Latest California Healthline Stories
With health insurance that can leave him on the hook for more than a quarter of his salary every year, a Kentucky essential worker who has heart disease is one of millions of Americans who are functionally uninsured. At only 31, he has already been through bankruptcy and being sued by his hospital. This year, he faced a bill for more than $10,000.
The death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is giving new life to the latest constitutional challenge to the Affordable Care Act. It also places anti-abortion activists on the cusp of a court majority large enough to ensure the rollback of the right to abortion and, possibly, some types of birth control. Meanwhile, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar tries to centralize power at the sprawling department plagued by miscommunications and scandals. Anna Edney of Bloomberg News, Kimberly Leonard of Business Insider and Mary Ellen McIntire of CQ Roll Call join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Plus, Rovner interviews KHN’s Sarah Jane Tribble about her new podcast, “Where It Hurts,” debuting Sept. 29.
President Donald Trump this week issued a prescription drug pricing order unlikely to lower drug prices, and he contradicted comments by his director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the need for mask-wearing and predictions for vaccine availability. Meanwhile, scandals erupted at the CDC, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Food and Drug Administration. And the number of people without health insurance grew in 2019, reported the Census Bureau, even while the economy soared. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Tami Luhby of CNN and Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this and more. Plus, for extra credit, the panelists recommend their favorite health policy stories of the week they think you should read, too.
Studies show that at least half of ground ambulance rides across the nation leave patients with “surprise” medical bills. And a $300-a-mile ride is not unusual. Yet federal legislation to stem what’s known as balance billing has largely ignored ambulance costs.
Many actors, directors, backstage workers and others in the entertainment industry are often eligible for health coverage through their unions, a model that some experts promote for other gig workers. But coverage is determined by past employment, and many of these professionals aren’t working because of the coronavirus.
Once there were 23 of these nonprofit plans across 26 states; in January there will be only three, serving Maine, Wisconsin, Montana, Idaho and Wyoming.
When people had a health insurance headache, these two words were a relief: “Call Barbara.” No problem was too big, or too small, she’d fix it.
A robust sign-up for flu shots could help head off a nightmare scenario in the coming winter of hospitals stuffed with both COVID-19 patients and those suffering from severe effects of influenza. Plus, no one knows how flu and COVID might interact if a patient got both.
Control of the U.S. Senate this election hinges on a handful of vulnerable GOP incumbents. Their opposition to the Affordable Care Act could be their undoing.
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.