KHN’s ‘What the Well being?’: On Capitol Hill, Actions Have Penalties


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The reverberations from the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump proceed. A broad array of enterprise teams, together with many from the well being trade, are halting contributions to Republicans within the Home and Senate who voted in opposition to certifying the victory of President-elect Joe Biden. In the meantime, Republicans within the Home who’ve refused to put on masks or insisted on carrying weapons are being subjected to better enforcement, together with vital fines.

Away from the Capitol, the Trump administration has granted a first-in-the-nation waiver to Tennessee to show its Medicaid program right into a block grant, which might give the state probably much less federal cash however extra flexibility to construction the federal-state well being program for these with low incomes. And in its waning days, the administration is shifting to make its last-minute insurance policies more durable for Biden to undo.

This week’s panelists are Julie Rovner of KHN, Joanne Kenen of Politico, Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Occasions and Kimberly Leonard of Enterprise Insider.

Among the many takeaways from this week’s podcast:

  • The choice by trade teams to chop their political contributions to some Republican lawmakers may reshape companies’ relationships on Capitol Hill. But it surely’s nonetheless not clear if this announcement will have an effect on the huge sums of political contributions that come by PACs and different unnamed sources, in addition to particular person contributions from company officers.
  • The gradual begin of the covid vaccination marketing campaign factors to the strain between the necessity to steer the vaccine to folks at excessive danger of contracting the illness and the considerations about losing the dear drugs. As a result of the vaccines which have been accredited for emergency use have a comparatively brief shelf life, some doses could go to waste if they’re reserved for particular populations.
  • The response to the vaccine amongst well being care staff varies extensively. In some areas, staffers are desirous to get the pictures, whereas in different places, some staff have been hesitant and the pictures are going unused. And the federal authorities has not offered a powerful public messaging marketing campaign concerning the vaccines.
  • The Trump administration’s announcement final week that it will transfer to transform Tennessee’s Medicaid program to a block grant program is elevating considerations amongst advocates for the poor, who worry that the pliability the state is gaining may result in enrollees getting much less care, particularly for the reason that state will get a hefty portion of any financial savings it finds in working this system.
  • It is probably not straightforward for the Biden administration to vary this choice. Federal officers in current weeks have been sending states, together with Tennessee, letters to signal that would defend the Medicaid waivers they’ve acquired from the Trump administration and will function a authorized assure that will require a protracted, tough course of to unwind.
  • Psychological well being care could also be a casualty of the coronavirus pandemic. As states look to stability their budgets after a yr wherein revenues have been slashed, they could flip to chopping psychological well being care providers offered by Medicaid and different applications.

Additionally this week, Rovner interviews KHN’s Victoria Knight, who wrote the most recent KHN-NPR “Invoice of the Month” characteristic — about an unusually massive invoice for in-network care. When you’ve got an outrageous medical invoice you’d wish to share with us, you are able to do that right here.

Plus, for further credit score, the panelists advocate their favourite well being coverage tales of the week that they suppose it’s best to learn too:

Julie Rovner: The Washington Publish’s “Younger ER medical doctors Danger Their Lives on the Pandemic’s Entrance Line. However They Wrestle to Discover Jobs,” by Ben Guarino

Margot Sanger-Katz: The New York Occasions’ “Why You’re Most likely Not So Nice at Danger Evaluation,” by AC Shilton

Joanne Kenen: The Atlantic’s “Why Aren’t We Sporting Higher Masks?” by Zeynep Tufekci and Jeremy Howard

Kimberly Leonard: Enterprise Insider’s “I Was Provided a Covid Vaccine Even Although I’m Younger and Wholesome. Right here’s How I Did It,” by Kimberly Leonard


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