Podcasts

‘No Mercy’ Bonus Episodes: More From Fort Scott, Kansas

Searching for the Nuns Who Ghosted Fort Scott Host Sarah Jane Tribble sets out on a mission to learn more about the Sisters of Mercy, the nuns who founded Fort Scott’s Mercy Hospital and were once prominent leaders of the community. Tribble’s first glimpse into their lives takes her to an old convent. To learn …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Dems Agree to Agree, But Not on What to Agree On

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on Acast. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. Negotiations over what to include in — and cut from — the domestic spending package on Capitol Hill are reportedly making progress, but so far all Democrats …

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‘An Arm and a Leg’: Hello? We Spend 12 Million Hours a Week on the Phone With Insurers

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. After Stanford professor Jeffrey Pfeffer got back surgery years ago, he kept a file folder labeled “Blue Shield Troubles.” When Pfeffer got an offer to collaborate with the polling company Gallup, he suggested a study on how much time Americans spend on the phone with their health …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: The Politics of Vaccine Mandates

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on Acast. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. Should covid vaccines be mandated? The answer to that question has become predictably partisan, as with almost everything else associated with the pandemic. Even as the federal …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Abortion Politics Front and Center

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on Acast. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. Abortion, an issue that has mostly been simmering under the surface lately, is taking center stage in fights at the Supreme Court, in Congress and in the …

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‘An Arm and a Leg’: How One State Protects Patients From Hospital Lawsuits

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. In Maryland, hospitals had been suing people — taking them to court and garnishing wages — even though these patients legally qualified for financial assistance, also known as charity care. Those lawsuits are now illegal, because of the state’s new Medical Debt Protection Act. But in many other …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: The Health Agenda Still on Hold

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on Acast. Democrats on Capitol Hill missed their deadline to finish two huge bills that constitute the bulk of President Joe Biden’s domestic agenda, but negotiations continue over expansions to major health programs, as well as ways to rein in prescription drug costs. Meanwhile, the Biden …

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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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‘An Arm and a Leg’: They Turned Grief Into Action

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. In 2004, 24-year-old Manny Lanza urgently needed surgery for a life-threatening brain condition. But he didn’t have insurance, so his hospital refused to schedule the treatment — until it was too late. Manny died waiting.  In the months that followed, Manny’s parents, Reynaldo Prieto and Levia Lanza, …

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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 Future of Public Health

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. Click here for a transcript of the episode. The covid-19 pandemic has shone a spotlight on public health, a key part of the health care system that …

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‘An Arm and a Leg’: How Charity Care Made It Into the ACA

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. Charity care is one tiny provision in the giant Affordable Care Act, and it can make a big difference for patients who face huge bills. How did it get into the law? One Republican senator made sure the ACA required nonprofit hospitals to act more like charities …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Vaccine Approval Moves the Needle on Covid

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 Food and Drug Administration gave full approval this week to the covid-19 vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech, which will henceforth be known as “Comirnaty.” It is …

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‘An Arm and a Leg’: Meet the Mississippi Lawyer Who Helped Start the Fight for Charity Care

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. Richard “Dickie” Scruggs, famous for taking on Big Tobacco in the ’90s and winning, worked on a series of ill-fated national lawsuits against nonprofit hospitals. The goal? Get nonprofit — or “charity” — hospitals to actually provide charity care instead of price-gouging and dunning low-income patients.  Scruggs …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Booster Time

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. As covid-19 cases in the U.S. continue to rise, the Biden administration is countering with new strategies. The latest efforts include preparing for vaccine boosters starting this …

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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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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Delta Blues

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 U.S. is experiencing another surge of covid-19, particularly in Southern states where vaccination rates are generally lower than in other regions. But partisan fights rage on …

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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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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Here Comes Reconciliation

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 expansion of health benefits is a major piece of the tentative budget deal reached this week by Democrats in Congress. They plan to press ahead — …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Becerra Urges Congress to Expand Medicare, Address Rx 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. The Biden administration stands ready to work with Congress to address drug prices and expand Medicare, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a wide-ranging …

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‘An Arm and a Leg’: Tips for Fighting Medical Bills from ProPublica’s Marshall Allen

