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26

Feb

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Staffing Up at HHS

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. More than a month into President Joe Biden’s term, nominees to fill some of the top posts at the Department of Health and Human Services are finally getting confirmation hearings in the Senate, starting with the nominee for secretary, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. Barring something unexpect ...

26

Feb

New California Law Makes It Easier to Get Care for Mental Health and Substance Abuse

By Bernard J. Wolfson USE OUR CONTENT It can be republished for free. Karen Bailey’s 20-year-old daughter has struggled with depression and anxiety for years. Since 2017, she’s been in three intensive group therapy programs and, each time, the family’s insurer cut her coverage short, says Bailey. “At a certain point, they would send us a form letter saying: We ...

20

Feb

New Single-Payer Bill Intensifies Newsom’s Political Peril

By Angela Hart and Rachel Bluth, Kaiser Health News Use Our Content It can be republished for free. SACRAMENTO — A group of Democratic state lawmakers introduced legislation Friday to create a single-payer health care system to cover all Californians, immediately defining the biggest health policy debate of the year and putting enormous political pressure on Gov. Gavin New ...

17

Feb

Why Biden Has a Chance to Cut Deals With Red State Holdouts on Medicaid

By Noam N. Levey This story also ran on USA Today and GateHouse Media. It can be republished for free. President Joe Biden has an unexpected opening to cut deals with red states to expand Medicaid, raising the prospect that the new administration could extend health protections to millions of uninsured Americans and reach a goal that has eluded Democrats for a decade. ...

17

Feb

Los mercados de seguros de salud reabrieron. Esto es lo que necesitas saber

By Michelle Andrews Para quienes han estado sin seguro médico durante la pandemia, el alivio ya está a la vista. En enero, el presidente Joe Biden firmó una orden ejecutiva para abrir el mercado federal de seguros de salud durante tres meses, desde el lunes 15, para que las personas sin seguro puedan comprar un plan y o cambiar de cobertura si ya tienen uno. Defensores de los consumidores ap ...

16

Feb

The ACA Marketplace Is Open Again for Insurance Sign-Ups. Here’s What You Need to Know.

By Michelle Andrews This story also ran on NPR. It can be republished for free. For people who’ve been without health insurance during the pandemic, relief is in sight. In January, President Joe Biden signed an executive order to open up the federal health insurance marketplace for three months as of Monday so uninsured people can buy a plan and those who want to chan ...

11

Feb

Tech Companies Mobilize to Schedule Vaccine Appointments, But Often Fall Short

By Miranda Green This story also ran on Fortune. It can be republished for free. On Jan. 14 at 8:43 p.m., Patrick McKenzie tweeted a plea for tech engineers to help him set up a website to track covid-19 vaccine availability in California. McKenzie, who heads a Bay Area financial services tech company, issued the call to “anyone in California [who] wants to do a civtech ...

28

Jan

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: The Long Road to Unwinding Trump Health Policies

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. Thursday was “health day” in President Joe Biden’s sprint to launch his presidency, and he signed two executive orders addressing health coverage and women’s reproductive rights. The orders will reopen enrollment under the Affordable Care Act from February to May and reverse the so-called Mex ...

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 do ...

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 Da ...

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 test ...

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 ...

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 Con ...

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 d ...

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 $4 ...

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 Radi ...

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 h ...

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 hi ...

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 piec ...

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 ...

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 takin ...

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 inde ...

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 ...

29

Oct

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: As Cases Spike, White House Declares Pandemic Over

Can't see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said this week that “we're not going to control the pandemic,” effectively conceding that the administration has pivoted from prevention to treatment. But COVID-19 cases are rising rapidly in most of the nation, and the issue is playing large in the presidential campaign. President Donald Tr ...

29

Oct

A $10,000 Obamacare Penalty? Doubtful.

By Victoria Knight “Because our family couldn't afford health insurance, Obama/Biden penalized us about $10,000, then took that $10,000 and used it to pay for others' free Obamacare. Trump ended that theft.” In a Facebook post, Oct. 20, 2020 A viral Facebook post claims that former President Barack Obama's health insurance law penalized a family a large amount of money for not buyin ...

