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 difficult his personal administration’s efforts to get Congress to offer extra funding for therapies and vaccines, and to get the general public to go get yet 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 firms 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 — though covid continues to be a problem — highlights the problem in speaking to the general public the right way to transition from a public well being disaster to a public well being downside.
  • A lot of the nation could agree with the president, as evidenced by fewer folks utilizing face masks often and a decreased variety of industrial restrictions associated to covid. However a number of hundred persons are nonetheless dying every day, a excessive toll typically ignored.
  • Insurance coverage premiums seem like on the upswing this fall, though medical prices haven’t been rising as rapidly as different components of the economic system in latest months. The rise could mirror insurers’ considerations that, popping out of the covid disaster, shoppers will probably be searching for extra medical providers.
  • One side of well being enterprise that’s driving up prices is the elevated funding by non-public fairness firms, that are increasing their attain past emergency room medical doctors and some different specialties to a wider vary of medical providers, 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 latest developments on that entrance had been Amazon’s announcement it’s shifting into major care with the acquisition of One Medical and CVS’ choice to purchase house well being care firm Signify Well being.
  • Abortion insurance policies proceed to make information in numerous states. West Virginia handed a regulation that restricts almost 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 making an attempt to curb the commonwealth’s liberal abortion regulation.
  • Whereas Democrats hope the problem of abortion will swing extra voters their manner within the midterm elections, it’s not clear whether or not total help for abortion will probably be a deciding subject for voters in additional conservative states and produce any modifications.

Plus, for additional credit score, the panelists suggest their favourite well being coverage tales of the week they suppose you need 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:

To listen to all our podcasts, click here.

And subscribe to KHN’s What the Well being? on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts, or wherever you hearken to podcasts.

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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