Elections

It’s Not Just Covid: Recall Candidates Represent Markedly Different Choices on Health Care

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Gov. Gavin Newsom’s covid-19 rules have been a lightning rod in California’s recall election. But there’s a lot more at stake for Californians’ health care than mask and vaccine mandates. Newsom, a first-term Democrat, argues that their fundamental ability to get health insurance and medical treatments is on the line. Republicans are …

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Voters in Tight Recall Race Sound Off on California Gov. Newsom’s Covid Leadership

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s first term in office has been defined by his response to the covid-19 pandemic, which has claimed the lives of more than 65,400 Californians. The Democratic governor issued the first statewide stay-at-home order in the nation, and his policies kept most public school students at home last year. But his own children …

Voters in Tight Recall Race Sound Off on California Gov. Newsom’s Covid Leadership Read More »

Health Issues Carried Weight on the Campaign Trail. What Could Biden Do in His First 100 Days?

Joe Biden ran on an expansive health care platform during his 2020 presidential campaign, with a broad array of promises such as adding a government-sponsored health plan to the Affordable Care Act and lowering prescription drug prices. Perhaps most significantly, he pledged to get control of the covid pandemic that claimed more than 400,000 American lives …

Health Issues Carried Weight on the Campaign Trail. What Could Biden Do in His First 100 Days? Read More »

Only a Smokescreen? Big Tobacco Stands Down as Colorado and Oregon Hike Cigarette Taxes

This story also ran on Fortune. It can be republished for free. Big Tobacco did something unusual in Marlboro Country last fall: It stood aside while Colorado voters approved the state’s first tobacco tax hike in 16 years. The industry, led by Altria Group, one of the world’s largest tobacco companies, has spent exorbitantly in …

Only a Smokescreen? Big Tobacco Stands Down as Colorado and Oregon Hike Cigarette Taxes Read More »

Biden’s First Order of Business May Be to Undo Trump’s Policies, but It Won’t Be Easy

The party split in Congress is so slim that, even with Democrats technically in the majority, passing major health care legislation will be extremely difficult. So speculation about President-elect Joe Biden’s health agenda has focused on the things he can accomplish using executive authority. Although there is a long list of things he could do, …

Biden’s First Order of Business May Be to Undo Trump’s Policies, but It Won’t Be Easy Read More »

Democrats Are Running Hard on Health Care in Georgia’s Senate Runoffs. Republicans? Not So Much.

This story is from a reporting partnership that includes WABE, NPR and KHN. It can be republished for free. Vice President Mike Pence was the clear celebrity draw at a Nov. 20 campaign event for Georgia’s two incumbent U.S. senators, Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue. Both Republicans are fighting to keep their seats against two …

Democrats Are Running Hard on Health Care in Georgia’s Senate Runoffs. Republicans? Not So Much. Read More »

As Biden Gets Sworn In, White House Will Get Scrubbed Down

It was a down-in-the-mud presidential campaign, but the dirtiest part comes on Inauguration Day. As Joe Biden lifts his right hand to take the oath of office at noon on Jan. 20 at the Capitol, a team of specially trained cleaners will be lifting their hands to disinfect the White House. The executive mansion will …

As Biden Gets Sworn In, White House Will Get Scrubbed Down Read More »

This Health Care Magnate Wants to Fix Democracy, Starting in Colorado

In the final weeks before the Nov. 3 election, supporters of a down-in-the-weeds effort to overturn a tax law in Colorado received a cascade of big checks, for a grand total of more than $2 million. All came from Kent Thiry, the former CEO of DaVita, one of the largest kidney care companies in the …

This Health Care Magnate Wants to Fix Democracy, Starting in Colorado Read More »

Dialysis Industry Spends Millions, Emerges as Power Player in California Politics

SACRAMENTO — The nation’s dialysis industry has poured $233 million into California campaigns over the past four years, establishing its leading companies as a formidable political force eager to protect their bottom line and influence state policy. This story also ran on Los Angeles Times. It can be republished for free. Most of the money …

