Tagged Podcast

Podcast: KHN’s ‘What The Health?’ The Long Wait Ends For Short-Term Plan Rules

The Trump administration finally released a long-awaited rule that would allow significant expansion of health insurance policies that do not meet all the requirements of the Affordable Care Act, both in terms of what they cover and how much they charge.

The administration says it wants to broaden the availability of so-called short-term insurance plans to give people who buy their own insurance more choices of lower-cost coverage. Critics say that the plans would draw the healthiest people out of the plans that meet the ACA’s requirements, driving up premiums for those who remain in that market.

And in the wake of last week’s tragic school shooting in Florida, attention is once again turning to the issue of a long-standing federal funding ban on most gun-related public health research.

This week’s panelists for KHN’s “What the Health?” are Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News, Stephanie Armour of The Wall Street Journal, Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times and Julie Appleby of Kaiser Health News.

Among the takeaways from this week’s podcast:

  • The Trump administration’s proposal for short-term insurance plans may offer some less expensive coverage options, but those plans have a history of leaving patients on the hook if they develop health problems.
  • Federal health officials estimated that as many as 200,000 people now buying ACA plans might instead move to buy the short-term plans being proposed. But many analysts suspect the number could be much higher — and that will mean the prices could rise dramatically in the ACA marketplace plans and cost the federal government more money for the premiums it subsidizes.
  • Idaho’s proposal to allow plans that don’t meet ACA requirements is being watched closely, but federal officials have not yet tipped their hands about how they will react.
  • Although Congress has restricted funding for federal research into gun violence, studies are going forward by other academic researchers.
  • A growing divide among consumers is raising concerns. People who buy their own insurance are more frustrated as their costs continue to go up while they see others getting coverage paid for by the ACA subsidies or the expansion of Medicaid.
  • Democrats are seizing on the growing concerns over price among people who buy their own insurance to propel talks about establishing a way for more people to be covered by Medicare or Medicaid.

Plus, for “extra credit,” the panelists recommend their favorite health stories of the week they think you should read, too.

Julie Rovner: The New York Times’ “As Some Got Free Health Care, Gwen Got Squeezed: An Obamacare Dilemma,” by Abby Goodnough.

Margot Sanger-Katz: HuffPost’s “The Liberal Establishment Suddenly Sounds Very Ambitious On Health Care,” by Jonathan Cohn.

Julie Appleby: Vox.com’s “Idaho’s Brazen Plan To Unravel Obamacare, Explained,” by Dylan Scott.

Stephanie Armour: The Washington Post’s “Bad Beside Manner: Bank Loans Signed In The Hospital Leave Patients Vulnerable,” by Shefali Luthra of Kaiser Health News.

To hear all our podcasts, click here.

And subscribe to What the Health? on iTunesStitcher or Google Play.

 

Podcast: KHN’s ‘What The Health?’ The Long Wait Ends For Short-Term Plan Rules

The Trump administration finally released a long-awaited rule that would allow significant expansion of health insurance policies that do not meet all the requirements of the Affordable Care Act, both in terms of what they cover and how much they charge.

The administration says it wants to broaden the availability of so-called short-term insurance plans to give people who buy their own insurance more choices of lower-cost coverage. Critics say that the plans would draw the healthiest people out of the plans that meet the ACA’s requirements, driving up premiums for those who remain in that market.

And in the wake of last week’s tragic school shooting in Florida, attention is once again turning to the issue of a long-standing federal funding ban on most gun-related public health research.

This week’s panelists for KHN’s “What the Health?” are Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News, Stephanie Armour of The Wall Street Journal, Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times and Julie Appleby of Kaiser Health News.

Among the takeaways from this week’s podcast:

  • The Trump administration’s proposal for short-term insurance plans may offer some less expensive coverage options, but those plans have a history of leaving patients on the hook if they develop health problems.
  • Federal health officials estimated that as many as 200,000 people now buying ACA plans might instead move to buy the short-term plans being proposed. But many analysts suspect the number could be much higher — and that will mean the prices could rise dramatically in the ACA marketplace plans and cost the federal government more money for the premiums it subsidizes.
  • Idaho’s proposal to allow plans that don’t meet ACA requirements is being watched closely, but federal officials have not yet tipped their hands about how they will react.
  • Although Congress has restricted funding for federal research into gun violence, studies are going forward by other academic researchers.
  • A growing divide among consumers is raising concerns. People who buy their own insurance are more frustrated as their costs continue to go up while they see others getting coverage paid for by the ACA subsidies or the expansion of Medicaid.
  • Democrats are seizing on the growing concerns over price among people who buy their own insurance to propel talks about establishing a way for more people to be covered by Medicare or Medicaid.

Plus, for “extra credit,” the panelists recommend their favorite health stories of the week they think you should read, too.

Julie Rovner: The New York Times’ “As Some Got Free Health Care, Gwen Got Squeezed: An Obamacare Dilemma,” by Abby Goodnough.

Margot Sanger-Katz: HuffPost’s “The Liberal Establishment Suddenly Sounds Very Ambitious On Health Care,” by Jonathan Cohn.

Julie Appleby: Vox.com’s “Idaho’s Brazen Plan To Unravel Obamacare, Explained,” by Dylan Scott.

Stephanie Armour: The Washington Post’s “Bad Beside Manner: Bank Loans Signed In The Hospital Leave Patients Vulnerable,” by Shefali Luthra of Kaiser Health News.

To hear all our podcasts, click here.

And subscribe to What the Health? on iTunesStitcher or Google Play.

