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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Drug Price Bill Is a Go in the Senate

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Two things happened in Washington this week that were inevitable: President Joe Biden tested positive for covid-19, and the Senate agreed to move forward on a budget bill that includes only a sliver of what Biden hoped it would. Still, the bill to allow Medicare to negotiate some drug prices, cap out-of-pocket drug costs for seniors, and extend temporary subsidies for Affordable Care Act insurance premiums would represent a major step if Democrats can get it across the finish line. Meanwhile, abortion battles continue to escalate around the country, with Texas leading the way in restrictions. Shefali Luthra of The 19th, Joanne Kenen of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Politico, and Rachel Cohrs of Stat join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews Dr. Jack Resneck Jr., the new president of the American Medical Association.

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: The FDA Goes After Nicotine

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The FDA is using its power to regulate tobacco products — ordering the vaping device Juul off the market and announcing its intention to lower the amount of nicotine in cigarettes and other products. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court rules on Medicare and kidney dialysis, and Congress makes progress on legislation surrounding guns and mental health. Joanne Kenen of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Politico, and Rachel Cohrs of Stat join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews KHN’s Noam N. Levey about the new KHN-NPR project on the growing impact of medical debt.

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Closing In on Covid Vaccines for ‘The Littles’

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The wait is nearly over for parents of kids under 5 as a key advisory committee to the FDA recommends authorizing a covid-19 vaccine for the youngest children. Meanwhile, Congress is struggling to fill in the details of its gun control compromise, and, as the Supreme Court prepares to throw the question of abortion legality back to the states, the number of abortions has been rising. Shefali Luthra of The 19th, Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet, and Sandhya Raman of CQ Roll Call 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.

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Why Health Care Is So Expensive, Chapter $22K

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Congress is making slow progress toward completing its ambitious social spending bill, although its Thanksgiving deadline looks optimistic. Meanwhile, a new survey finds the average cost of an employer-provided family plan has risen to more than $22,000. That’s about the cost of a new Toyota Corolla. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Anna Edney of Bloomberg News and Rebecca Adams of CQ Roll Call join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews Rebecca Love, a nurse academic and entrepreneur, about the impending crisis in nursing.