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


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President Joe Biden is the newest high Washington official to check optimistic for covid-19, following Vice President Kamala Harris, Speaker of the Home Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Majority Chief Chuck Schumer. However work continues, notably on a Senate invoice that might, for the primary time, permit Medicare to barter prescription drug costs and cap seniors’ out-of-pocket treatment prices.

In the meantime, each supporters and opponents of abortion rights are struggling to search out their footing within the wake of the Supreme Court docket’s overturn of the federal proper to abortion in Roe v. Wade.

This week’s panelists are Julie Rovner of KHN, Shefali Luthra of The nineteenth, Joanne Kenen of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg College of Public Well being and Politico, and Rachel Cohrs of Stat.

Among the many takeaways from this week’s episode:

  • Though some Democrats and lots of political pundits are criticizing the Senate for scaling again the president’s Construct Again Higher agenda to be largely a well being care invoice, the proposal in that invoice to permit Medicare to barter costs for some medicine can be a serious change that drugmakers have efficiently fought for twenty years.
  • The invoice, which hasn’t been launched in full, will embody solely these provisions which were authorized by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), as a result of all 50 members of the Democratic caucus within the Senate shall be wanted to cross the invoice. Along with permitting value negotiations on 10 medicine within the first 12 months, the laws would penalize drugmakers that increase costs above the speed of inflation and restrict Medicare beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket drug spending to $2,000 a 12 months.
  • The invoice can be anticipated to incorporate provisions to increase for an extra two years the improved subsidies for premiums on well being insurance policies bought by means of the Inexpensive Care Act’s market. These particulars haven’t but been launched.
  • Progressives have been dismayed on the administration’s lackluster reply to the Supreme Court docket’s choice overturning Roe. Even because the White Home notes that there are limits to what the president can do, the administration has been extra cautious than many anticipated in saying the way it plans to reply. For instance, instantly after the Supreme Court docket launched the choice, the administration stated it will guard ladies’s entry to treatment abortions — however there was little follow-up.
  • The Indiana physician who handled a 10-year-old rape sufferer looking for an abortion is threatening a defamation lawsuit in opposition to the state’s legal professional basic, who incorrectly stated on nationwide tv that she didn’t file the required paperwork.
  • The case of that 10-year-old has put anti-abortion teams on the defensive and prompt that they’re cut up on learn how to deal with conditions like this. Some leaders counsel the kid ought to have gone ahead with the being pregnant, whereas different teams stated individuals who have been raped shouldn’t have to hold a child to time period.
  • Texas Lawyer Basic Ken Paxton is constant his push to limit abortion. The state mainly shut down most abortions final September with a strict regulation that permits neighborhood members to sue medical doctors and others who assist a lady get an abortion past six weeks of being pregnant. Now, Paxton is difficult the Biden administration’s assertion that federal regulation entitles folks looking for emergency care due to being pregnant issues to get an abortion. Paxton has stated that federal regulation doesn’t preempt the state’s restrictions.
  • Texas’ arduous line on abortion might have an financial influence throughout the state. Some younger folks and firms are usually not in favor of the abortion insurance policies and a few are threatening to go away the state.

Additionally this week, Rovner interviews Dr. Jack Resneck Jr., a California dermatologist who’s the brand new president of the American Medical Affiliation.

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

Julie Rovner: KHN’s “Conservative Blocs Unleash Litigation to Curb Public Health Powers,” by Lauren Weber and Anna Maria Barry-Jester

Shefali Luthra: Stat’s “Health Care’s High Rollers: As the Pandemic Raged, CEOs’ Earnings Surged,” by Bob Herman, Kate Sheridan, J. Emory Parker, Adam Feuerstein, and Mohana Ravindranath

Rachel Cohrs: Politico’s “Anthony Fauci Wants to Put Covid’s Politicization Behind Him,” by Sarah Owermohle

Joanne Kenen: Inside Local weather Information’ “When the Power Goes Out, Who Suffers? Climate Epidemiologists Are Now Trying to Figure That Out,” by Laura Baisas

Additionally talked about on this week’s podcast:

To listen to all our podcasts, click here.

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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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