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28

Jan

Baby Blues: First-Time Parents Blindsided by ‘the Birthday Rule’ and a $207,455 NICU Bill

By Cara Anthony In the nine months leading up to her due date, Kayla Kjelshus and her husband, Mikkel, meticulously planned for their daughter's arrival. This story also ran on NPR. It can be republished for free. Their long to-do list included mapping out their family's health insurance plan and registering for baby gear and supplies. They even nailed down ch ...

22

Jan

Health Issues Carried Weight on the Campaign Trail. What Could Biden Do in His First 100 Days?

By Victoria Knight Joe Biden ran on an expansive health care platform during his 2020 presidential campaign, with a broad array of promises such as adding a government-sponsored health plan to the Affordable Care Act and lowering prescription drug prices. Perhaps most significantly, he pledged to get control of the covid pandemic that claimed more than 400,000 American lives by Inauguration Day. ...

21

Jan

After a Decade of Lobbying, ALS Patients Gain Faster Access to Disability Payments

By Michelle Andrews Anita Baron first noticed something was wrong in August 2018, when she began to drool. Her dentist chalked it up to a problem with her jaw. Then her speech became slurred. She managed to keep her company, which offers financing to small businesses, going, but work became increasingly difficult as her speech worsened. Finally, nine months, four neurologists and countless tests ...

19

Jan

‘An Arm and a Leg’: Host Dan Weissmann Talks Price Transparency on ‘Axios Today’

By Dan Weissmann Can't see the audio player? Click here to listen. As we settle into the new year, we have two small doses of good news. First, a new federal rule could help cut through one health care issue. Host Dan Weissmann talked about the rule — which requires hospitals to make public the prices they negotiate with insurers — in a short conversation with his former publ ...

12

Jan

Aunque controlen el Senado, demócratas necesitarán apoyo republicano en temas clave de salud

By Emmarie Huetteman Ante la pandemia, los demócratas han abogado por ayudas más generosas, más presión sobre las farmacéuticas para que bajen los precios y más atención al racismo sistémico en la atención de salud. El 20 de enero, con el control del Senado y la Cámara de Representantes, tendrán el poder de elegir qué propuestas de salud se votarán en el Congreso. Las victorias del ...

11

Jan

Even With Senate Control, Democrats Will Need Buy-In From GOP on Key Health Priorities

By Emmarie Huetteman Use Our Content It can be republished for free. Democrats have argued for more generous pandemic relief, more pressure on drugmakers to lower prices and more attention to systemic racism in health care. On Jan. 20, with control of the Senate and the House of Representatives, they'll have the power to choose which health care proposals get a vote in Congre ...

09

Jan

Trump Administration Approves First Medicaid Block Grant, in Tennessee

By Phil Galewitz, Kaiser Health News Use Our Content It can be republished for free. With just a dozen days left in power, the Trump administration on Friday approved a radically different Medicaid financing system in Tennessee that for the first time would give the state broad authority in running the health insurance program for the poor in exchange for capping its annual f ...

08

Jan

Biden’s First Order of Business May Be to Undo Trump’s Policies, but It Won’t Be Easy

By Julie Rovner, Kaiser Health News The party split in Congress is so slim that, even with Democrats technically in the majority, passing major health care legislation will be extremely difficult. So speculation about President-elect Joe Biden's health agenda has focused on the things he can accomplish using executive authority. Although there is a long list of things he could do, even longer is ...

07

Jan

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Georgia Turns the Senate Blue

Can't see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. Surprise Democratic victories in Georgia's two runoff elections this week will give Democrats control of the Senate, which means they will be in charge of both houses of Congress and the White House for the first time since 2010. Although the narrow majorities in the House and Senate will likely not allo ...

07

Jan

Illinois, primer estado en ofrecer cobertura médica a adultos mayores indocumentados

By Giles Bruce Como jefa de enfermería en uno de los hospitales más concurridos de la red de seguridad de atención médica de Chicago, Raquel Prendkowski ha sido testigo del devastador número de víctimas que COVID-19 ha causado entre los residentes más vulnerables de la ciudad, incluyendo a personas que no tienen seguro médico por su estatus migratorio. Algunos llegan tan enfermos que van ...

