President Donald Trump managed to fulfill — at least in part — two separate campaign promises this week.
To the delight of anti-abortion groups, the administration issued proposed rules that would make it difficult if not impossible for Planned Parenthood to continue to participate in Title X, the federal family-planning program. And Congress cleared for Trump’s signature a “right-to-try” bill aimed at making it easier for patients with terminal illnesses to obtain experimental medications.
Also this week, the National Center for Health Statistics and the Congressional Budget Office issued reports about Americans both with and without health insurance and the cost of subsidizing health insurance to the federal government.
And May’s “Bill of the Month” installment features some very expensive orthopedic screws.
This week’s panelists for KHN’s “What the Health?” are Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News, Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times, Sarah Kliff of Politico and Alice Ollstein of Talking Points Memo.
Among the takeaways from this week’s podcast:
- The Trump administration’s proposed rule to cut Title X reproductive health funding for groups that perform abortions was designed to meet demands from the president’s religious supporters, but it could backfire by mobilizing liberal voters.
- The changes being considered might also open the door for some religious-based groups that don’t support abortion — or perhaps even contraception — to get federal Title X funding.
- Conservatives’ campaign to get a “right-to-try” bill through Congress has been driven in large part by individual patient stories.
- New data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week shows the uninsured rate did not grow in 2017, despite a number of changes that the Trump administration made to the marketplace and federal promotion of it.
Plus, for “extra credit,” the panelists recommend their favorite health stories of the week they think you should read, too.
Julie Rovner: Kaiser Health News’ “When Is Insurance Not Really Insurance? When You Need Pricey Dental Care,” by David Tuller
Margot Sanger-Katz: The New York Times’ “New Cancer Treatments Lie Hidden Under Mountains of Paperwork,” by Gina Kolata
Sarah Kliff: Vox.com’s “He Went to an In-Network Emergency Room. He Still Ended Up With a $7,924 Bill,” by Sarah Kliff
Alice Ollstein: AP’s “AP Interview: Unemployment Exemption Gone From Medicaid Bill,” by David Eggert
And: Talking Points Memo’s “Trump Admin Poised To Give Rural Whites A Carve-Out On Medicaid Work Rules,” by Alice Ollstein
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This story was produced by Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation.