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 sophisticated 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 increase insurance coverage premiums, and personal firms are scrambling to assert 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 College 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 — though covid continues to be a difficulty — highlights the problem in speaking to the general public easy methods to transition from a public well being disaster to a public well being downside.
  • A lot of the nation could agree with the president, as evidenced by fewer individuals utilizing face masks often and a decreased variety of business restrictions associated to covid. However a number of hundred individuals are nonetheless dying every day, a excessive toll usually neglected.
  • Insurance coverage premiums look like on the upswing this fall, though medical prices haven’t been rising as shortly as different components of the economic system in current months. The rise could replicate insurers’ issues that, popping out of the covid disaster, customers can be in search of extra medical companies.
  • One facet of well being enterprise that’s driving up prices is the elevated funding by non-public fairness firms, that are increasing their attain past emergency room medical doctors and some different specialties to a wider vary of medical companies, 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 current developments on that entrance have been Amazon’s announcement it’s shifting into major care with the acquisition of One Medical and CVS’ determination to purchase residence well being care firm Signify Well being.
  • Abortion insurance policies proceed to make information in numerous 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 means within the midterm elections, it’s not clear whether or not general assist for abortion can be a deciding difficulty for voters in additional conservative states and produce any modifications.

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

Julie Rovner: The Anchorage Each day Information’ “Many Alaska Pharmacies Are Understaffed, Resulting in Sporadic Hours and Sufferers Turned Away,” by Annie Berman

Joanne Kenen: Capital B’s “Clinicians Dismiss Black Girls’s Ache. The Penalties Are Dire,” by Margo Snipe

Anna Edney: The Guardian’s “Fury Over ‘Eternally Chemical compounds’ as US States Unfold Poisonous Sewage Sludge,” by Tom Perkins

Lauren Weber: KHN’s “Medical doctors Rush to Use Supreme Court docket Ruling to Escape Opioid Expenses,” by Brett Kelman

Additionally talked about on this week’s episode:

  • KHN’s “Personal Fairness Sees the Billions in Eye Care as Corporations Goal Excessive-Revenue Procedures,” by Lauren Weber
  • The New York Occasions’ “’Catastrophe Mode’: Emergency Rooms Throughout Canada Shut Amid Disaster,” by Vjosa Isai
  • JAMA Community Open’s “Prevalence and Threat Elements for Medical Debt and Subsequent Modifications in Social Determinants of Well being within the US,” by Drs. David U. Himmelstein, Samuel L. Dickman, Danny McCormick, et al.
  • The New England Journal of Drugs’s “Uncovered Medical Payments After Sexual Assault,” correspondence from Dr. Samuel L. Dickman, Dr. Gracie Himmelstein, Dr. David U. Himmelstein, Katherine Strandberg, Alecia McGregor, Dr. Danny McCormick, and Dr. Steffie Woolhandler
  • The Salt Lake Tribune’s “Utah GOP Reps. Birkeland, Lisonbee Say Their Menace to Abortions Suppliers Was Solely Their ‘Opinion,’ Not a Authorized Doc,” by Emily Anderson Stern
  • The New York Occasions’ “Abortion Helps Realign Puerto Rico’s Politics, Giving Conservatives an Opening,” by Patricia Mazzei

To listen to all our podcasts, click on right here.

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

This story was produced by KHN (Kaiser Well being Information), a nationwide newsroom that produces in-depth journalism about well being points. Along with Coverage Evaluation and Polling, KHN is likely one of the three main working packages at KFF (Kaiser Household Basis). KFF is an endowed nonprofit group offering data on well being points to the nation.

KHN (Kaiser Well being Information) is a nationwide newsroom that produces in-depth journalism about well being points. Along with Coverage Evaluation and Polling, KHN is likely one of the three main working packages at KFF (Kaiser Household Basis). KFF is an endowed nonprofit group offering data on well being points to the nation.


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