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. Veteran health journalist Marshall Allen has been exposing health care grifters for years. Now, he’s written a book about how to fight them. Host Dan Weissmann spoke with Allen about some of the best tips from “Never Pay the First Bill: And Other Ways to Fight the …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Un-Trumping the ACA

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 Biden administration this week proposed a series of changes aimed at boosting insurance enrollment under the Affordable Care Act, undoing changes made by the Trump administration …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: The ACA Lives

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. For the third time in nine years, the Affordable Care Act has survived a constitutional challenge at the Supreme Court. In a 7-2 decision, the court ruled …

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‘An Arm and a Leg’: When Your Insurance Company Says No, How to Ask for a Yes

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. Jeannine Cain started her career dealing with insurance companies for various medical offices. Later she worked for Blue Cross Blue Shield, and now she is a health care data consultant. She really knows how things operate behind the scenes. When her son got a jumbo-size medical bill, …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Our 200th Episode!

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 Food and Drug Administration found itself in the hot seat this week when it approved a controversial new drug to treat Alzheimer’s disease with scant evidence …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: The Return of the Public Option

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. You can also listen on on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. The “public option” is back — both in Washington, D.C., and the states. President Joe Biden as a candidate supported the idea of a government-run or heavily regulated insurance …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Roe v. Wade on the Ropes

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. The Supreme Court agreed to hear a case next term that could result in a significant modification or overturn of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case that legalized abortion nationwide. At issue is a Mississippi law that would ban the procedure after 15 weeks of …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Drug Price Effort Hits a Snag

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. The high cost of prescription drugs is a top health issue for the public and politicians, but concerns raised by a group of moderate Democrats threaten to derail a bill being pushed by House Democratic leaders. Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration has authorized the …

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Digital Marketing to Physicians: How to Capture the Attention of Today’s Time-Constrained HCPs

Editor’s note: This article was originally written for PM360 magazine and for its pharma audience. However, we are publishing this today because many health and wellness companies, including hospitals and device manufacturers, can benefit from the same B2B digital marketing tactics. Sales teams today are challenged more than ever to reach physicians and healthcare providers …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Sharing Vaccines With the World

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. The Biden administration — keeping a campaign promise — announced it would back a temporary waiver of patent protections for the covid-19 vaccines, arousing the ire of the drug industry. The administration is also picking a fight with tobacco companies, as the Food and Drug …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: 100 Days of Health Policy

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. It’s been a busy 100 days for the Biden administration on health policy. The promise Joe Biden made as president-elect to get 100 million covid vaccinations in arms was doubled, healthcare.gov reopened to those without insurance, and steps were taken to undo a raft of …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Picking Up the Pace of Undoing Trump Policies

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. The Biden administration is speeding up the pace of efforts to undo Trump administration health policies. The two most recent: overturning a ban on fetal tissue research funded by the National Institutes of Health and canceling a last-minute extension of a Medicaid waiver for Texas. …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Pause and Effect on Covid Vaccines

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. The effort to vaccinate Americans against covid-19 took a hit this week. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration jointly called for a pause in use of the vaccine made by Johnson & Johnson while experts try to figure …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Health Care as Infrastructure

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. Health care makes some surprising appearances in President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure plan, even though more health proposals are expected in a second proposal later this month. The bill that would help rebuild roads, bridges and broadband capabilities also includes $400 billion to help …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Planning for Round Two

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. Congress is out of session, but that hasn’t stopped Democrats from planning their next round of health legislation. Together with President Joe Biden, they are looking at a broad array of possibilities, from allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices to adding more benefits to the …

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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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‘An Arm and a Leg’: In Vaccinating Philadelphia, A Mix of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. In Philadelphia, the good, the bad and the ugly have all been on vivid display in the covid vaccine rollout. The Bad comes with a giant serving of gall: For a while, the city put its mass-vaccination program in the hands of Andrei Doroshin, a 22-year-old with …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: ACA Packs More Benefits — And More Confusion

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. The covid relief bill signed by President Joe Biden a week ago includes billions of dollars in new health benefits for consumers. But those benefits may be hard for people to take advantage of because of the interaction with the income tax system and the …

