening, President Donald Trump highlighted his hopes of getting Congress to go a payroll tax vacation to assist shoppers affected by the virus or affected by the sickness it causes, COVID-19, and to assist stimulate the economic system. But that proposal appears to be working into bipartisan objections. One drawback: It doesn’t assist individuals whose pay is misplaced due to the lack of work, similar to gig staff. Democrats have provided as an alternative an bold package deal of initiatives to assist cowl bills for staff who could also be out of labor due to the outbreak. But they must hammer out many particulars to get Republican approval. Insurance firms have agreed to the federal government’s request that they cowl testing without charge to prospects, however many individuals might nonetheless face out-of-pocket bills for therapy. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi unveiled a plan this week to improve shopper provisions within the Affordable Care Act. She didn’t take sides within the get together’s debate on switching to a “Medicare for All” single-payer plan versus including a government-run public choice to the ACA. But her efforts are designed to assist House members marketing campaign on well being care fixes which might be in style with voters. The federal authorities launched a rule this week to make digital well being data extra simply transferrable and permit shoppers to have pc apps that maintain their data. Although the idea of getting data despatched between medical workplaces extra simply is broadly in style, the trouble might increase privateness points, trade teams allege.

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

Julie Rovner: The New York Times’ “Strikes and Attack Ads: The Hard Roads to Universal Health Care,” by Quoctrung Bui and Sarah Kliff

Kimberly Leonard: Mother Jones’ “Schools Can No Longer Use Electric Shock Devices on Students, Says the FDA,” by Russ Choma

Margot Sanger-Katz: The Atlantic’s “Cancel Everything” by Yascha Mounk

Paige Winfield Cunningham: Politico’s “How Testing Failures Allowed Coronavirus to Sweep the U.S.” by Joanne Kenen

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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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