KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Wrapping Up Summer’s Health News


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Congress and President Joe Biden are formally on summer time trip, however they left behind loads of well being coverage achievements. The president returned this week from his South Carolina seaside retreat to signal the Inflation Discount Act, which, amongst different issues, permits Medicare to barter drug costs for the primary time.

The regulation additionally preserves the improved subsidies for premiums on insurance coverage bought via the Reasonably priced Care Act’s marketplaces. Congress added these extra beneficiant subsidies in 2021, however they’d have expired on the finish of the 12 months.

In the meantime, regardless that Democrats have been unable to safe further Medicare imaginative and prescient, listening to, and dental advantages into the ultimate model of the finances invoice, this week the FDA established floor guidelines for the sale of over-the-counter listening to aids, one thing ordered by Congress in 2017.

This week’s panelists are Julie Rovner of KHN, Anna Edney of Bloomberg, Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, and Joanne Kenen of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg College of Public Well being and Politico.

Among the many takeaways from this week’s episode:

  • Regardless of the brand new regulation’s provisions permitting Medicare to barter some drug costs, enrollees should wait a number of years to see the advantages of these negotiations. That makes it difficult for Democrats to make use of the measure as a marketing campaign promotion. Plus, Republicans might attempt to use the intervening years, whereas the worth negotiating course of is being arrange, to batter Democrats’ efforts.
  • Different Medicare provisions, comparable to the brand new restrict on out-of-pocket drug spending and caps on insulin spending, will present extra instant advantages.
  • The act’s extension of ACA premium subsidies can be a tough victory to light up for shoppers, who gained’t see their prices fall and would seemingly have solely observed a distinction if the measure had did not go and this system had ended.
  • Nonetheless, advert campaigns are already starting to focus on the Republican opposition to fashionable well being points. No GOP lawmakers voted to assist the measure.
  • Listening to aids becoming the brand new class are anticipated to be considerably cheaper for folks with delicate to average listening to loss. Nonetheless unanswered, nonetheless, is whether or not these new gadgets will work adequately.
  • The Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention launched new covid-19 pointers final week that chill out earlier suggestions. The announcement highlights the rising disdain among the many public for persevering with the isolating prevention methods of the previous a number of years. However maybe ignored is the rising variety of folks affected by long-term covid signs and the way the situation damages their lives and the financial system.
  • The CDC additionally introduced this week that it’s going to reorganize to higher meet public well being crises after a research of its covid response recognized issues, particularly in speaking with the general public.
  • Though a lot of the opposition to abortion restrictions arising for the reason that Supreme Courtroom overturned Roe v. Wade has been propelled by girls, males are additionally taking part in a task each within the politics forward and in wide-ranging private selections, comparable to what states to decide on for school or searching for vasectomies.

Plus, for additional credit score, the panelists counsel their favourite well being coverage tales of the week they assume it is best to learn, too:

Julie Rovner: The Los Angeles Instances’ “The CDC Loosened Its COVID Rules. Who Fills in This Public Health Vacuum?” by Wendy Netter Epstein and Daniel Goldberg

Alice Miranda Ollstein: MedPage Right this moment’s “Falls From Higher Border Walls Overwhelm Trauma Services,” by Cheryl Clark

Joanne Kenen: Harper’s Journal’s “A Hole in the Head,” by Zachary Siegel

Anna Edney: Stat’s “Parents and Clinicians Say Private Equity’s Profit Fixation Is Short-Changing Kids With Autism,” by Tara Bannow

Additionally talked about on this week’s episode:

The Washington Put up’s “Florida Court Rules 16-Year-Old Is Not ‘Sufficiently Mature’ for Abortion,” by Brittany Shammas and Kim Bellware

The Atlantic’s “The Pandemic’s Soft Closing,” by Katherine J. Wu

Politico’s “Tim Kaine Has Long Covid. That’s Not Moving Congress to Act,” by Alice Miranda Ollstein


To listen to all our podcasts, click here.

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