Latest California Healthline Stories
The annual accounting of national health spending is out. And the 2018 health bill for the U.S. was $3.6 trillion, consuming nearly a fifth of the nation’s economy. Meanwhile, Congress is nearing the end of the year without having finished either its annual spending bills or several other high-priority health items. Kimberly Leonard of the Washington Examiner, Joanne Kenen of Politico and Mary Agnes Carey of Kaiser Health News join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this and more. Also, Rovner interviews KHN’s Markian Hawryluk about the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month.”
Consumers are admonished to be “smart shoppers,” but that’s difficult if health care prices are clear as mud. When Sarah Macsalka’s son needed stitches, she did her best to avoid the ER and still ended up with a $3,000 bill.
A California law, which took effect in July 2017, protects consumers who use an in-network hospital or other facility from surprise bills when cared for by an out-of-network doctor. But physicians say the law has allowed insurers to shrink networks, limiting access to those doctors who have contracted with the patients’ insurance plans.
Polls show that health care is at the top of voters’ issues, but the polls also say Democrats, let alone other Americans, are not ready for “Medicare for All.”
Kvetching about the cost of health care is kind of what we do on the podcast “An Arm and a Leg.” This week’s episode features like-minded storytellers — from the musical troupe Heck No Techo — who have turned their frustrations into art and laughter.
Open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act’s marketplace plans is halfway over and, so far, the number of people signing up is down, but not dramatically. Meanwhile, Congress and President Donald Trump can’t seem to agree on what to do about teen vaping, drug prices or “surprise” medical bills. And Democrats lurch to the left on abortion. Paige Winfield Cunningham of The Washington Post, Kimberly Leonard of the Washington Examiner and Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this and more health news.
The term “vast” sets a high bar.
A 3-year-old girl put matching doll shoes up her nose. One came out easily. The second required an emergency department visit ― and generated a bill that is not child’s play.
Kaiser Health News gives readers a chance to comment on a recent batch of stories.
Texas passed a bipartisan law against surprise medical billing, but advocates warn that a proposed rule could severely weaken it, continuing to allow surprise bills outside of emergencies.