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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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‘An Arm and a Leg’: Revisiting Insulin: How the Medicine Got So Expensive

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. We’re re-releasing a story we first reported in 2019, about how insulin got to be so expensive. And this 2021 update  includes a check-in with people working to make the potentially lifesaving medicine more available. The story seems especially relevant right now, for two reasons: The rollout …

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‘Into the Covid ICU’: A New Doctor Bears Witness to the Isolation, Inequities of Pandemic

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. This story also ran on Reveal. It can be republished for free. This week marks a grim milestone: Half a million Americans have died of covid-19. KHN reporter Jenny Gold, in collaboration with Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX, spent eight months …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Staffing Up at HHS

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. More than a month into President Joe Biden’s term, nominees to fill some of the top posts at the Department of Health and Human Services are finally getting confirmation hearings in the Senate, starting with the nominee for secretary, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. Barring …

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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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‘An Arm and a Leg’: Viral TikTok Video Serves Up Recipe to ‘Crush’ Medical Debt

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. Jared Walker, who runs a nonprofit that helps people pay medical bills, posted a TikTok video explaining the recipe to “crush” hospital bills via charity care policies. “What that means is that if you make under a certain amount of money, the hospital legally has to forgive …

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Health Policy Valentines to Warm the Heart

Nothing warms our hearts like a few good Health Policy Valentines ― especially those that are sweet on KHN. Tweeters lit up our timeline in recent days with valentine messages about topics ranging from covid-19 vaccines and mask-wearing to the price of health care. Here are some of our favorites. ❤ Roses are red Violets …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: All About Budget Reconciliation

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. President Joe Biden has said he still wants a bipartisan bill to provide the next round of covid relief. But in case that doesn’t happen, House committees this week got down to work on a budget reconciliation bill that could pass the Senate with a …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Covid and Kids

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. Nearly a year into the pandemic, many public schools are still closed to in-person instruction. But while there is increasing evidence that schools are not a major source of infection, teachers and staffers remain concerned about going back to class before they are vaccinated. Meanwhile, …

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‘An Arm and a Leg’: Tips for Fighting Medical Bills From a Former ‘Bad Guy’ Lawyer

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. Lawyer Jeff Bloom used to be the person whom medical providers and debt collectors would hire to represent them in court. “I was a bad guy, for sure,” he said. Then, a few years ago, he switched sides. Bloom now represents consumers and, in this episode, shares …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: The Long Road to Unwinding Trump Health Policies

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. Thursday was “health day” in President Joe Biden’s sprint to launch his presidency, and he signed two executive orders addressing health coverage and women’s reproductive rights. The orders will reopen enrollment under the Affordable Care Act from February to May and reverse the so-called Mexico …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: The Biden Health Agenda

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. President Joe Biden wasted no time getting down to work. Among the raft of executive orders he signed on Inauguration Day were several aimed at curtailing the covid crisis, including one requiring mask-wearing by federal employees and anyone on federal property for the next 100 …

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‘An Arm and a Leg’: Host Dan Weissmann Talks Price Transparency on ‘Axios Today’

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. As we settle into the new year, we have two small doses of good news. First, a new federal rule could help cut through one health care issue. Host Dan Weissmann talked about the rule — which requires hospitals to make public the prices they negotiate with …

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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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‘An Arm And a Leg’: How a Former Health Care Executive Became a Health Care Whistleblower

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. Former health care executive Wendell Potter spent part of 2020 publishing high-profile apologies for the work he used to do — the lies he said he told the American people for his old employers. These days, he said, he’s also trying to debunk myths he once sold. …

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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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‘An Arm and a Leg’: A Look Back at 2020 — What We Learned and Where We’re Headed

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. This episode turns the tables: Host Dan Weissmann gets interviewed about what he learned in 2020 and what’s ahead for the show — with T.K. Dutes, a radio host and podcast-maker who is also a former nurse, so she knows a thing or two about the health …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: 2020 in Review — It Wasn’t All COVID

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. COVID-19 was the dominant — but not the only — health policy story of 2020. In this special year-in-review episode of KHN’s “What the Health?” podcast, panelists look back at some of the biggest non-coronavirus stories. Those included Supreme Court cases on the Affordable Care …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: All I Want for Christmas Is a COVID Relief Bill