Dialysis Industry Spends Millions, Emerges as Power Player in California Politics Read More »

As More Red States Legalize Marijuana, Some Officials Try to Nip It in the Bud

With his state reeling amid one of the worst COVID-19 outbreaks in the nation, the last thing South Dakota Speaker of the House Steven Haugaard wants to be dealing with during the upcoming legislative session is marijuana. But the state’s voters haven’t left the Republican much choice. This fall, South Dakota became the first state …

As More Red States Legalize Marijuana, Some Officials Try to Nip It in the Bud Read More »

Becerra, un candidato para el HHS con habilidad política pero sin experiencia en salud

Xavier Becerra, elegido por el presidente electo Joe Biden para dirigir el Departamento de Salud y Servicios Humanos (HHS), será un secretario de la era pandémica, sin experiencia en salud pública. Si eso importa o no, depende de quién conteste. Becerra construyó su carrera en la Cámara de Representantes de los Estados Unidos antes de …

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In Becerra, an HHS Nominee With Political Skill But No Front-Line Health Experience

Xavier Becerra, President-elect Joe Biden’s choice to head the Department of Health and Human Services, is set to be a pandemic-era secretary with no public health experience. Whether that matters depends on whom you ask. Becerra built his career in the U.S. House of Representatives before becoming California’s attorney general, and some wonder whether his …

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Senate Republicans Throw the Brakes on Timing for Becerra Hearings

USE OUR CONTENT It can be republished for free. Senate Republicans are signaling they will delay considering President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee to run the Department of Health and Human Services, threatening to slow the Biden administration’s response to the pandemic that has killed more than 283,000 Americans. On Monday, Republican spokespeople for the committees responsible …

Senate Republicans Throw the Brakes on Timing for Becerra Hearings Read More »

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Transition Interrupted

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. Five days after the election was called for President-elect Joe Biden, President Donald Trump has not conceded — and instead ordered his administration not to begin the transition of power. That could have serious ramifications for health care, particularly as nearly every state is …

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Biden Plan to Lower Medicare Eligibility Age to 60 Faces Hostility From Hospitals

Of his many plans to expand insurance coverage, President-elect Joe Biden’s simplest strategy is lowering the eligibility age for Medicare from 65 to 60. But the plan is sure to face long odds, even if the Democrats can snag control of the Senate in January by winning two runoff elections in Georgia. Republicans, who fought …

Biden Plan to Lower Medicare Eligibility Age to 60 Faces Hostility From Hospitals Read More »

Biden Wins, but His Health Agenda Dims With GOP Likely to Hold Senate

Former Vice President Joe Biden secured the 270 electoral votes needed to capture the White House on Saturday, major news organizations projected,  after election officials in a handful of swing states spent days in round-the-clock counting of millions of mail-in ballots and early votes. The Democrat’s victory came after the latest tallies showed him taking …

Biden Wins, but His Health Agenda Dims With GOP Likely to Hold Senate Read More »

KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: Change Is in the Air

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. Assuming former Vice President Joe Biden becomes President-elect Joe Biden and Republicans retain control of the Senate, the health agenda could be very different from what Democrats campaigned on. A GOP Senate is unlikely to want to pursue many of Biden’s agenda items, including expanding …

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Longtime Health Advocate Donna Shalala Loses House Reelection Race

Rep. Donna E. Shalala of Florida, the first-term Democratic member of Congress and former Health and Human Services secretary in the Clinton administration, lost her campaign for reelection Tuesday. Shalala’s loss to Maria Elvira Salazar — a Republican and former television journalist who compared Democratic policy proposals to leftist oppression in countries like Cuba while …

Longtime Health Advocate Donna Shalala Loses House Reelection Race Read More »

Sin presidente todavía, el futuro de la salud también sigue siendo incierto

Sin un ganador y sin saber todavía qué partido controlará el Senado, el futuro del sistema de salud de la nación también sigue siendo incierto. Lo que está en juego es si el gobierno federal desempeñará un papel más importante en el financiamiento y el establecimiento de las reglas básicas para la cobertura de atención …