29

Oct

Sen. Graham Complains That 3 Blue States Get a Third of ACA Funding

By Phil Galewitz, Kaiser Health News Sen. Lindsey Graham has never been a fan of the Affordable Care Act — even though it's helped dramatically lower the number of uninsured people in his home state of South Carolina. The Republican, who heads the Senate Judiciary Committee, attacked the law at the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett. Democrats have made the nomin ...

29

Oct

Hospital Bills for Uninsured COVID Patients Are Covered, but No One Tells Them

By Blake Farmer, Nashville Public Radio When Darius Settles died from COVID-19 on the Fourth of July, his family and the city of Nashville, Tennessee, were shocked. Even the mayor noted the passing of a 30-year-old without any underlying conditions — one of the city's youngest fatalities at that point. Settles was also uninsured and had just been sent home from an emergency room for the second ...

29

Oct

Hospital Bills for Uninsured COVID Patients Are Covered, but No One Tells Them

By Blake Farmer, Nashville Public Radio When Darius Settles died from COVID-19 on the Fourth of July, his family and the city of Nashville, Tennessee, were shocked. Even the mayor noted the passing of a 30-year-old without any underlying conditions — one of the city's youngest fatalities at that point. Settles was also uninsured and had just been sent home from an emergency room for the second ...

29

Oct

App-Based Companies Pushing Prop. 22 Say Drivers Will Get Health Benefits. Will They?

By Rachel Bluth, Kaiser Health News App-based driving services such as Uber, Lyft, DoorDash and Instacart are bankrolling California's Proposition 22, which would keep their drivers classified as independent contractors, not employees. Leading into the Nov. 3 election, the ballot measure — which has become the most expensive in state history — is mired in controversy and the subject of a law ...

29

Oct

The Trump Medicaid Record: Big Goals, Yet Few Successes

By Phil Galewitz, Kaiser Health News President Donald Trump entered office seeking a massive overhaul of the Medicaid program, which had just experienced the biggest growth spurt in its 50-year history. His administration supported repealing the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion, which has added millions of adults to the federal-state health program for lower-income Americans. He also wan ...

27

Oct

Savvy Patient Fought for the Price She Was Quoted − And Didn’t Give Up

By Anna Almendrala When Tiffany Qiu heard how much her surgery was going to cost her, she was sure the hospital's financial department had made a mistake. Qiu, who already knew from a breast cancer scare earlier that year that her plan required a 30% coinsurance payment on operations, pressed the person on the phone several times to make sure she had heard correctly: Her coinsurance payment woul ...

27

Oct

If Trump Wins, Don’t Hold Your Breath Waiting for That ACA Replacement Plan

By Julie Rovner, Kaiser Health News If President Donald Trump wins reelection next week, it seems unlikely he will unveil the health plan he's been promising since before his election in 2016. Still, other aspects of health care could be featured in his second-term agenda. Not having a replacement plan for the Affordable Care Act may be just fine with many of his supporters and conservatives. Mo ...

23

Oct

Did Trump Confuse the Public Option With ‘Medicare for All’?

By Victoria Knight During the final presidential debate, President Donald Trump claimed that 180 million people would lose their private health insurance to socialized medicine if the Democratic presidential nominee, former Vice President Joe Biden, is elected president. “They have 180 million people, families under what he wants to do, which will basically be socialized medicine — you won't ...

23

Oct

In Tamer Debate, Trump and Biden Clash (Again) on President’s Pandemic Response

By From the staffs of KHN and PolitiFact In the second and final debate of the 2020 presidential race, President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden sparred over Trump's handling of the pandemic and Biden's plan to reform health care. In stark contrast to the first debate, there was more policy talk. There was also less interrupting. Trump said a COVID-19 vaccine is “ready” and ...

22

Oct

Aunque el destino de ACA es incierto, la inscripción ya comienza. Y hay cosas nuevas

By Julie Appleby, Kaiser Health News Frente a una pandemia, un desempleo sin precedentes y unos costos inciertos para los tratamientos de COVID-19, las aseguradoras que venden planes médicos en los mercados establecidos por la Ley de Cuidado de Salud a Bajo Precio (ACA) reaccionaron, en general, con sólo aumentos modestos de las primas para 2021. “Lo que resulta fascinante es que las asegura ...