Latest California Healthline Stories
The term “herd immunity” has found its way into politicized discussions about how to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic. But what does it actually mean? And does it work?
President Donald Trump’s executive order says that people with preexisting conditions can get affordable insurance. But it doesn’t explain how.
The president entered office seeking to overturn the Affordable Care Act, revamp Medicaid and drive down prescription drug prices, among other things. He’s hit some stone walls.
The legislation falls short of the big challenge.
Republicans have all but abandoned the Affordable Care Act as a campaign cudgel, judging from their national convention, at least. Meanwhile, career scientists at the federal government’s preeminent health agencies — the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health — are all coming under increasing political pressure as the pandemic drags on. Joanne Kenen of Politico, Mary Ellen McIntire of CQ Roll Call and Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this and more. Plus, Rovner interviews KHN’s Elizabeth Lawrence about the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” installment.
The Supreme Court recently announced its schedule for hearing arguments in a case brought by Republican state officials seeking to overturn the Affordable Care Act. The “What the Health?” podcast is on vacation, but it seemed like a good opportunity to replay an episode from March looking at the federal health law on its 10th anniversary.
Congress has allocated trillions of dollars to ease the coronavirus crisis. A joint KHN and AP investigation finds that many communities with big outbreaks have spent little of that federal money on local public health departments for work such as testing and contact tracing. Others, like Minnesota, were slow to do so. Bureaucracy has bogged things down, politics have crept into the process, and understaffed departments have struggled to take time away from critical needs to navigate the red tape required to justify asking for more money.
Poor information-sharing between hospitals and public health agencies has hurt the response to the pandemic. Some health care systems and IT companies are making inroads, but an overhaul would cost billions.
The Democratic presidential ticket is complete, with Joe Biden’s selection of California Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate. Health has not been a major issue for Harris, whose career priority has been the criminal justice system. But expect Republicans to pounce on her on-again, off-again support for “Medicare for All.” Meanwhile, with Congress still in a stalemate over another round of COVID-19 relief, President Donald Trump is trying to use his executive power to do what lawmakers have not — with mixed success. Kimberly Leonard of Business Insider, Joanne Kenen of Politico and Mary Agnes Carey of KHN join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this and more. Plus, for extra credit, the panelists recommend their favorite health stories of the week they think you should read, too.
Gov. Steve Bullock’s response to the pandemic has helped raise his profile as he challenges incumbent Republican Sen. Steve Daines. But it also complicates the campaign as the state sees a resurgence of COVID-19 cases and voters question some of the governor’s actions.