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No Winner for President Yet and Health Care Hangs in the Balance

With the winner of the presidency and party control of the Senate still unclear the morning after Election Day, the future of the nation’s health system remains uncertain. At stake is whether the federal government will play a stronger role in financing and setting the ground rules for health care coverage or cede more authority …

No Winner for President Yet and Health Care Hangs in the Balance Read More »

How COVID Death Counts Become the Stuff of Conspiracy Theories

In the waning days of the campaign, President Donald Trump complained repeatedly about how the United States tracks the number of people who have died from COVID-19, claiming, “This country and its reporting systems are just not doing it right.” He went on to blame those reporting systems for inflating the number of deaths, pointing …

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¿Estás internado? Todavía puedes votar en gran parte del país

Johnathon Talamantes se rompió la cadera en un accidente de auto el 22 de octubre y se sometió a una cirugía cinco días después en un hospital público cerca del centro de Los Angeles. Talamantes tendrá que estar en el hospital del condado de LA USC Medical Center hasta pasadas las elecciones, algo que le …

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‘His Lies are Killing my Neighbors’: Swing-state Health Workers Try to Defeat Trump

Dr. Chris Kapsner intubated his first COVID-19 patient — a 47-year-old man who arrived short of breath at an emergency room in Minnesota’s Twin Cities — back in April. Now, seven months later, Kapsner, who lives across the border in Wisconsin, is weary and exhausted from the steady stream of patients arriving with a virus …

‘His Lies are Killing my Neighbors’: Swing-state Health Workers Try to Defeat Trump Read More »

California’s Progressive — and Expensive — Health Care Ambitions Rely on Biden Win

SACRAMENTO — For deep blue California, where first-in-the-nation health care proposals regularly flood the Democratic agenda, there could not be more at stake in the presidential race. If Republican President Donald Trump prevails, Democratic state lawmakers worry, they’ll be forced to scale back their ambitious plans and play defense the next four years, battling Republican …

California’s Progressive — and Expensive — Health Care Ambitions Rely on Biden Win Read More »

Hospitalized? You Can Still Vote in Most Parts of the Country

Johnathon Talamantes, of South-Central Los Angeles, broke his hip in a car accident on Oct. 22 and underwent surgery five days later at a public hospital near downtown. His post-op recovery will keep him in the hospital, L.A. County+USC Medical Center, beyond Election Day, and as he prepared himself for the surgery, he wondered what …

Hospitalized? You Can Still Vote in Most Parts of the Country Read More »

‘It’s Science, Stupid’: A School Subject Emerges as a Hot-Button Political Issue

At the top of Dr. Hiral Tipirneni’s to-do list if she wins her congressional race: work with other elected officials to encourage mask mandates and to beef up COVID-19 testing and contact tracing. Those choices are backed up by science, said Tipirneni, an emergency room physician running for Arizona’s 6th Congressional District. On the campaign …

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KHN on the Air This Week

KHN chief Washington correspondent Julie Rovner discussed the current surge in COVID-19 cases, health policy in the election and the Affordable Care Act case before the Supreme Court with NPR’s “All Things Considered” on Sunday and WBUR’s “On Point.” Click here to hear Rovner on NPR Click here to hear Rovner on WBUR Listen to …

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If They Sweep on Election Day, Dems Still Face a Challenge Meeting Health Promises

Democrats are favored to win both chambers of Congress after years of campaign-trail promises about health care. But with a pandemic, a more conservative Supreme Court and lingering disagreements between progressives and moderates, it could be difficult for Democrats to turn those promises into law. In the final days of the campaign, COVID-19 and the …

If They Sweep on Election Day, Dems Still Face a Challenge Meeting Health Promises Read More »

Democrats Link GOP Challengers to Trump’s COVID Record, Efforts to Undo Obamacare

