Latest California Healthline Stories
In his proposed budget, President Joe Biden called for a boost in health spending that includes billions of dollars to prepare for a future pandemic. But that doesn’t include money he says is needed immediately for testing and treating covid-19. Also this week, federal regulators authorized a second booster shot for people 50 and older yet gave little guidance to consumers about who needs the shot and when. Amy Goldstein of The Washington Post, Jennifer Haberkorn of the Los Angeles Times, and Rachana Pradhan of KHN join KHN’s Mary Agnes Carey to discuss these issues and more. Plus, Julie Rovner interviews KHN’s Julie Appleby, who reported and wrote the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” episode about a very expensive air ambulance ride.
Firms are offering more traditional plans alongside or instead of the plans with sky-high deductibles that may have been the only option in the past. The change comes as employers are finding that workers like the predictability of a traditional plan and that providing more generous plans can help with recruiting in a tight labor market.
The tax on generous health plans — originally envisioned as a way to help pay for the ACA and change consumers’ behavior — has never been implemented, and Congress is considering repeal.
You asked about drug prices, the “Cadillac tax” on generous insurance plans and why Americans don’t know that most other countries also have combination public-private insurance systems. This week, Anna Edney of Bloomberg News, Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico and Caitlin Owens of Axios join KHN’s Julie Rovner to answer those questions.
Presidential candidate Joe Biden unveiled a health plan intended to provide a more moderate alternative to his competitors’ “Medicare for All” plans. It would build on the Affordable Care Act but would go much further. Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times, Joanne Kenen of Politico and Kimberly Leonard of the Washington Examiner join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this, plus Planned Parenthood’s very bad week, the U.S. House vote to repeal the health law’s “Cadillac tax” on generous health plans, and the reduction in deaths from opioids.
Once viewed as a promising cost-control tool, such insurance faces new competition on benefits menus from more traditional insurance. But, according to new research, none of those choices is getting less expensive.
Individuals who require very specialized care for their health are advised to make their case when a plan doesn’t cover their doctor.
Some “must-pass” health legislation next year could give the new administration a vehicle for proposals that might not be able to clear political or procedural hurdles on their own.