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?’: Sharing Vaccines With the World

The Biden administration is bucking the drug industry and backing a waiver of covid-19 vaccine patent protections to help the rest of the world vaccinate its populations. Here at home, the Food and Drug Administration wants to ban menthol flavorings for cigarettes, setting off a fight with the tobacco industry. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Tami Luhby of CNN and Kimberly Leonard of Business Insider 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?’: 100 Days of Health Policy

It’s 100 days into Joe Biden’s presidency and a surprisingly large number of health policies have been announced. But health is notably absent from the administration’s $1.8 trillion spending plan for American families, making it unclear how much more will get done this year. Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention loosens its mask-wearing recommendations for those who have been vaccinated, but the new rules are confusing. 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 these issues and more. Plus, Rovner interviews KHN’s Julie Appleby, who reported the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” episode.

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Picking Up the Pace of Undoing Trump Policies

The Biden administration has started to speed efforts to reverse health policies forged under Donald Trump. Most recently, the administration overturned a ban on fetal tissue research and canceled a last-minute extension of a Medicaid waiver for Texas. That latter move may delay the Senate confirmation of President Joe Biden’s nominee to head the Medicare and Medicaid programs, as Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) seeks to fight back. Anna Edney of Bloomberg News, Rachel Cohrs of Stat and Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico 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?’: Health Care as Infrastructure

President Joe Biden’s infrastructure proposal includes items not traditionally considered “infrastructure,” including a $400 billion expansion of home and community-based services for seniors and people with disabilities, and a $50 billion effort to replace water pipes lined with lead. Meanwhile, the politics of covid-19 are turning to how or whether Americans will need to prove they’ve been vaccinated. Joanne Kenen of Politico, Tami Luhby of CNN and Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Plus, Rovner interviews KFF’s Mollyann Brodie about the KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor.

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Planning for Round Two

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.

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Getting Down to Work at HHS

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.

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: ACA Packs More Benefits — And More Confusion

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.

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Expanding the ACA in an Unpredicted Way

Beyond the billions of dollars aimed squarely at the pandemic, the covid relief bill cleared by Congress this week includes significant changes to health policy. Among them are the first major expansions to the Affordable Care Act since its enactment 11 years ago and changes that could expand coverage for the Medicaid program. Tami Luhby of CNN, Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico and Rachel Cohrs of Stat 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?’: Good and Not-So-Good News on Covid

The FDA authorized the emergency use of a one-shot vaccine made by Johnson & Johnson, which could help accelerate the pace of vaccinations to prevent covid-19. But after a dramatic decline, case numbers are again rising, and several states are rolling back public health mitigation efforts. Mary Ellen McIntire of CQ Roll Call, Joanne Kenen of Politico and Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews KHN’s Jordan Rau about the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” episode.