In a tweet to his 78,000 followers Sunday, U.S. Rep. Harley Rouda, a Democrat from Orange County, California, described his Republican opponent Michelle Steel’s attendance at an indoor fundraiser without a mask as “sickening.” Democratic U.S. Rep. Gil Cisneros also blasted his Republican opponent, Young Kim, on Twitter for attending the “superspreader fundraiser,” calling it …

Democrats Link GOP Challengers to Trump’s COVID Record, Efforts to Undo Obamacare Read More »

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: As Cases Spike, White House Declares Pandemic Over

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said this week that “we’re not going to control the pandemic,” effectively conceding that the administration has pivoted from prevention to treatment. But COVID-19 cases are rising rapidly in most of the nation, and the issue is playing …

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A $10,000 Obamacare Penalty? Doubtful.

“Because our family couldn’t afford health insurance, Obama/Biden penalized us about $10,000, then took that $10,000 and used it to pay for others’ free Obamacare. Trump ended that theft.” In a Facebook post, Oct. 20, 2020 A viral Facebook post claims that former President Barack Obama’s health insurance law penalized a family a large amount …

A $10,000 Obamacare Penalty? Doubtful. Read More »

Despite COVID Concerns, Teams Venture Into Nursing Homes to Get Out the Vote

RALEIGH, N.C. — Each time Beverly Tucker visited a nursing home or long-term care facility this fall, she brought along a rolling tote bag packed with supplies from the Durham County Board of Elections. Boxes of face masks and face shields. Latex gloves and cleaning wipes. Hand sanitizer from Mystic Farm & Distillery, a local …

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App-Based Companies Pushing Prop. 22 Say Drivers Will Get Health Benefits. Will They?

App-based driving services such as Uber, Lyft, DoorDash and Instacart are bankrolling California’s Proposition 22, which would keep their drivers classified as independent contractors, not employees. Leading into the Nov. 3 election, the ballot measure — which has become the most expensive in state history — is mired in controversy and the subject of a …

App-Based Companies Pushing Prop. 22 Say Drivers Will Get Health Benefits. Will They? Read More »

For People With Visual Impairments, Truly Secret Ballots Are Elusive

Norma Crosby remembers when she relied on blind faith to cast her vote. The 64-year-old Texan was born virtually without sight, a side effect of her mother catching rubella while pregnant with her. Friends and relatives stood beside her and filled out her ballot at polling precincts for more than half of her voting life. …

For People With Visual Impairments, Truly Secret Ballots Are Elusive Read More »

If Trump Wins, Don’t Hold Your Breath Waiting for That ACA Replacement Plan

If President Donald Trump wins reelection next week, it seems unlikely he will unveil the health plan he’s been promising since before his election in 2016. Still, other aspects of health care could be featured in his second-term agenda. Not having a replacement plan for the Affordable Care Act may be just fine with many …

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North Carolina Treasurer Took On the Hospitals. Now He’s Paying Political Price.

Cartel is a term frequently associated with illegal narcotics syndicates. In North Carolina, it has become the favored word of State Treasurer Dale Folwell to describe the state’s hospital industry, the antagonist in his quest to lower health care prices for state employees. The treasurer manages the state employees’ health plan, which insures about 727,000 …

North Carolina Treasurer Took On the Hospitals. Now He’s Paying Political Price. Read More »

Colorado Initiative Would Further Limit Access in Middle America’s ‘Abortion Desert’

Colorado voters are deciding a ballot question that seeks to limit how far into pregnancy an abortion can be legally performed. While the measure would change the law only in Colorado, it would resonate throughout the Rocky Mountain states and Midwest amid an intensifying national fight, fueled by a Supreme Court vacancy, over the future …

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Déjà Vu for California Voters on Dialysis

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The survival of California’s dialysis clinics is in the hands of its voters this November. Sound familiar? Voters heard the same dire campaign claim two years ago, when the dialysis industry spent a record $111 million to defeat a statewide ballot measure that would have limited clinic revenues. Industry giants DaVita and …

Déjà Vu for California Voters on Dialysis Read More »

Arguing to Undo the ACA. Harming Medicare. Do They Go Hand in Hand?

