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The ink is barely dry on the recent covid relief bill, but Democrats in Congress and President Joe Biden are wasting no time gearing up for their next big legislative package. Meanwhile, predictions of more states expanding Medicaid have proved premature. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Rachel Cohrs of Stat and Kimberly Leonard of Business Insider join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Plus, Rovner interviews KHN’s Lauren Weber, who reported the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” episode.
The Kentucky lawmaker was right that a recent study offered evidence that vaccination and previous infection appear to neutralize covid-19. But experts say that doesn’t mean people should be complacent.
Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Republican Sen. Marco Rubio were set to roll out a bill Friday that could help unknown thousands of service members who are sick from toxic substances they were exposed to from burning garbage in Afghanistan, Iraq and other war zones.
The little-used Congressional Review Act allows a new administration and Congress to fast-track the repeal of regulations and other executive actions of the previous administration. But neither lawmakers nor the president are making any attempt to use it now.
After a bruising confirmation process, Xavier Becerra was sworn in as secretary of Health and Human Services this week. The Senate also confirmed the nominations of former U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy to return to the post he held in the Obama administration, and former Pennsylvania health secretary Rachel Levine as assistant secretary for health. Levine is the first openly transgender person to receive Senate confirmation. Meanwhile, questions continue to swirl around the AstraZeneca covid vaccine, which some public health experts worry will create more hesitancy toward other vaccines.
Progressive and conservative Democratic lawmakers, as well as President Joe Biden, are in favor of authorizing federal officials to negotiate with drugmakers over what Medicare pays for at least some of the most expensive brand-name drugs and to base those prices on the drugs’ clinical benefits. Such a measure could put Republicans in the uncomfortable position of opposing an idea that most voters from both parties generally support.
Sick with ailments similar to those suffered by 9/11 first responders, military service members exposed to toxic burning garbage in Iraq and Afghanistan may finally see Congress address their plight. President Joe Biden believes his son Beau’s brain cancer may have been caused by such exposure.
KHN and Crooked Media’s “America Dissected” have teamed up for a recurring conversation about the policies that make health care seem so tangled. Join KHN journalists and podcast host Dr. Abdul El-Sayed for his “DC Diagnosis.”
The covid relief bill signed by President Joe Biden includes a long list of new health benefits for consumers. But many eligible people may have difficulty taking advantage of them because of the interaction with the income tax system and a lack of expert guidance. Meanwhile, Democrats are debating internally about what should come next on the health agenda. Joanne Kenen of Politico, Mary Ellen McIntire of CQ Roll Call and Rachana Pradhan of KHN join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more.
President Joe Biden may want to continue the previous administration’s efforts to lower drug prices and make medical costs transparent.