KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Graham’s Bill Recenters Abortion Debate


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Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) put abortion again on Republicans’ agenda this week with a legislative proposal calling for a nationwide ban on most abortions after 15 weeks of being pregnant. For a lot of in his celebration, it was an unwelcome intrusion that might add to public unease with the celebration’s efforts to restrict entry to abortion as they appear towards the midterm elections.

The World Well being Group steered this week that the tip of the covid-19 pandemic is close by, however that doesn’t imply there’s an finish to second-guessing about how public well being officers reacted or their plans going ahead.

This week’s panelists are Mary Agnes Carey of KHN, Rachel Cohrs of Stat, Sandhya Raman of CQ Roll Name, and Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Occasions.

Among the many takeaways from this week’s episode:

  • Graham seemed to be attempting to construct consensus amongst conservatives together with his invoice. Republicans have been startled how the Supreme Court docket’s choice this summer time ending a constitutional proper to abortion has energized voters against the transfer. In some pink states, confusion has arisen over how strict a ban lawmakers can help. Graham’s invoice would enable states to enact abortion legal guidelines which are extra restrictive however would cap efforts by extra progressive states to maintain abortion authorized later in being pregnant. He had the backing of a number of influential anti-abortion teams.
  • That didn’t appear to matter to many Capitol Hill Republicans. Senate Minority Chief Mitch McConnell was dismissive of the proposal, saying the problem must be handled on a state degree, and refused to decide to mentioning the invoice if Republicans seize the Senate within the fall elections. Conservatives have lengthy argued that abortion entry must be a state choice.
  • Graham’s announcement was inconvenient for Capitol Hill Republicans. A lot of the political debate on abortion entry had been targeted on state races, however his invoice permits Democrats to make it a difficulty in congressional races, too.
  • Teams that oppose abortion say that Graham’s effort is an effective first step towards setting coverage for the nation, particularly since states could proceed to be extra restrictive.
  • Up to now, the 15-week gestational ban has been pretty properly supported by the general public, based on opinion polling. However new surveys counsel People’ views could also be shifting as they witness the implications of the Supreme Court docket choice and tragic tales seem about pregnancies by which fetal anomalies are found late or a mom’s well being is impaired in late being pregnant.
  • On the covid-19 entrance, World Well being Group Director-Basic Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus informed reporters Wednesday that the covid pandemic shouldn’t be over however was upbeat in regards to the battle towards the virus. “The tip is in sight,” he stated.
  • His feedback got here as a gaggle of world well being specialists, the Lancet Covid-19 Fee, blamed the WHO, the U.S. authorities, and others for inadequate coordination in combating the illness. And a report by Politico and the German newspaper Welt seems to be at 4 non-governmental well being organizations that had an affect on pandemic efforts.
  • Regardless of Adhanom Ghebreyesus’ feedback, public well being officers within the U.S. are pushing onerous for People to get one other covid booster this fall. And the state of affairs factors out that public well being officers could not have a very good deal with on tips on how to transition from treating covid as an emergency to an ongoing well being menace.
  • The outlook can be muddled as a result of the Biden administration has requested for more cash from Congress to proceed to fund vaccination and testing efforts, however congressional Republicans seem unlikely to help that effort. They consider it’s time for the federal government to maneuver out of that effort and permit the common well being trade to take over.
  • The most recent statistics from the Census Bureau present a near-record low within the variety of people who find themselves uninsured. However most specialists are involved as a result of as soon as the covid emergency ends, states will once more be allowed to recalibrate their Medicaid rolls and many individuals who’ve been lined by the federal-state well being program throughout the pandemic might be pushed off authorities protection.

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

Mary Agnes Carey: KHN’s “As State Institutions Close, Families of Longtime Residents Face Agonizing Choices” by Tony Leys

Rachel Cohrs: Politico’s “A New Approach to Domestic Violence” by Joanne Kenen

Sandhya Raman: The Philadelphia Inquirer’s “Philly’s Kids Are Grieving Alone From the Far-Reaching Trauma of Gun Violence, Advocates Say” by Abraham Gutman

Margot Sanger-Katz: The New York Occasions’ “Despite Their Influence and Extensive Access to Information, Members of Congress Can Buy and Sell Stocks With Few Restrictions”  and “These 97 Members of Congress Reported Trades in Companies Influenced by Their Committees” by Kate Kelly, Adam Playford, and Alicia Parlapiano

Additionally mentioned on this week’s podcast:

Politico and Welt’s “How Bill Gates and Partners Used Their Clout to Control the Global Covid Response — With Little Oversight” by Erin Banco, Ashleigh Furlong, and Lennart Pfahler

The Census Bureau’s “Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2021


To listen to all our podcasts, click here.

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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