It’s a tried-and-true campaign strategy. Candidates go on the attack, claiming their opponent will do harm to Medicare. After all, people 65 and older are good about making it to the polls on Election Day. These voters are also generally motivated to protect the federal health insurance program for seniors. It’s no surprise, then, that …

Arguing to Undo the ACA. Harming Medicare. Do They Go Hand in Hand? Read More »

Did Trump Confuse the Public Option With ‘Medicare for All’?

During the final presidential debate, President Donald Trump claimed that 180 million people would lose their private health insurance to socialized medicine if the Democratic presidential nominee, former Vice President Joe Biden, is elected president. “They have 180 million people, families under what he wants to do, which will basically be socialized medicine — you …

Did Trump Confuse the Public Option With ‘Medicare for All’? Read More »

In Tamer Debate, Trump and Biden Clash (Again) on President’s Pandemic Response

In the second and final debate of the 2020 presidential race, President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden sparred over Trump’s handling of the pandemic and Biden’s plan to reform health care. In stark contrast to the first debate, there was more policy talk. There was also less interrupting. Trump said a COVID-19 …

In Tamer Debate, Trump and Biden Clash (Again) on President’s Pandemic Response Read More »

KHN on the Air This Week

KHN chief Washington correspondent Julie Rovner discussed the impact of the election and the upcoming Supreme Court challenge on the Affordable Care Act with New Hampshire Public Radio’s “The Exchange” and WNYC’s “The Brian Lehrer Show” on Wednesday. Rovner also spoke with Newsy’s “Morning Rush” on Thursday about the roles of health care and COVID-19 …

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Want to protect people with preexisting conditions? You need the full Affordable Care Act.

In this perspective published by the Washington Post, KFF Executive Vice President for Health Policy Larry Levitt explains why the popular Affordable Care Act provisions that ensure people with pre-existing conditions can access affordable health insurance can’t easily be preserved if other related provisions are overturned.

Californians Asked to Pony Up for Stem Cell Research — Again

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — In an election year dominated by a chaotic presidential race and splashy statewide ballot initiative campaigns, Californians are being asked to weigh in on the value of stem cell research — again. Proposition 14 would authorize the state to borrow $5.5 billion to keep financing the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), …

Californians Asked to Pony Up for Stem Cell Research — Again Read More »

Biden’s Big Health Agenda Won’t Be Easy to Achieve

If Joe Biden wins the presidency in November, health is likely to play a high-profile role in his agenda. Just probably not in the way he or anyone else might have predicted. Barring something truly unforeseen, it’s fairly certain that on Jan. 20 the U.S. will still be in the grip of the coronavirus pandemic …

Biden’s Big Health Agenda Won’t Be Easy to Achieve Read More »

Despite Pandemic Threat, Gubernatorial Hopefuls Avoid COVID Nitty-Gritty

Just 15 days ahead of the election, Montana Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney laid out his ideas on how he’d handle the COVID-19 pandemic if elected governor. Details were few, but the Democrat’s plan became one of only a handful being offered by candidates in the 11 U.S. governor’s races about how they’ll approach what’s certain …

Despite Pandemic Threat, Gubernatorial Hopefuls Avoid COVID Nitty-Gritty Read More »

Health Care Groups Dive Into Property Tax Ballot Fight, Eyeing Public Health Money

SACRAMENTO — A November ballot initiative to raise property taxes on big-business owners in California is drawing unconventional political support from health care power players and public health leaders. They see Proposition 15 as a potential savior for chronically underfunded local health departments struggling to respond to the worst public health crisis in more than …

Health Care Groups Dive Into Property Tax Ballot Fight, Eyeing Public Health Money Read More »

Al sopesar los temas de salud, la mayoría de los votantes se inclinan hacia Biden

Al menos la mitad de los votantes prefiere el enfoque de la atención médica del ex vicepresidente Joe Biden al del presidente Donald Trump, lo que sugiere que la preocupación por reducir los costos y manejar la pandemia podría influir en el resultado de esta elección, según revela una nueva encuesta. Los hallazgos, de la …