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. Congress appears to be inching ever closer to agreement on a long-delayed COVID-19 relief bill, which would extend unemployment insurance and other emergency programs set to expire in the next several days. That bill, however, apparently will not include the top-priority items for both political …

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‘An Arm and a Leg’: Shopping for Health Insurance? Here’s How One Family Tried to Pick a Plan

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. When host Dan Weissmann and his wife set out to pick a health insurance plan for next year, they realized that keeping the plan they have means paying $200 a month more. But would a “cheaper” plan cost them more in the long run?  It depends. And …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Vaccines Coming Soon but COVID Relief Bill Still Stalled

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. The first vaccine to protect against COVID-19 could be approved in the U.S. within days, but legislation to help fund its distribution remains mired in Congress. And President-elect Joe Biden has tapped California Attorney General Xavier Becerra as his secretary of Health and Human Services. …

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‘An Arm and a Leg’: Obamacare Alum Andy Slavitt Takes Stock of the COVID Pandemic — So Far

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. Andy Slavitt has spent much of 2020 talking with almost everybody who knows anything about the COVID-19 pandemic — and sharing what he learns in real time, first on Twitter, then on his pandemic podcast, “In the Bubble.” To do our own podcast episode about what we’ve …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Who Will Run the Biden Health Effort?

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. The quadrennial guessing game about who will get what health job in a new presidential administration has taken on a new urgency in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage. Meanwhile, as two promising vaccine candidates inch closer to approval, the federal government is …

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‘An Arm and a Leg’: How to Avoid a Big Bill for Your COVID Test

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. Tests for the coronavirus are supposed to be free. And, usually, they are. But sometimes … things happen. Here’s how to keep those things from happening to you. New York Times reporter Sarah Kliff has been asking readers to send in their COVID-testing bills. She’s now seen hundreds of …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Transition Troubles Mount as COVID Spreads

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. President-elect Joe Biden is still being blocked from launching his official transition while President Donald Trump contests the outcome of the election. That could be particularly dangerous for public health as COVID-19 spreads around the country at an alarming rate. Meanwhile, a second vaccine to …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: What Would Dr. Fauci Do?

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. Since the mid-1980s, whenever there’s been a public health crisis, America — and six U.S. presidents — have turned to Dr. Anthony Fauci. As director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (one of the National Institutes of Health), Fauci has helped guide …

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‘An Arm and a Leg’: For Your Next Health Insurance Fight, an Exercise in Financial Self-Defense

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. A listener asked: ‘How do I remain cool when calling insurance companies?” So we called veteran self-defense teacher Lauren Taylor for advice. She leads Defend Yourself, an organization that works to empower people against violence and abuse.  As Taylor teaches it, self-defense involves a lot more than …

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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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‘No Mercy’ Chapter 7: After a Rural Town Loses Hospital, Is a Health Clinic Enough?

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. Family physician Maxwell Self is doing his same old job for a new employer. For two decades he was a doctor with Mercy Hospital. But when Mercy packed up and left, a federally qualified health center moved to town — into the hospital building itself — and …

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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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‘No Mercy’ Chapter 6: Trickle-Down Heartache Reaches the Next Generation in a Rural Town With No Hospital

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. Josh is 17. He said he smokes marijuana. He struggles with anger. He’s also juggling some extraordinary responsibilities for a teenager. Josh’s mother died of a drug overdose when he was 3 years old and he has lived with his grandparents ever since. When his grandfather’s heart …

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‘An Arm and a Leg’: David vs. Goliath: How to Beat a Big Hospital in Small Claims Court

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. When Jeffrey Fox and his wife got an outrageous medical bill for a simple test, he said to his wife, “No way am I paying this.” In a classic — and hilarious — David vs. Goliath story, Fox takes on a huge hospital, and wins. He’s a …

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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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‘No Mercy’ Chapter 5: In Rural America, Cancer Care Is Often Far From Home

