KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: The Midterm Shake-Up



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The expected Republican “pink wave” was a no-show on this week’s midterm elections, however the margins in each the U.S. Home and Senate are so small that the GOP may nonetheless wrest management from the Democrats as the previous few “too near name” races are settled. Whichever occasion holds the bulk beginning in 2023 will even affect how a lot Congress tries to complete throughout its lame-duck session that begins Nov. 14.

In the meantime, supporters of abortion rights received huge. Voters in three states (Michigan, California, and Vermont) accepted poll measures to make abortion rights a part of their state constitutions, whereas two different states (Montana and Kentucky) defeated efforts to additional limit abortion.

This week’s panelists are Julie Rovner of KHN, Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Rachel Cohrs of Stat, and Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet.

Among the many takeaways from this week’s episode:

  • If Republicans take management of the Home, anticipate some robust oversight hearings on the Biden administration’s insurance policies and selections. Amongst those that could be known as earlier than Republican-controlled committees is Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is predicted to be grilled for selections on dealing with the pandemic and the shutdown of colleges and different key components of the economic system.
  • The GOP’s give attention to legislative issues is murkier. A lot of what Republicans can push by Congress will rely upon what margin they’ve within the Home and whether or not they find yourself taking management of the Senate.
  • Within the meantime, Congress comes again to Washington subsequent week to complete enterprise for this 12 months. A number of top-ranking Republican senators are retiring, and they’re anticipated to advertise well being measures, together with extra public well being initiatives, pandemic preparations, and reforms on the FDA.
  • That lame-duck congressional session will even take into account funding for the federal government and methods to keep away from a scheduled minimize in Medicare reimbursements to well being care suppliers.
  • Voters in South Dakota on Tuesday accepted a poll measure to broaden Medicaid below the Inexpensive Care Act. It’s the seventh state the place voters overruled conservative Republican leaders who had opposed an growth.
  • Officers in a number of populous states, together with Texas, Florida, and Georgia, proceed to dam an growth. Some well being care advocates in Florida have floated the thought of attempting to get a poll initiative going there too, however it will seemingly value tens of millions of {dollars} to arrange.
  • Medical doctors and customers are warning of current treatment shortages, together with a typical youngsters’s antibiotic. This factors to a long-term downside with drug shortages that always goes missed.
  • A current Wall Road Journal article targeted on the damaging influence of covid-19 and lengthy covid on productiveness within the nation. Though affected person advocates and public well being officers have lengthy been ringing this alarm, the problem has not gotten a lot consideration from political leaders. With Republicans seemingly gaining extra energy within the subsequent Congress — and their opposition to extra funding for covid prevention — it doesn’t seem seemingly that the long-term financial results will achieve a lot assist within the coming 12 months.

Additionally this week, Rovner interviews Carolee Lee, a former jewellery magnate, about her efforts to spice up gender fairness in medical analysis.

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

Julie Rovner: Columbia Journalism Assessment’s “How Much Coverage Are You Worth?” by Kyle Pope

Alice Miranda Ollstein: PBS NewsHour’s “Study Reveals Stark Number of Alcohol-Related Deaths Among Young Americans,” by John Yang and Dorothy Hastings

Sarah Karlin-Smith: The Washington Put up’s “Clock Runs Out on Efforts to Make Daylight Saving Time Permanent,” by Dan Diamond

Rachel Cohrs: ESPN’s “Review Shows Favre-Backed Drug Companies Overstated Benefits, Connections,” by Mark Fainaru-Wada

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 without doubt 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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