Al sopesar los temas de salud, la mayoría de los votantes se inclinan hacia Biden Read More »

Majority of Voters Tilt Toward Biden as Health Issues Weigh Heavily

At least half of voters prefer former Vice President Joe Biden’s approach to health care over President Donald Trump’s, suggesting voter concern about lowering costs and managing the pandemic could sway the outcome of this election, a new poll shows. The findings, from KFF’s monthly tracking poll, signal that voters do not trust assurances from …

Majority of Voters Tilt Toward Biden as Health Issues Weigh Heavily Read More »

KFF Health Tracking Poll – October 2020: The Future of the ACA and Biden’s Advantage On Health Care

The poll examines the public’s views on the Supreme Court case to overturn the Affordable Care Act and its protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Less than a month from the results of the 2020 presidential election, this poll examines the top issues for voters (the economy, the coronavirus pandemic, health care, criminal justice and …

KFF Health Tracking Poll – October 2020: The Future of the ACA and Biden’s Advantage On Health Care Read More »

Election 2020: State Health Care Snapshots

Health care is a top issue for voters in the 2020 election. To understand the health care landscape in which the 2020 election policy debates will unfold, these state health care snapshots provide data across a variety of health policy subjects, including health care costs, health coverage—Medicaid, Medicare, private insurance—and the uninsured, women’s health, health …

Election 2020: State Health Care Snapshots Read More »

Outnumbered on High Court Nomination, Democrats Campaign for a Different Vote

Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee know that, barring something unexpected, they lack the votes to block President Donald Trump from installing his third justice in four years on the Supreme Court and creating a 6-3 conservative majority. They also know that, in a normal year, by mid-October Congress would be out of session and …

Outnumbered on High Court Nomination, Democrats Campaign for a Different Vote Read More »

COVID-19: las farmacéuticas elogiadas por Trump mandan dinero a Biden

Los gigantes farmacéuticos Regeneron y Gilead Sciences obtuvieron el tipo de publicidad que el dinero no puede comprar luego que el presidente Donald Trump tomara sus medicamentos experimentales para tratar su infección por coronavirus, y se declarara completamente recuperado después de dejar el hospital. “Fue increíble. Me sentí bien de inmediato”, dijo Trump el miércoles …

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KHN on the Air This Week

KHN reporter Victoria Knight discussed this week’s vice presidential debate with Newsy’s “Morning Rush” on Thursday. Click here to watch Knight on Newsy Read “In Debate, Pence and Harris Offer Conflicting Views of Nation’s Reality,” by the staffs of KHN and PolitiFact KHN chief Washington correspondent Julie Rovner discussed Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis on WFAE’s “Charlotte …

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As Trump Touts His ‘Great’ COVID Drugs, the Pharma Cash Flows to Biden, Not Him

Pharmaceutical giants Regeneron and Gilead Sciences got the kind of publicity money can’t buy this week after President Donald Trump took their experimental drugs for his coronavirus infection, left the hospital and pronounced himself fully recovered. “It was, like, unbelievable. I felt good immediately,” Trump said Wednesday in a tweeted video. “I call that a …

As Trump Touts His ‘Great’ COVID Drugs, the Pharma Cash Flows to Biden, Not Him Read More »

Pandemic Erects Barriers for Prized Bloc of Voters in Nursing Homes, Senior Facilities

The convergence of the coronavirus pandemic and election season has complicated this year’s voting for residents of nursing homes, assisted living facilities and other long-term care centers. Many seniors who need help to get or fill out their ballots may be stymied by shifting rules about family visits. Voting procedures — whether in person or …

Pandemic Erects Barriers for Prized Bloc of Voters in Nursing Homes, Senior Facilities Read More »

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Trump vs. COVID

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. President Donald Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis — and that of two dozen or more other officials in the White House and Capitol Hill — has scrambled an already confusing autumn. The president’s illness has thrown into doubt the remaining two presidential debates, and positive tests for …

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Trump vs. COVID Read More »

In Debate, Pence and Harris Offer Conflicting Views of Nation’s Reality

The Trump administration’s pandemic response: decisive action that saved lives, or the greatest failure of any presidential administration? During Wednesday’s vice presidential debate, Vice President Mike Pence and the Democratic challenger, Sen. Kamala Harris of California, offered drastically different takes — from behind  plexiglass screens — on how the president has handled the COVID-19 crisis. …

In Debate, Pence and Harris Offer Conflicting Views of Nation’s Reality Read More »

Does the Federal Health Information Privacy Law Protect President Trump?

