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The Trump administration despatched its COVID-19 testing technique plan to Congress, formalizing its coverage that almost all testing tasks ought to stay with particular person states. Democrats in Congress complained that the U.S. wants a nationwide technique, however to this point none has emerged.
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump, noticing that his recognition amongst seniors has been falling for the reason that pandemic started, unveiled a plan to decrease the price of insulin for Medicare beneficiaries. However, whereas diabetes is a significant downside for seniors normally and for Medicare’s finances, solely a small minority takes insulin.
This week’s panelists are Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News, Joanne Kenen of Politico, Anna Edney of Bloomberg News and Erin Mershon of STAT News.
Among the takeaways from this week’s podcast:
The difficulties attributable to the shortage of a unified federal response to the pandemic may be seen by different nations. Communities all over the world face a few of the similar issues U.S. cities and states do, resembling excessive numbers of instances in nursing properties and different congregate dwelling amenities, and take a look at shortages. But in different nations, the governments have taken the lead in working by way of the problems. Recent episodes of crowds gathering as states reopen level to a breakdown in public well being messaging. That could also be partly attributable to the president’s ambivalence or a results of the current cutback in press briefings and different direct communication from federal public well being officers. But a lot of it is also immediately associated to political divisiveness, which runs rampant. With a Rose Garden ceremony, Trump introduced the cope with drugmakers to restrict Medicare beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket prices for insulin to $35. That is predicted to save lots of these sufferers on common greater than $400 a yr. But the announcement is a great distance from the guarantees made by the administration to convey down drug costs for all Americans. Republicans have touted short-term insurance policy as a less expensive various to well being protection provided below the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces. But the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted shortcomings of these plans, together with that many don’t cowl prescription drugs or experimental therapies. The pandemic has additionally spotlighted the administration’s intent to get extra drug manufacturing — which has turn into concentrated in India and China — to return to the United States. The authorities just lately introduced it’s beginning a project with a Virginia company so as to add manufacturing capability stateside.
Also this week, Rovner interviews KHN’s Phil Galewitz, who reported the most recent KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” installment a few affected person with a suspected case of COVID-19 who did what he was instructed by his well being plan and obtained billed, anyway. If you may have an outrageous medical invoice you wish to share with us, you are able to do that here.
Plus, for additional credit score, the panelists advocate their favourite well being coverage tales of the week they assume it’s best to learn, too:
Julie Rovner: ProPublica’s “The Feds Gave a Former White House Official $3 Million to Supply Masks to Navajo Hospitals. Some May Not Work,” by Yeganeh Torbati and Derek Willis
Also, The New York Times’ “My Mother Died of the Coronavirus. It’s Time She Be Counted,” by Elisabeth Rosenthal
Joanne Kenen: The New Yorker’s “The Town That Tested Itself,” by Nathan Heller
Anna Edney: The New York Times’ “Wealthiest Hospitals Got Billions in Bailout for Struggling Health Providers,” by Jesse Drucker, Jessica Silver-Greenberg and Sarah Kliff
Erin Mershon: The Washington Post’s “Coronavirus May Never Go Away, Even With a Vaccine,” by William Wan and Carolyn Y. Johnson
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