KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Delta changes the conversation Covid

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Delta changes the conversation Covid

Julie Rovner: NPR’s “The Life Cycle of a COVID-19 Vaccine Lie,” by Geoff Brumfiel Plus, for extra credit, the panelists recommend their favorite health policy stories of the week they think you should read, too: Stephanie Armour: The Washington Post’s “Biden Administration, Workers Grapple With Health Threats Posed by Climate Change and Heat,” by Eli Rosenberg and Abha Bhattarai

Among the takeaways from this week’s episode: This week’s panelists are Julie Rovner of KHN, Stephanie Armour of The Wall Street Journal, Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico and Tami Luhby of CNN.

If lawmakers fail to craft a bipartisan deal on Capitol Hill on traditional infrastructure spending, Democrats’ plans for a second bill that incorporates significant health care programs may need to be scaled back. That’s because the Democrats have pledged to fund major improvements in infrastructure and they would need to add that to the second bill, which is being moved through a special procedure that keeps it from being stalled in the Senate by a Republican filibuster. Some Democrats are nervous about making that second bill too broad.The momentum toward vaccinating the public has stalled abruptly in the past month or so, and reports of rising cases is causing concern among conservatives. Some high-profile Republicans — including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Rep. Steve Scalise (La.) and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — have been out during the past week touting the vaccines’ successes.The agreement reached this week between state officials and companies that made or distributed opioids will send billions of dollars to the states to fund prevention and treatment programs for people with addiction problems. Some advocates worry, however, that the funding — much like the landmark tobacco settlement of past years — will instead be absorbed by cash-strapped states for other uses.The Biden administration proposed significantly increasing the fines for hospitals that do not make their prices easily seen online and understood for patients. Despite the widespread eagerness to establish transparency, there is little indication consumers are using such tools. Meanwhile, it’s not just covid that’s shortening U.S. life expectancy. Nearly 100,000 people died of drug overdoses in 2020, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This week a multibillion-dollar settlement among states, drugmakers and distributors could funnel funding to fight the opioid scourge.

And subscribe to KHN’s What the Health? on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. We encourage organizations to republish our content, free of charge. Here’s what we ask: To hear all our podcasts, click here.

Alice Miranda Ollstein: The 19th’s “Courts Block Laws Targeting Transgender Children in Arkansas and West Virginia,” by Orion Rummler Tami Luhby: The Los Angeles Times’ “Same Hospitals but Worse Outcomes for Black Patients Than White Ones,” by Emily Alpert Reyes

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