07

Jan

Illinois Is First in the Nation to Extend Health Coverage to Undocumented Seniors

By Giles Bruce As a nurse manager for one of Chicago's busiest safety-net hospitals, Raquel Prendkowski has witnessed covid-19's devastating toll on many of the city's most vulnerable residents — including people who lack health insurance because of their immigration status. Some come in so sick they go right to intensive care. Some don't survive. “We're in a bad dream all the time,” sh ...

06

Jan

‘An Arm and a Leg’: A Look Back at 2020 — What We Learned and Where We’re Headed

By Dan Weissmann Can't see the audio player? Click here to listen. This episode turns the tables: Host Dan Weissmann gets interviewed about what he learned in 2020 and what's ahead for the show — with T.K. Dutes, a radio host and podcast-maker who is also a former nurse, so she knows a thing or two about the health care system. She chronicled her career transition in an episode of ...

05

Jan

Many Health Plans Now Must Cover Full Cost of Expensive HIV Prevention Drugs

By Michelle Andrews Ted Howard started taking Truvada a few years ago because he wanted to protect himself against HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. But the daily pill was so pricey he was seriously thinking about giving it up. Under his insurance plan, the former flight attendant and customer service instructor owed $500 in copayments every month for the drug and an additional $250 every three m ...

05

Jan

Hospital Prices Just Got a Lot More Transparent. What Does This Mean for You?

By Julie Appleby, Kaiser Health News Hospitals face the new year with new requirements to post price information they have long sought to obscure: the actual prices negotiated with insurers and the discounts they offer their cash-paying customers. The move is part of a larger push by the Trump administration to use price transparency to curtail prices and create better-informed consumers. Yet ...

23

Dec

Retiree Living the RV Dream Fights $12,387 Nightmare Lab Fee

By Victoria Knight Lorraine Rogge and her husband, Michael Rogge, travel the country in a recreational vehicle, a well-earned adventure in retirement. This spring found them parked in Artesia, New Mexico, for several months. This story also ran on NPR. It can be republished for free. In May, Rogge, 60, began to feel pelvic pain and cramping. But she had had a ...

22

Dec

Democrats Are Running Hard on Health Care in Georgia’s Senate Runoffs. Republicans? Not So Much.

By Sam Whitehead, WABE This story is from a reporting partnership that includes WABE, NPR and KHN. It can be republished for free. Vice President Mike Pence was the clear celebrity draw at a Nov. 20 campaign event for Georgia's two incumbent U.S. senators, Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue. Both Republicans are fighting to keep their seats against two Democratic challengers i ...

17

Dec

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: All I Want for Christmas Is a COVID Relief Bill

Can't see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. Congress appears to be inching ever closer to agreement on a long-delayed COVID-19 relief bill, which would extend unemployment insurance and other emergency programs set to expire in the next several days. That bill, however, apparently will not include the top-priority items for both political parties: busin ...

17

Dec

Readers and Tweeters Defend Front-Line Nurses and Blind Us With Science

Letters to the Editor is a periodic feature. We welcome all comments and will publish a selection. We edit for length and clarity and require full names. The demand for skilled nurses during the pandemic is through the roof! Travel nurses command a hefty salary and they are worth every penny… #COVID19 #pandemic #RN https://t.co/gYQpkHqaoX — Talmage Egan, MD (@UofU_Anes_Chair) November 26, 202 ...

15

Dec

‘An Arm and a Leg’: Shopping for Health Insurance? Here’s How One Family Tried to Pick a Plan

By Dan Weissmann Can't see the audio player? Click here to listen. When host Dan Weissmann and his wife set out to pick a health insurance plan for next year, they realized that keeping the plan they have means paying $200 a month more. But would a “cheaper” plan cost them more in the long run? It depends. And the COVID pandemic makes their choice a lot more complicated. Aft ...

10

Dec

With Becerra as HHS Pick, California Plots More Progressive Health Care Agenda

By Angela Hart and Samantha Young SACRAMENTO — President-elect Joe Biden didn't back “Medicare for All” during his campaign. Yet his choice of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to serve in the nation's top health care post is fueling California lawmakers' most progressive health care dreams, including pursuing a government-run single-payer system at the state level. “Now it's mu ...

