KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Biden Declares the Pandemic ‘Over’


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President Joe Biden’s declaration in a nationwide interview that the covid-19 pandemic is “over” has difficult his personal administration’s efforts to get Congress to supply extra funding for remedies and vaccines, and to get the general public to go get yet one more booster.

In the meantime, issues a couple of return of medical inflation for the primary time in a decade helps enhance insurance coverage premiums, and personal corporations are scrambling to say their piece of the well being care spending pie.

This week’s panelists are Julie Rovner of KHN, Anna Edney of Bloomberg Information, Joanne Kenen of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg Faculty of Public Well being and Politico, and Lauren Weber of KHN.

Among the many takeaways from this week’s episode:

  • Biden’s remark to “60 Minutes” that the pandemic was over — although covid remains to be a difficulty — highlights the issue in speaking to the general public the right way to transition from a public well being disaster to a public well being downside.
  • A lot of the nation might agree with the president, as evidenced by fewer individuals utilizing face masks commonly and a decreased variety of industrial restrictions associated to covid. However a number of hundred persons are nonetheless dying every day, a excessive toll usually missed.
  • Insurance coverage premiums seem like on the upswing this fall, although medical prices haven’t been rising as rapidly as different elements of the financial system in latest months. The rise might mirror insurers’ issues that, popping out of the covid disaster, shoppers can be looking for extra medical providers.
  • One facet of well being enterprise that’s driving up prices is the elevated funding by non-public fairness corporations, that are increasing their attain past emergency room medical doctors and some different specialties to a wider vary of medical providers, together with gastroenterology and ophthalmology.
  • One other concern for the way forward for well being prices is the transfer towards consolidation in well being care. Amongst latest developments on that entrance have been Amazon’s announcement it’s shifting into main care with the acquisition of One Medical and CVS’ resolution to purchase dwelling well being care firm Signify Well being.
  • Abortion insurance policies proceed to make information in varied states. West Virginia handed a regulation that restricts practically all abortions; a number of Utah Republican legislators despatched cease-and-desist letters to abortion suppliers of their state; and Puerto Rico has a brand new political social gathering campaigning on the difficulty of attempting to curb the commonwealth’s liberal abortion regulation.
  • Whereas Democrats hope the difficulty of abortion will swing extra voters their approach within the midterm elections, it’s not clear whether or not total assist for abortion can be a deciding concern for voters in additional conservative states and convey any adjustments.

Plus, for additional credit score, the panelists advocate their favourite well being coverage tales of the week they suppose you must learn, too:

Julie Rovner: The Anchorage Every day Information’ “Many Alaska Pharmacies Are Understaffed, Leading to Sporadic Hours and Patients Turned Away,” by Annie Berman

Joanne Kenen: Capital B’s “Clinicians Dismiss Black Women’s Pain. The Consequences Are Dire,” by Margo Snipe

Anna Edney: The Guardian’s “Fury Over ‘Forever Chemicals’ as US States Spread Toxic Sewage Sludge,” by Tom Perkins

Lauren Weber: KHN’s “Doctors Rush to Use Supreme Court Ruling to Escape Opioid Charges,” by Brett Kelman

Additionally talked about on this week’s episode:


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And subscribe to KHN’s What the Well being? on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts, or wherever you take heed to podcasts.

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