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President Joe Biden welcomed former President Barack Obama back to the White House this week to announce a new policy for the Affordable Care Act that would make subsidies available to more families with unaffordable employer coverage. Meanwhile, Congress struggled to find a compromise for continued federal funding of covid-19 vaccines, testing, and treatments. Tami Luhby of CNN, Shefali Luthra of The 19th, and Jessie Hellmann of CQ Roll Call join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more.
Experts are concerned that flashy Silicon Valley technology won’t reach those most in need of treatment for substance use disorders.
As the country enters Year 3 of the pandemic emergency, people with disabilities across the U.S. are still finding it difficult to use innovations in telemedicine, teleworking, and testing.
Facility fees, designed to help hospitals cover the high cost of staying open 24/7, have long rankled consumers. Now, some patients are assessed the fees while sitting at home for a telehealth appointment.
Medicare billing codes for audio-only follow-up check-ins lead to new reimbursement battles.
Last week, on the same day the Supreme Court heard a case that could overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark ruling on abortion rights, Texas enacted a law that creates criminal penalties for anyone who prescribes medication abortions via telehealth or mail.
Congress is making slow progress toward completing its ambitious social spending bill, although its Thanksgiving deadline looks optimistic. Meanwhile, a new survey finds the average cost of an employer-provided family plan has risen to more than $22,000. That’s about the cost of a new Toyota Corolla. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Anna Edney of Bloomberg News and Rebecca Adams of CQ Roll Call join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews Rebecca Love, a nurse academic and entrepreneur, about the impending crisis in nursing.
Many job-based health plans broadened their mental health and substance use coverage to make sure workers had the support they needed this year as pandemic stress lingered, the annual KFF survey finds. Also, the proportion of employers offering health insurance to their workers remained steady, and increases for premiums and out-of-pocket health expenses were moderate.
President Joe Biden unveiled a compromise “Build Back Better” framework shortly before taking off for key meetings in Europe, but it’s unclear whether the framework can win the votes of all Democrats in the House and Senate, and it leaves out some of the party’s health priorities, notably significant provisions to lower prescription drug prices. Meanwhile, younger children may soon be eligible for covid vaccines. Joanne Kenen of Politico and Johns Hopkins, Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet and Rachana Pradhan of KHN join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more.
New, often lower-cost plans capitalize on the convenience of telemedicine — and patients’ growing familiarity with it. But consumers should weigh costs and care options before enrolling in a “virtual-first” plan.