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President Donald Trump’s pivot to a extra critical view of the coronavirus pandemic didn’t final lengthy. This week, he was once more touting hydroxychloroquine, an antimalarial drug that has not been proven to work in opposition to the virus. Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, Republicans proceed to wrestle to provide you with a proposal for the following spherical of COVID-19 reduction whilst earlier payments expire. That’s leaving thousands and thousands of Americans with out the flexibility to pay hire or meet different essential bills, because the economic system continues to sink.
Also on the agenda, at the very least briefly, is the topic of excessive drug costs. Once thought of a number one well being subject for the 2020 elections, it has been all however wiped from the headlines by the pandemic. Trump issued a collection of govt orders he mentioned would produce a direct impression, however consultants level out they’re principally want lists of issues the president has already mentioned he helps.
This week’s panelists are Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News, Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Mary Ellen McIntire of CQ Roll Call and Anna Edney of Bloomberg News.
Among the takeaways from this week’s podcast:
Despite a lot disarray on Capitol Hill about which coronavirus reduction financial provisions Republican senators will agree on, there’s largely settlement throughout the social gathering and amongst Democrats on the well being provisions, resembling the necessity for more cash for testing and for well being care suppliers. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell insists the stimulus package deal should embrace legal responsibility safety for employers to guard companies struck by a COVID-19 outbreak via no fault of their very own. But Democrats are opposed and argue that the promise of legal responsibility waivers could preserve employers from taking sufficient security precautions. The Atlantic journal not too long ago explored the problem of “hygiene theater” by which folks take measures they hope will preserve the coronavirus at bay — resembling extreme scrubbing, temperature checks, and so forth. — that science suggests have restricted or no impact. These measures could give folks consolation, however the efforts will also be harmful in that they provide a false sense of safety and divert consideration and assets from different, extra sophisticated strategies to cease the illness. Much consideration in latest weeks has been given to the event of a vaccine. Several choices are in superior levels of testing. But public well being advocates worry that the pace of the testing and the administration’s previous inaccurate statements concerning the illness could elevate fears amongst shoppers about taking the vaccine. Nonetheless, Democrats looking forward to the election fear that the administration will make a serious announcement about vaccine availability as an October shock. COVID-19 has mainly eclipsed efforts to make progress on a number of different key well being points that have been anticipated earlier than the election, together with drug pricing and shock medical payments. With nice fanfare this week, Trump introduced orders for the administration to maneuver towards new drug pricing insurance policies. But the orders have little or no impact and haven’t created any momentum for advancing laws in Congress. The president stunned many individuals this week when he introduced he was loaning Kodak thousands and thousands of dollars to supply components wanted for the generic drug business. Many of these chemical substances have been made abroad, so the trouble does observe the administration’s quest to ascertain extra manufacturing within the U.S. But one cause few firms do the work right here is that there’s not a giant revenue margin on the medicine.
Also this week, Rovner interviews KHN’s Markian Hawryluk, who reported the July NPR-KHN “Bill of the Month” installment, a couple of shock invoice from a shock participant within the working room: a surgical assistant. If you will have 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 assume it’s best to learn too:
Julie Rovner: The New York Times’ “Disability Pride: The High Expectations of a New Generation,” by Joseph Shapiro
Alice Miranda Ollstein: Politico’s “Pelosi Mandates Wearing Masks on the House Floor After Gohmert Case,” by Heather Caygle and Sarah Ferris
Mary Ellen McIntire: The Atlantic’s “Why Can’t We Just Have Class Outside?” by Olga Khazan
Anna Edney: ProPublica’s “How to Understand COVID-19 Numbers,” by Caroline Chen
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