Capitol Desk

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: The Autumn of Democrats’ Discontent

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. Democrats in Congress and the White House are feverishly negotiating to pass as much of President Joe Biden’s domestic agenda as they can agree on, even as …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Much Ado About Drug Prices

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. Congressional Democrats are finding it harder to actually write legislation to lower drug prices than it is to make promises about it. But the drug price provisions of the $3.5 trillion social-spending bill …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: The Senate Acts

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. The Senate has set the stage for a busy fall that will include debate on a broad array of health issues, such as prescription drug prices, Medicare …

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Why Doesn’t Medicare Cover Services So Many Seniors Need?

Sorry, Joe Namath. Despite what you keep saying in those TV ads, under Medicare, seniors are not “entitled to eliminate copays and get dental care, dentures, eyeglasses, prescription drug coverage, in-home aides, unlimited transportation and home-delivered meals, all at no additional cost.” But if Democratic lawmakers in Congress have their say, seniors could soon be …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Hot Covid Summer

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. Predictions of a “hot vax summer” that would let Americans who had their covid immunizations celebrate the waning of the pandemic are turning out to have been …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Delta Changes the Covid Conversation

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. The resurgence of covid cases in the U.S. — largely attributable to the much more contagious delta variant — has given policymakers the jitters. The Biden administration …

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Grab Your Mask and Notepad, We’re Headed Back to California’s State Capitol

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The best part about returning to the pandemic-besieged state Capitol is that the elected officials are so unused to seeing us reporters after more than a year that some are occasionally extra chatty. The bad part is that the masks make it harder to eavesdrop on the rest of them. Much like …

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Doctor on Call? Lawmakers Debate How Much to Pay for Phone Appointments

It took covid-19 to give millions of Americans the option of telling their doctor about their aches and pains by phone. But now that more doctors and patients are returning to in-person appointments, policymakers across the country are divided over how much taxpayer money to keep spending on phone appointments. Although they were a lifeline …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Getting Down to Work at HHS

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. As questions swirl about the covid vaccine made by AstraZeneca, public health experts are worried the confusion could create more doubts among people already hesitant to get a vaccine. Meanwhile, the first Senate-confirmed officials are settling into their offices at the Department of Health and …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Expanding the ACA in an Unpredicted Way

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. For the first time since its enactment in 2010, the Affordable Care Act is slated for major benefit expansions, courtesy of the covid relief bill approved by Congress this week. But the changes are only temporary, so the measure also tees up a fight to …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Good and Not-So-Good News on Covid

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. There’s good news and bad news on covid-19 this week. On the one hand, several million doses of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine authorized by the FDA for emergency use are already going into the arms of people around the nation. And the Biden …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Open Enrollment, One More Time

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. An estimated 9 million Americans eligible for free or reduced premium health insurance under the Affordable Care Act have a second chance to sign up for 2021 coverage, since the Biden administration reopened enrollment on healthcare.gov and states that run their own marketplaces followed suit. …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: On Capitol Hill, Actions Have Consequences

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. The reverberations from the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump continue. A broad array of business groups, including many from the health industry, are halting contributions to Republicans in the House and Senate who voted against certifying the …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Georgia Turns the Senate Blue

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. Surprise Democratic victories in Georgia’s two runoff elections this week will give Democrats control of the Senate, which means they will be in charge of both houses of Congress and the White House for the first time since 2010. Although the narrow majorities in the …

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Republican Convention, Day 1: A Campaign-Style Trump Speech and More

Before the prime-time GOP showcase began, President Donald Trump took to the podium Monday afternoon and delivered an approximately one-hour campaign-style speech to delegates after he was officially renominated by the Republican Party as its candidate for president. His comments were wide-ranging, and our partners at PolitiFact found many to be either wrong, misleading, premature …

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‘Pennie’-Pinching States Take Over Obamacare Exchanges From Feds

Pennsylvania is rolling out its new “Pennie” this fall: a state-run insurance exchange that officials say will save residents collectively millions of dollars on next year’s health plan premiums. Since the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces opened for enrollment in fall 2013, Pennsylvania, like most states, has used the federal www.healthcare.gov website for people buying coverage …

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