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. Sixty-five-year-old Karen Endicott-Coyan is living with a blood cancer.  Her chemotherapy takes less than 30 minutes. Before the hospital closed, it was just a short drive into the small town of Fort Scott, Kansas, for her to get treatment. But these days getting to chemo means a …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: A Little Good News and Some Bad on COVID-19

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. For the first time in a long time, there is some good news about the coronavirus pandemic: Although cases continue to climb, fewer people seem to be dying. And there are fewer cases than expected among younger pupils in schools with in-person learning. But the …

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‘No Mercy’ Chapter 4: So, 2 Nuns Step Off a Train in Kansas … A Hospital’s Origin Story

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. Ever since Mercy Hospital went “corporate,” things just haven’t been the same — that’s what lots of locals in Fort Scott, Kansas, said when the Mercy health system shuttered the only hospital in town. It’s been years since Catholic nuns led Mercy Hospital Fort Scott, but town …

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‘An Arm and a Leg’: Vetting TikTok Mom’s Advice for Dealing With Debt Collectors

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. TikTok mom Shaunna Burns used to be a debt collector, so she knows a few things about what’s legal and what’s not when a company contacts you to settle a debt. We fact-checked her advice with a legal expert: Jenifer Bosco, an attorney with the National Consumer …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Democrats May Lose on SCOTUS, But Hope to Win on ACA

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. Republicans appear to be on track to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court before Election Day, cementing a 6-3 conservative majority on the high court regardless of what happens Nov. 3. Democrats, meanwhile, lacking the votes to block the nomination, used the …

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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 …

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‘An Arm and a Leg’: TikTok Mom Takes On Medical Bills

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. Shaunna Burns went viral on TikTok, partly because of a series of videos dishing out real-talk advice on fighting outrageous medical bills. She said the way to deal with medical debt is to be vigilant about what debt you incur in the first place. “What you can …

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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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‘An Arm and a Leg’: How to Fight Bogus Medical Bills Like a Bulldog

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. After Izzy Benasso had knee surgery, she and her dad received a letter from a surgical assistant giving notice that he “had been present” at the procedure. The surgical assistant was out-of-network and seemed to be laying the groundwork to get the Benassos to pay his fee. …

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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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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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‘An Arm and a Leg’: Financial Self-Defense School Is Now in Session

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. When you need medical care, it can be a lot like entering a casino — playing for your financial life with the deck stacked against you. But in this episode, reporter Celia Llopis-Jepsen offers insight and tips no dealer will divulge. She got a health care executive …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Still Waiting for That Trump Health Plan

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. President Donald Trump keeps promising to unveil a comprehensive plan to replace the Affordable Care Act, but it keeps not appearing. However, this week he did order an expansion of telehealth for Medicare beneficiaries and a program to help struggling rural hospitals. Meanwhile, the administration …

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KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: Republicans in COVID Disarray

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. President Donald Trump’s pivot to a more serious view of the coronavirus pandemic didn’t last long. This week, he was again touting hydroxychloroquine, an antimalarial drug that has not been shown to work against the virus. Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, Republicans continue to struggle to …

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KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: Trump Twists on Virus Response

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. President Donald Trump — who has spent the past six months trying to play down the coronavirus pandemic — seems to have pivoted. In back-to-back briefings on July 21 and 22, Trump cautioned that the U.S. is in a dangerous place vis-a-vis the pandemic. He …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: The Trump Administration’s War on Fauci

What The Health? · The Trump Administration’s War on Fauci Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. Julie Rovner Kaiser Health News @jrovner Read Julie’s Stories Erin Mershon STAT @eemershon Read Erin’s Stories Alice Miranda Ollstein Politico @AliceOllstein Read Alice’s Stories Paige Winfield Cunningham The Washington Post @pw_cunningham Read Paige’s Stories Not …

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KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: ‘Open The Schools, Close The Bars’

What The Health? · ‘Open The Schools, Close The Bars’ Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. Julie Rovner Kaiser Health News @jrovner Read Julie’s Stories Joanne Kenen Politico @JoanneKenen Read Joanne’s Stories Kimberly Leonard Business Insider @leonardkl Read Kimberly’s Stories Mary Ellen McIntire CQ Roll Call @MelMcIntire Read Mary Ellen’s Stories …

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