Within one day, President Donald Trump announced his COVID diagnosis and was admitted to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for treatment. The flurry of events was stunning, confusing and triggered many questions. What was his prognosis? When was he last tested for COVID-19? What is his viral load? The answers were elusive. Picture the …

Does the Federal Health Information Privacy Law Protect President Trump? Read More »

Fighting for Patient Protections While Attacking ACA — Hard to Have It Both Ways

Throughout the 2020 election cycle, candidates’ positions on health care have been particularly important for voters with underlying and often expensive medical needs — in short, those with preexisting conditions. It’s no surprise, then, that protections for people who have chronic health problems like diabetes and cancer have become a focal point for candidates nationwide …

Fighting for Patient Protections While Attacking ACA — Hard to Have It Both Ways Read More »

Health Care and the 2020 Presidential Election

This side-by-side comparison examines President Trump’s record and former Vice President Biden’s positions across a wide range of key health issues, including the response to the pandemic, the Affordable Care Act marketplace, Medicaid, Medicare, drug prices, reproductive health, mental health and opioids, immigration and health coverage, and health care costs.

KHN on the Air This Week

KHN senior correspondent Sarah Jane Tribble appeared on Newsy’s “Morning Rush” on Thursday to discuss rural hospital closures and KHN’s brand-new “Where It Hurts” podcast. Click here to watch Tribble on Newsy Tribble hosts “No Mercy,” the first season of “Where It Hurts.” Click here to listen to Chapter One. KHN chief Washington correspondent Julie …

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Republican Convention, Day 4: Fireworks … and Shining a Light on Trump’s Claims

President Donald Trump accepted the Republican Party’s nomination for president in a 70-minute speech from the South Lawn of the White House on Thursday night. Speaking to a friendly crowd that didn’t appear to be observing social distancing conventions, and with few participants wearing masks, he touched on a range of topics, including many related …

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Opposition to Obamacare Becomes Political Liability for GOP Incumbents

In the 2014 elections, Republicans rode a wave of anti-Affordable Care Act sentiment to pick up nine Senate seats, the largest gain for either party since 1980. Newly elected Republicans such as Cory Gardner in Colorado and Steve Daines in Montana had hammered their Democratic opponents over the health care law during the campaign and …

Opposition to Obamacare Becomes Political Liability for GOP Incumbents Read More »

Pence Praises Trump’s ‘Seamless’ COVID Response, Leaves Out His State Feuds

Vice President Mike Pence portrayed his boss, President Donald Trump, as a leader who has reached out across the aisle to help during the coronavirus pandemic. “President Trump marshaled the full resources of the federal government and directed us to forge a seamless partnership with governors across America in both parties,” Pence said during his …

Pence Praises Trump’s ‘Seamless’ COVID Response, Leaves Out His State Feuds Read More »

Republican Convention, Day 3: Revisionist History

In accepting the Republican Party nomination Wednesday night, Vice President Mike Pence accurately recounted the history of Baltimore’s Fort McHenry, and how a failed British bombardment in 1814 helped inspire Francis Scott Key to write “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Pence’s claims about the Trump administration as well as his attacks on Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, on …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’ Replay: What’s at Stake When High Court Hears ACA Case

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. The “What the Health?” panelists are taking a break for two weeks. But since the Supreme Court recently scheduled arguments in the case challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, it seemed like a good opportunity to replay an episode from March, when the …

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Republican Convention, Day 2: Pomp, the Pandemic and Planned Parenthood

