KHN’s ‘What The Health?’

Join Julie Rovner, chief Washington correspondent for Kaiser Health News, along with top health policy reporters from The New York Times, The Washington Post, Politico and other media outlets to discuss the latest news and explain what the health is going on here in Washington.

Listen and Subscribe on iTunes | Stitcher | SoundCloud | Spotify | Pocket Casts

If you have a question for the podcast, you can send it to whatthehealth@kff.org.

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: A Big Week for Biden

Congress is leaving for its annual summer break having accomplished far more than many expected, including, barring unforeseen snags, a bill to address the cost of prescription drugs for Medicare beneficiaries and extend the enhanced subsidies for insurance premiums under the Affordable Care Act. Meanwhile, the abortion issue continues to roil the nation as Indiana becomes the first state to ban the procedure in almost all cases since the Supreme Court overruled the constitutional right to abortion in June. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet, and Rachel Cohrs of Stat join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more.

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Kansas Makes a Statement

In the first official test vote since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, voters in Kansas’ primary said in no uncertain terms they want to keep a right to abortion in their state constitution. Meanwhile, the Senate is still working to reach a vote before summer recess on its health care-climate-tax measure, but progress is slow. Tami Luhby of CNN, Sandhya Raman of CQ Roll Call, and Rachel Cohrs of Stat join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews KHN’s Bram Sable-Smith, who wrote the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” installment about a very expensive ambulance trip.

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Manchin Makes a Deal

In a rare surprise for official Washington, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) announced a deal to expand the planned health bill in the Senate to include provisions raising taxes and addressing climate change. The measure would include a third year of expanded subsidies for the Affordable Care Act, but not health care coverage for people left out of Medicaid in states that failed to expand the program. Meanwhile, the ACA goes back to court, and the Biden administration restores anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people that were rolled back by the Trump administration. Joanne Kenen of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Politico, Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet, and Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews Dr. Céline Gounder of KHN about the latest on the monkeypox outbreak.

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Drug Price Bill Is a Go in the Senate

Two things happened in Washington this week that were inevitable: President Joe Biden tested positive for covid-19, and the Senate agreed to move forward on a budget bill that includes only a sliver of what Biden hoped it would. Still, the bill to allow Medicare to negotiate some drug prices, cap out-of-pocket drug costs for seniors, and extend temporary subsidies for Affordable Care Act insurance premiums would represent a major step if Democrats can get it across the finish line. Meanwhile, abortion battles continue to escalate around the country, with Texas leading the way in restrictions. Shefali Luthra of The 19th, Joanne Kenen of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Politico, and Rachel Cohrs of Stat join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews Dr. Jack Resneck Jr., the new president of the American Medical Association.

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Life After ‘Roe’ Is … Confusing

A rapidly changing landscape for abortion has left patients, providers, employers, and lawmakers alike wondering what is and is not legal and what to do next. Meanwhile, Democrats in Congress have resumed negotiations on legislation to lower drug prices and, potentially, continue expanded insurance subsidies for the Affordable Care Act. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Tami Luhby of CNN, and Sandhya Raman of CQ Roll Call join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Plus, for extra credit, the panelists recommend their favorite health policy stories of the week they think you should read, too.

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: A Chat With the Surgeon General on Health Worker Burnout

Health workers are not OK, and that poses a threat to anyone who may need health services. That’s the central finding of the latest report from the office of U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, “Addressing Health Worker Burnout.” This special episode of KHN’s “What the Health?” podcast is a conversation about the report between Murthy and KHN chief Washington correspondent Julie Rovner, which was recorded at the annual research meeting of AcademyHealth in June.

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: A World Without ‘Roe’

The Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade has created far more questions than it has answered about the continued legality and availability of abortion, as both abortion rights supporters and anti-abortion activists scramble to put their marks on policy. Meanwhile, Congress completes work on its gun bill and the FDA takes up the problem of the next covid-19 booster. Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times, Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet, and Victoria Knight of KHN join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews KHN’s Angela Hart, who reported and wrote the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” episode about two identical eye surgeries with very different price tags.

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Supreme Court Overturns ‘Roe’

It was expected, but the reality was still jarring: The Supreme Court has formally overturned Roe v. Wade, erasing the nearly 50-year-old guarantee of abortion rights nationwide. Joanne Kenen of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Sarah Varney of KHN, and Laurie Sobel, associate director for women’s health policy at KFF, join KHN’s Julie Rovner for this special episode to talk about the decision and what happens next for reproductive health care.

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: The FDA Goes After Nicotine

The FDA is using its power to regulate tobacco products — ordering the vaping device Juul off the market and announcing its intention to lower the amount of nicotine in cigarettes and other products. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court rules on Medicare and kidney dialysis, and Congress makes progress on legislation surrounding guns and mental health. Joanne Kenen of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Politico, and Rachel Cohrs of Stat join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews KHN’s Noam N. Levey about the new KHN-NPR project on the growing impact of medical debt.

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Closing In on Covid Vaccines for ‘The Littles’

The wait is nearly over for parents of kids under 5 as a key advisory committee to the FDA recommends authorizing a covid-19 vaccine for the youngest children. Meanwhile, Congress is struggling to fill in the details of its gun control compromise, and, as the Supreme Court prepares to throw the question of abortion legality back to the states, the number of abortions has been rising. Shefali Luthra of The 19th, Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet, and Sandhya Raman of CQ Roll Call join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Plus, for extra credit, the panelists recommend their favorite health policy stories of the week they think you should read, too.