KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: The Pandemic Shifts; The Politics, Not So Much

While federal and state officials continue to wrangle over coronavirus testing, the population testing positive is skewing younger. Meanwhile, the Trump administration wins a round in court over its requirements for hospitals to publicly reveal their prices, and the fight over the fate of the Affordable Care Act heats up once again. Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times, Paige Winfield Cunningham of The Washington Post and Kimberly Leonard of Business Insider join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this and more. Also, Rovner interviews former Obama administration health aide Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, who has written a new book comparing international health systems.

What’s the Latest on Prescription Drug Proposals from the Trump Administration, Congress, and the Biden Campaign?

This slideshow explains the similarities and differences among major proposals to lower prescription drug costs introduced by the Trump Administration, members of Congress, and the Biden campaign.

Federal Help Falters As Nursing Homes Run Short Of Protective Equipment

More than 3,000 nursing homes reported less than a week’s worth of supplies, and 653 said they had run out entirely at some point. Stopgap FEMA equipment has not reached many facilities, and packages that have arrived have fallen short of promises.

Must-Reads Of The Week

KHN executive editor Damon Darlin wades through mounds of health care policy stories — so you don’t have to.

COVID Bailout Cash Goes To Big Players That Have Paid Millions To Settle Allegations Of Wrongdoing

At least half of the top 10 recipients, part of a group that received $20 billion in emergency HHS funding, have paid criminal penalties or settled charges related to improper billing and other practices.

KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: SCOTUS Decides An ACA Case. No, Not THAT Case.

The Supreme Court this week, in an 8-1 decision, ruled that insurers are due the roughly $12 billion that Congress several years ago tried to cut off in payments under the Affordable Care Act’s “risk corridors” provision. And while the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage in many places around the country, states are starting to reopen their economies at the urging of President Donald Trump and over objections of public health officials. Caitlin Owens of Axios and Mary Ellen McIntire of CQ Roll Call join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this and more. Also, Rovner interviews KHN’s Carmen Heredia Rodriguez, who wrote the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” installment about COVID testing that should have been free but was not.

Must-Reads Of The Week From Brianna Labuskes

Newsletter editor Brianna Labuskes wades through hundreds of health care policy stories each week, so you don’t have to.

Abbott’s Fast COVID Test Poses Safety Issues, Lab Workers Say

HHS said this test would “save personal protective equipment.” But Abbott’s very design ― devised for mobile testing — means those working with specimens need even more protection, experts warn.

A Switch To Medicaid Managed Care Worries Some Illinois Foster Families

Illinois is moving thousands of children into its Medicaid managed-care program. Proponents say the approach can cut costs while increasing access to care. But after a phase-one rollout of the new health plans caused thousands to temporarily lose coverage, some question whether it’s the right move.

In Fine Print, HHS Appears To Ban All Surprise Billing During The Pandemic

Language in the CARES Act says providers who take emergency funding cannot balance-bill coronavirus patients ― and “every patient” is considered a possible COVID-19 patient.

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