07

Dec

Xavier Becerra en sus propias palabras: “La atención de salud es un derecho”

El presidente electo Joe Biden nombró al fiscal general de California, Xavier Becerra, para dirigir el Departamento de Salud y Servicios Humanos (HHS) de los Estados Unidos. Becerra, quien sería el primer secretario latino del HHS, ha tomado algunas posiciones innovadoras en atención de salud, especialmente desde que se convirtió en fiscal general, en 2017. Becerra ha demandado a la adminis ...

07

Dec

Xavier Becerra in His Own Words: ‘Health Care Is a Right’

President-elect Joe Biden has tapped California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to lead the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Becerra, who would be the nation's first Latino HHS secretary, has taken some ground-breaking positions on health care, especially since he became attorney general in 2017. He has sued the Trump administration dozens of times on health care, birth control, im ...

07

Dec

California Lawmakers to Newsom: Give All Immigrants Health Coverage

By Angela Hart Use Our Content It can be republished for free. SACRAMENTO — California Democratic lawmakers so far have failed to convince Gov. Gavin Newsom that the state can afford to spend an estimated $2.6 billion a year to expand its Medicaid program to all unauthorized immigrants. Now, they're trying a new strategy. Rather than working independently, a fiercely ...

07

Dec

Trump Rule Gives Small Companies a New Tool to Help Workers Buy Health Coverage

By Michelle Andrews Until October, Andrea LaRew was paying $950 a month for health insurance through her job at the Northwest Douglas County Chamber & Economic Development Corp. in the metro Denver area. Her company didn't contribute anything toward the premium. Plus, LaRew and her husband had a steep $13,000 deductible for the plan. But the coverage and the premium cost were in line with ot ...

03

Dec

Durante la inscripción de ACA, elegir un plan genera nuevas complicaciones de COVID

By Julie Appleby, Kaiser Health News Las personas que compran su propio seguro médico tienen mucho en qué pensar este año, en particular los pacientes que tuvieron COVID-19 y que presentan problemas de salud persistentes. Ellos se unen al club de los estadounidenses con condiciones preexistentes. ¿Qué tipo de plan es mejor para alguien con un problema médico continuo e impredecible? Esa pr ...

03

Dec

During ACA Open Enrollment, Picking a Plan Invites New COVID Complications

By Julie Appleby, Kaiser Health News People buying their own health insurance have even more to think about this year, particularly those post-COVID-19 patients with lingering health concerns, the “long haulers,” who join the club of Americans with preexisting conditions. What type of plan is best for someone with an unpredictable, ongoing medical concern? That question is popping up on onli ...

25

Nov

After Kid’s Minor Bike Accident, Major Bill Sets Legal Wheels in Motion

By Julie Appleby, Kaiser Health News Adam Woodrum was out for a bike ride with his wife and kids on July 19 when his then 9-year-old son, Robert, crashed. “He cut himself pretty bad, and I could tell right away he needed stitches,” said Woodrum. This story also ran on NPR. It can be republished for free. Because they were on bikes, he called the fire de ...

23

Nov

Were You Notified About Missing Tax Forms for Your ACA Subsidy? Blame COVID.

By Michelle Andrews The notice from the federal health insurance marketplace grabbed Andrew Schenker's attention: ACT NOW: YOU'RE AT RISK OF LOSING FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE STARTING JANUARY 1, 2021. As he read the notice, though, the Blacksburg, Virginia, resident became exasperated. Schenker, his wife and their teenage son have a bronze-level marketplace plan. Based on their income of about $40,000 ...

20

Nov

KHN on the Air This Week

KHN Midwest correspondent Lauren Weber discussed COVID-19 surges in Wisconsin with Wisconsin Public Radio's “Central Time” on Nov. 13. Click here to hear Weber on Wisconsin Public Radio California Healthline correspondent Angela Hart and editor Emily Bazar discussed how the Supreme Court case about the Affordable Care Act could affect California with the CalMatters and Capital Public Radio's ...

19

Nov

Surprise Federal Drug Rule Directs Insurers to Reveal What They Pay for Prescription Drugs

By Harris Meyer Health insurance companies will have to give their customers estimated out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs and disclose to the public the negotiated prices they pay for drugs, under an unexpected new Trump administration rule. The administration said those requirements, part of a broader rule issued Oct. 29 forcing health plans to disclose costs and payments for most he ...

