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Podcast panelists discuss a range of health policy developments, from the latest in the covid vaccination effort to the HHS budget, among other things.
Long-term care options are expensive and often out of reach for seniors and people with disabilities. The president has proposed a massive infusion of federal funding for home and community-based health services that advocates say will go a long way toward helping individuals and families.
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.
The $1.9 trillion covid relief bill expands subsidies for private insurance plans. That will lighten the burden on consumers, but it locks taxpayers into yet more support for the health care industry.
A Trump administration Medicare rule will push some hospital patients into a Catch-22: The government says several hundred procedures no longer need to be done in a hospital, but it did not approve them to be performed elsewhere. So patients will still need to use a hospital while not officially admitted — and may be charged more out-of-pocket for the care.
Progressive and conservative Democratic lawmakers, as well as President Joe Biden, are in favor of authorizing federal officials to negotiate with drugmakers over what Medicare pays for at least some of the most expensive brand-name drugs and to base those prices on the drugs’ clinical benefits. Such a measure could put Republicans in the uncomfortable position of opposing an idea that most voters from both parties generally support.
Health organizations have begun sending doctors and nurses to apartment buildings and private homes to vaccinate homebound seniors, but the efforts are slow and spotty.
Renowned medical centers are among the quarter of general hospitals that will lose 1% of Medicare payments for one year because their patients have high rates of bedsores, sepsis and other preventable complications.
Marilyn Bartlett, credited with saving Montana’s state employee health plan millions of dollars, is a busy consultant now, as states, counties and big businesses try to use her playbook to bring down hospital costs.
Lawmakers answered pleas from strained health facilities in rural areas, agreed to cover the cost of training more new doctors, sought to strengthen efforts to equalize mental health coverage with that of physical medicine and instructed the federal government to collect data that could be used to rein in high medical bills.