Latest California Healthline Stories
Even before the omicron variant of covid starts to spread widely in the U.S., hospitals are filling up with post-holiday delta cases. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court signals — loudly — that 2022 will be the year it rolls back abortion rights in a big way. Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times, Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico and Mary Ellen McIntire of CQ Roll Call join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more.
The decision does not address the fate of abortion rights nationally, but the justices took up those arguments in a separate case earlier this month that will likely be decided in the summer.
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.
A Supreme Court majority appears ready to overturn nearly 50 years of abortion rights, at least judging by the latest round of oral arguments before the justices. And a new covid variant, omicron, gains attention as it spreads around the world. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet and Shefali Luthra of The 19th join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews Blake Farmer of Nashville Public Radio about the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” episode.
In California, health insurers blame long waits for therapy appointments on workforce shortages, but state lawmakers say that’s an excuse. A new law requires insurers to reduce wait times for mental health appointments to no more than 10 business days.
While anti-abortion activists say abortion exceptions are a “punishment” to “innocent human life,” social workers say Texas’ new abortion law rigidly curtails options for rape and incest survivors at a moment when they need the “power and control” of choice to begin healing.
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.
The infrastructure bill passed Friday funnels $15 billion into lead pipe remediation. Water quality experts say the cost of getting rid of all lead pipes could ultimately cost $60 billion. Still, some health advocates say the new funding will be transformative in allowing communities such as Houston’s Fifth Ward to fix its pipes.
But providers do not expect contraception to blunt the law’s effects.
Democratic negotiators on Capitol Hill appear to be nearing a compromise on President Joe Biden’s social spending agenda, spurred partly by Democratic losses on Election Day in Virginia. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court hints it might allow abortion providers to sue Texas over its restrictive new ban. But the relief, if it comes, could be short-lived if the court uses a second case, challenging a law in Mississippi, to weaken or overturn Roe v. Wade. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times and Mary Ellen McIntire of CQ Roll Call join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews KHN’s Rae Ellen Bichell, who reported and wrote the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” feature about an emergency bill for a nonemergency birth.