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 get together, it was an unwelcome intrusion that might add to public unease with the get together’s efforts to restrict entry to abortion as they appear towards the midterm elections.

The World Well being Group advised this week that the top of the covid-19 pandemic is nearby, 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 gave the impression to be attempting to construct consensus amongst conservatives together with his invoice. Republicans have been startled how the Supreme Court docket’s determination this summer season ending a constitutional proper to abortion has energized voters against the transfer. In some crimson states, confusion has arisen over how strict a ban lawmakers can help. Graham’s invoice would enable states to enact abortion legal guidelines which might be 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 difficulty must be handled on a state stage, and refused to decide to mentioning the invoice if Republicans seize the Senate within the fall elections. Conservatives have lengthy argued that abortion entry ought to be a state determination.
  • 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 problem 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 might proceed to be extra restrictive.
  • Prior to now, the 15-week gestational ban has been pretty effectively supported by the general public, in accordance with opinion polling. However new surveys counsel People’ views could also be shifting as they witness the implications of the Supreme Court docket determination and tragic tales seem about pregnancies wherein 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 advised reporters Wednesday that the covid pandemic just isn’t over however was upbeat in regards to the struggle towards the virus. “The tip is in sight,” he mentioned.
  • 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 preventing the illness. And a report by Politico and the German newspaper Welt appears to be like 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 exhausting for People to get one other covid booster this fall. And the state of affairs factors out that public well being officers might not have an excellent deal with on how one can transition from treating covid as an emergency to an ongoing well being risk.
  • The outlook can also 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 imagine it’s time for the federal government to maneuver out of that effort and permit the common well being business to take over.
  • The newest 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 through the pandemic may very well be pushed off authorities protection.

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

Mary Agnes Carey: KHN’s “As State Establishments Shut, Households of Longtime Residents Face Agonizing Decisions” by Tony Leys

Rachel Cohrs: Politico’s “A New Method to Home Violence” by Joanne Kenen

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

Margot Sanger-Katz: The New York Occasions’ “Regardless of Their Affect and In depth Entry to Info, Members of Congress Can Purchase and Promote Shares With Few Restrictions”  and “These 97 Members of Congress Reported Trades in Firms Influenced by Their Committees” by Kate Kelly, Adam Playford, and Alicia Parlapiano

Additionally mentioned on this week’s podcast:

Politico and Welt’s “How Invoice Gates and Companions Used Their Clout to Management the International Covid Response — With Little Oversight” by Erin Banco, Ashleigh Furlong, and Lennart Pfahler

The Census Bureau’s “Earnings, Poverty, and Well being Insurance coverage Protection in america: 2021“

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 hearken 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 among the three main working applications at KFF (Kaiser Household Basis). KFF is an endowed nonprofit group offering info 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 among the three main working applications at KFF (Kaiser Household Basis). KFF is an endowed nonprofit group offering info on well being points to the nation.


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