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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.
In his first speech before a joint session of Congress, President Joe Biden argued it was time to turn the coronavirus pandemic into a historic opportunity to expand government for the benefit of a wider range of Americans, urging investments in jobs, climate change, child care, infrastructure and more.
It’s unclear whether “red flag” laws — which allow the seizure of guns from a person deemed dangerous — help prevent mass shootings or should have been applied to the suspects in recent shootings in Boulder, Colorado, and Indianapolis.
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.
A Texas federal judge, who previously ruled the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional, has signaled his openness to ending the law’s popular coverage requirement for preventive services.
The little-used Congressional Review Act allows a new administration and Congress to fast-track the repeal of regulations and other executive actions of the previous administration. But neither lawmakers nor the president are making any attempt to use it now.
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.
Democrats’ $1.9 trillion covid relief package will offer some of the most significant help for Americans to pay for health insurance in a decade. But the temporary provisions are complicated. KHN offers tips for consumers.
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.
KHN and Crooked Media’s “America Dissected” have teamed up for a recurring conversation about the policies that make health care seem so tangled. Join KHN journalists and podcast host Dr. Abdul El-Sayed for his “DC Diagnosis.”