The brand new Democratic majority within the Home of Representatives took its first steps on well being care — voting to intervene within the enchantment of a Texas-led lawsuit that discovered the Inexpensive Care Act unconstitutional in December. And across the nation, Democratic governors and mayors unveiled new initiatives geared toward making well being care cheaper and extra accessible.
In Washington, the partial shutdown of the federal government has left most well being businesses untouched however shuttered main elements of the Meals and Drug Administration and the Indian Well being Service.
This week’s panelists for KHN’s “What the Well being?” are Julie Rovner of Kaiser Well being Information, Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Occasions, Anna Edney of Bloomberg Information and Rebecca Adams of CQ Roll Name.
Among the many takeaways from this week’s podcast:
A lot of the eye on the affect of the federal decide’s determination in Texas to invalidate the ACA has centered on the way it impacts folks with preexisting medical situations. However the ruling is way more far-reaching and will have an effect on broad swaths of well being care within the nation.
The partial authorities shutdown has had solely a small affect on the Division of Well being and Human Companies, which already obtained its funding. However the FDA, which is funded by way of the Agriculture Division’s appropriations invoice, is affected. Officers there say they’re attempting to maintain up with high-risk meals inspections and will carry some workers again to work.
The FDA receives a considerable a part of its funds by way of the charges paid by pharmaceutical firms for evaluation of their merchandise. However throughout the shutdown, the company is just not allowed to just accept extra charges, so it’s going to run out of cash for drug software evaluations in a few month, officers stated.
Latest efforts by some Democratic state and native officers spotlight the intraparty debate over well being care. New California Gov. Gavin Newsom has proposed increasing insurance coverage premium subsidies to folks making as much as 600 p.c of the federal poverty stage (about $72,800 for a person) — up from the regulation’s present 400 p.c (about $48,500) — whereas Washington Gov. Jay Inslee desires to arrange a government-run plan that will be an possibility for folks shopping for their very own insurance coverage. And in New York Metropolis, Mayor Invoice de Blasio desires to supply protection to people who find themselves within the nation illegally.
The most recent authorities enrollment figures present that greater than 11 million folks signed up for protection supplied within the ACA marketplaces. That’s down a bit from prior years, however nonetheless greater than business watchers predicted given the tax penalty for not having protection expired this 12 months.
The small slippage in enrollment prior to now two years, following modifications made by the Trump administration and a Republican-led Congress, could sign challenges sooner or later, particularly in small markets the place getting competitors has been robust.
Additionally this week, Julie Rovner interviews KHN senior correspondent Jordan Rau, who investigated and wrote the most recent “Invoice of the Month” characteristic for Kaiser Well being Information and NPR. It’s a few snowboarding accident that required repeat surgical procedures — and payments for the affected person, though she did nothing incorrect. You’ll be able to learn the story right here, and its replace right here.
If in case you have a medical invoice you prefer to NPR and KHN to analyze, you’ll be able to submit it right here.
Plus, for additional credit score, the panelists advocate their favourite well being coverage tales of the week they assume you need to learn, too:
Julie Rovner: Rewire.Information’ “There’s Nearly No Information About What Occurs When Catholic Hospitals Deny Reproductive Care,” by Amy Littlefield
Rebecca Adams: The Washington Publish Journal’s “Life, Demise and Insulin,” by Tiffany Stanley
Margot Sanger-Katz: Vox.com’s “A $20,243 Bike Crash: Zuckerberg Hospital’s Aggressive Ways Go away Sufferers With Large Payments,” by Sarah Kliff
Anna Edney: The Washington Publish’s “The FDA Is Nonetheless Letting Docs Implant Untested Units Into Our Our bodies,” by Jeanne Lenzer and Shannon Brownlee
To listen to all our podcasts, click on right here.
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