16

Nov

‘An Arm and a Leg’: For Your Next Health Insurance Fight, an Exercise in Financial Self-Defense

By Dan Weissmann Can't see the audio player? Click here to listen. A listener asked: ‘How do I remain cool when calling insurance companies?” So we called veteran self-defense teacher Lauren Taylor for advice. She leads Defend Yourself, an organization that works to empower people against violence and abuse. As Taylor teaches it, self-defense involves a lot more than hitting ...

12

Nov

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Transition Interrupted

Can't see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. Five days after the election was called for President-elect Joe Biden, President Donald Trump has not conceded — and instead ordered his administration not to begin the transition of power. That could have serious ramifications for health care, particularly as nearly every state is experiencing a spike in COVID-19 cases. One piece o ...

12

Nov

Workers Who Lost Jobs Due to COVID May Need Help Getting Coverage This Fall

By Steven Findlay Michelina Moen lost her job and health insurance in April. Only weeks earlier she had begun to feel ill and not her usual energetic self — in what she describes as a textbook case of “really bad timing.” The Orlando, Florida, resident sought treatment in May. After a series of tests, doctors told Moen she had a rare kidney condition that would require months of treatment. ...

10

Nov

Fiscal general de California: los jueces deben ver que ACA es “indispensable”

By Samantha Young Sacramento.- Cuando la Corte Suprema de los Estados Unidos esté escuchando el martes 10 un caso que podría decidir el destino de la Ley de Cuidado de Salud a Bajo Precio (ACA), California liderará la defensa de la ley federal que impacta en casi todos los aspectos del sistema de salud del país. Por lo general, es tarea del gobierno federal defender una ley federal, pero la ...

10

Nov

Justices Bound to See ACA as ‘Indispensable,’ Says Californian Leading Defense

By Samantha Young SACRAMENTO — When the U.S. Supreme Court hears a case Tuesday that could decide the fate of the Affordable Care Act, California will be leading the defense to uphold the federal law that touches nearly every aspect of the country's health care system. It's usually the federal government's job to defend a federal law, but President Donald Trump's administration wants this law, ...

09

Nov

What to Know as ACA Heads to Supreme Court — Again

By Julie Rovner, Kaiser Health News The Supreme Court on Tuesday will hear oral arguments in a case that, for the third time in eight years, could result in the justices striking down the Affordable Care Act. The case, California v. Texas, is the result of a change to the health law made by Congress in 2017. As part of a major tax bill, Congress reduced to zero the penalty for not having health ...

07

Nov

Biden Wins, but His Health Agenda Dims With GOP Likely to Hold Senate

By Julie Rovner, Kaiser Health News Former Vice President Joe Biden secured the 270 electoral votes needed to capture the White House on Saturday, major news organizations projected, after election officials in a handful of swing states spent days in round-the-clock counting of millions of mail-in ballots and early votes. The Democrat's victory came after the latest tallies showed him taking an ...

06

Nov

KHN on the Air This Week

Columnist and California Healthline senior correspondent Bernard J. Wolfson discussed the start of open enrollment for health care plans in California with KPCC's “Take Two” on Monday. Click here to hear Wolfson on KPCC Read Wolfson's “It's Open Enrollment. Here's What You Need to Know.“ Kaiser Health News (KHN) is a national health policy news service. It is an editorially independent pro ...

05

Nov

Longtime Health Advocate Donna Shalala Loses House Reelection Race

By Emmarie Huetteman Rep. Donna E. Shalala of Florida, the first-term Democratic member of Congress and former Health and Human Services secretary in the Clinton administration, lost her campaign for reelection Tuesday. Shalala's loss to Maria Elvira Salazar — a Republican and former television journalist who compared Democratic policy proposals to leftist oppression in countries like Cuba whi ...

30

Oct

If They Sweep on Election Day, Dems Still Face a Challenge Meeting Health Promises

By Emmarie Huetteman Democrats are favored to win both chambers of Congress after years of campaign-trail promises about health care. But with a pandemic, a more conservative Supreme Court and lingering disagreements between progressives and moderates, it could be difficult for Democrats to turn those promises into law. In the final days of the campaign, COVID-19 and the threat posed to the Affo ...