KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Biden Declares the Pandemic ‘Over’


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President Joe Biden’s declaration in a nationwide interview that the covid-19 pandemic is “over” has sophisticated his personal administration’s efforts to get Congress to offer extra funding for remedies and vaccines, and to get the general public to go get one more booster.

In the meantime, considerations a few return of medical inflation for the primary time in a decade helps increase insurance coverage premiums, and personal corporations are scrambling to assert their piece of the well being care spending pie.

This week’s panelists are Julie Rovner of KHN, Anna Edney of Bloomberg Information, Joanne Kenen of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg College of Public Well being and Politico, and Lauren Weber of KHN.

Among the many takeaways from this week’s episode:

  • Biden’s remark to “60 Minutes” that the pandemic was over — despite the fact that covid remains to be a problem — highlights the problem in speaking to the general public the way to transition from a public well being disaster to a public well being downside.
  • A lot of the nation might agree with the president, as evidenced by fewer folks utilizing face masks recurrently and a decreased variety of business restrictions associated to covid. However a number of hundred individuals are nonetheless dying every day, a excessive toll typically ignored.
  • Insurance coverage premiums seem like on the upswing this fall, despite the fact that medical prices haven’t been rising as rapidly as different elements of the financial system in current months. The rise might replicate insurers’ considerations that, popping out of the covid disaster, customers will probably be in search of extra medical companies.
  • One facet of well being enterprise that’s driving up prices is the elevated funding by non-public fairness corporations, that are increasing their attain past emergency room docs and some different specialties to a wider vary of medical companies, together with gastroenterology and ophthalmology.
  • One other concern for the way forward for well being prices is the transfer towards consolidation in well being care. Amongst current developments on that entrance had been Amazon’s announcement it’s transferring into main care with the acquisition of One Medical and CVS’ choice to purchase dwelling well being care firm Signify Well being.
  • Abortion insurance policies proceed to make information in numerous states. West Virginia handed a regulation that restricts practically all abortions; a number of Utah Republican legislators despatched cease-and-desist letters to abortion suppliers of their state; and Puerto Rico has a brand new political get together campaigning on the problem of attempting to curb the commonwealth’s liberal abortion regulation.
  • Whereas Democrats hope the problem of abortion will swing extra voters their means within the midterm elections, it’s not clear whether or not total assist for abortion will probably be a deciding difficulty for voters in additional conservative states and produce any modifications.

Plus, for further credit score, the panelists suggest their favourite well being coverage tales of the week they suppose it’s best to learn, too:

Julie Rovner: The Anchorage Day by day Information’ “Many Alaska Pharmacies Are Understaffed, Leading to Sporadic Hours and Patients Turned Away,” by Annie Berman

Joanne Kenen: Capital B’s “Clinicians Dismiss Black Women’s Pain. The Consequences Are Dire,” by Margo Snipe

Anna Edney: The Guardian’s “Fury Over ‘Forever Chemicals’ as US States Spread Toxic Sewage Sludge,” by Tom Perkins

Lauren Weber: KHN’s “Doctors Rush to Use Supreme Court Ruling to Escape Opioid Charges,” by Brett Kelman

Additionally talked about on this week’s episode:

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This story was produced by KHN (Kaiser Well being Information), a nationwide newsroom that produces in-depth journalism about well being points. Along with Coverage Evaluation and Polling, KHN is likely one of the three main working packages at KFF (Kaiser Household Basis). KFF is an endowed nonprofit group offering info on well being points to the nation.

KHN (Kaiser Well being Information) is a nationwide newsroom that produces in-depth journalism about well being points. Along with Coverage Evaluation and Polling, KHN is likely one of the three main working packages at KFF (Kaiser Household Basis). KFF is an endowed nonprofit group offering info on well being points to the nation.

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