The Republican National Convention offered Americans a picture Tuesday night of a compassionate White House in action. But not a lot was said about the biggest health crisis in a century that has killed more than 170,000 people in this country. First lady Melania Trump wrapped up the evening with a speech from her redesigned …

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Trump Again Claims He’s Bringing Down Drug Prices, But Details of How Are Skimpy

President Donald Trump has long considered lowering the high cost of prescription drugs to be one of his signature issues, and it is likely to be a talking point he relies on throughout the upcoming campaign. During his afternoon speech Monday ― delivered on the first day of the Repubublican National Convention after delegates had …

Trump Again Claims He’s Bringing Down Drug Prices, But Details of How Are Skimpy Read More »

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 …

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

COVID-19, Mental Health, and the 2020 Election: A Review of Candidate Platforms

This brief examines where the candidates stand on four key aspects of the nation’s mental health and substance abuse challenges: the opioid epidemic, suicide rates, mental health parity, and mental health workforce. On each issue, the brief summarizes the policy positions of President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden.

Democratic Convention, Night 4: ‘Facts Over Fiction’ in Biden’s Speech

In a near-empty arena on the river in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware, former Vice President Joe Biden accepted the Democratic nomination for president, promising hope over fear, fairness over privilege, love over hate. And, he said, “Facts over fiction.” Let’s see about that. Our partners at PolitiFact examined a range of claims made by …

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Democratic Convention, Night 3: Making the Party Lines Clear

The third night of the Democratic National Convention was all about one thing: Sen. Kamala Harris of California becoming the first Black and Indian American woman to accept a major political party’s vice presidential nomination. But key Democratic criticisms — many rooted in health care issues and the COVID-19 pandemic — were repeated throughout the …

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KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: Democrats in Array (For Now)

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. Democrats have shown a remarkably united front, including on health care, in their socially distant, made-for-TV convention this week. That’s likely due, at least in part, to the physical separation of party members who disagree on issues — this year they cannot chatter on live …

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Democratic Convention, Night 2: Defending the ACA and Attacking Trump on Pandemic

The second night of the 2020 Democratic National Convention featured a 17-person keynote speech, past presidents, a roll call vote that doubled as a virtual tour of the United States and an emphasis on health care and national security issues. Ady Barkan, a health care activist paralyzed by ALS, appeared in a video — speaking …

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Democratic Convention, Night 1: Hitting Trump Team on Pandemic Preparedness

On the first night of the Democrats’ 2020 national convention, one thing was clear. This time would be different. No crowds, buttons, placards or party swag. The coronavirus pandemic was an ever-present theme. Still, there was a virtual National Anthem and everyday people offering their thoughts on the upcoming election and the state of the …

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GOP Senate Ad Misrepresents Mont. Governor’s Stance on Rural Hospitals, Public Option

An attack ad, which was released in mid-July, states that Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, a Democratic candidate for the Senate, supports a government-run health care program that would wreak havoc on the state’s health care infrastructure. “Bullock’s health care plan will force rural hospitals to close. Medicare as we know it will change, replaced by …

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Voters Are Souring on President Trump’s Handling of Coronavirus, with Implications for November

As the country struggles to get a handle on the coronavirus pandemic and prepares for the 2020 election, this analysis finds that, while voters are increasingly negative in their evaluations of President Trump’s handling of the pandemic, he continues to garner strong support among Republican voters – even those living in areas disproportionately impacted by …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Kamala Harris on Health

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. California Sen. Kamala Harris, the newly named running mate for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, doesn’t have a lot of background in health policy. But that’s unlikely to prevent Republicans from using her on-again, off-again support for “Medicare for All” against her in the …

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Pandemic’s Bumps and Backlash Shape Montana Race Poised to Steer US Senate

MISSOULA, Mont. — Bradshaw Sumners watched throughout February as COVID-19 hot spots developed in major American cities, waiting to see when the coronavirus pandemic would manifest in Montana. When it finally did, life for the Livingston resident and father of two changed dramatically. His daughters, 8 and 4 years old, were suddenly home from school. …

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