 

Podcast: KHN’s ‘What The Health?’ What Do The Budget, Idaho And FDA Chief Scott Gottlieb Have In Common?

President Donald Trump released his first full budget proposal this week, with many recommended cuts and some major changes to health programs. But Congress has already agreed on most spending levels for next year, so this budget is even more likely to be ignored than a typical presidential budget plan.

Meanwhile, states are trying to cope with last year’s changes to the Affordable Care Act in very different ways. Several states, mostly led by Democrats, are considering whether to set penalties for people who don’t have insurance — a provision of the ACA that Congress repealed in December. Idaho, meanwhile, is offering to let insurers sell plans that don’t cover the ACA’s required set of benefits and discriminate against people with preexisting health conditions.

Plus, Scott Gottlieb, commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, talks about getting generic drugs to market faster and how the agency is working with Congress on ways to help patients with terminal illnesses get easier access to experimental treatments.

This week’s panelists for KHN’s “What the Health?” are Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News, Stephanie Armour of The Wall Street Journal, Paige Winfield Cunningham of The Washington Post and Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times.

Among the takeaways from this week’s podcast:

  • Even though few of the proposals in Trump’s budget are likely to be enacted, it does lay down some important markers for the administration. Those include backing sweeping changes to Medicaid and eliminating many of the ACA’s coverage requirements.
  •  Blue states considering stepping into the void left by Congress’ repeal of the individual insurance mandate penalties have limited time to act. Insurers start making decisions about whether to participate in the individual market in the spring.
  • The FDA’s Gottlieb tells Rovner and KHN’s Sarah Jane Tribble he expects there will be a compromise on Capitol Hill on “right-to-try” legislation that would make it easier for patients with terminal illnesses to gain access to experimental therapies.
  • Idaho is moving forward on its plan to allow insurers to offer policies that do not comply with the requirements of the Affordable Care Act. On Capitol Hill this week, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar would not say whether the federal government will step up to stop them.

Plus, for “extra credit,” in honor of Valentine’s Day, the panelists offer their favorite “Health Policy Valentines” for 2018. You can see more by searching the hashtag #healthpolicyvalentines on Twitter.

Julie Rovner:

Stephanie Armour:

Paige Winfield Cunningham:

Margot Sanger-Katz:

To hear all our podcasts, click here.

And subscribe to What the Health? on iTunesStitcher or Google Play.

Podcast: KHN’s ‘What The Health?’ There’s A Really Big Health Bill In That Budget Deal

The bipartisan budget deal that passed Congress this week includes enough health policy changes to keep reporters and analysts busy for months.

In addition to renewing funding for Community Health Centers for two more years, the bill extends funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program for four years beyond the six approved last month; repeals the controversial (but never implemented) Independent Payment Advisory Board for Medicare and permanently repeals Medicare’s caps on certain types of outpatient therapy.

Also, the final enrollment numbers for individual insurance purchased under the Affordable Care Act came out this week. Spoiler: They are higher than most analysts expected.

Plus, Andy Slavitt, former acting head of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services under President Barack Obama, talks about his new group, “The United States of Care.”

This week’s panelists for KHN’s “What the Health?” are Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News, Joanne Kenen of Politico, Alice Ollstein of Talking Points Memo and Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times.

Among the takeaways from this week’s podcast:

  • The budget bill signed by President Donald Trump on Friday provides a lot of funding for health programs, but it also takes money away from others. It takes a big chunk of funding out of the Affordable Care Act’s Prevention and Public Health Fund and raises premiums for some wealthier Medicare beneficiaries.
  • That bill could make a number of changes to how Medicare works, including some new rules for accountable care organizations and more flexibility in telemedicine rules.
  • Trump’s proposed budget for next year, which comes out Monday, will offer a number of options to bring down drug prices. Some of them might be possible through the regulation process rather than requiring congressional action.
  • A data analysis this week of the ACA marketplace enrollment numbers points out big variations among states.
  • The panel takes on a listener’s question about the possibility that states could let insurers charge higher premiums to marketplace customers who didn’t have insurance before.
  • In the recent debate about the administration’s approval of work requirements for some Medicaid enrollees, officials often talk about “able-bodied” adults. That term has little definition and goes back to Elizabethan England.

Plus, for “extra credit,” the panelists recommend their favorite health stories of the week they think you should read, too.

Julie Rovner: Vox.com, “Why a Simple, Lifesaving Rabies Shot Can Cost $10,000 in America,” by Sarah Kliff.

Alice Ollstein: The New York Times, “In Sweeping War On Obesity, Chile Slays Tony The Tiger,” by Andrew Jacobs.

Joanne Kenen: Politico, “Trump’s Controversial New Health Care Idea,” by Sarah Karlin-Smith.

Margot Sanger-Katz: Harvard Business Review, “What Could Amazon’s Approach to Health Care Look Like,” by Robert S. Huckman.

To hear all our podcasts, click here.

And subscribe to What the Health? on iTunesStitcher or Google Play.

 

Podcast: KHN’s ‘What The Health?’ There’s A Really Big Health Bill In That Budget Deal

The bipartisan budget deal that passed Congress this week includes enough health policy changes to keep reporters and analysts busy for months.

In addition to renewing funding for Community Health Centers for two more years, the bill extends funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program for four years beyond the six approved last month; repeals the controversial (but never implemented) Independent Payment Advisory Board for Medicare and permanently repeals Medicare’s caps on certain types of outpatient therapy.

Also, the final enrollment numbers for individual insurance purchased under the Affordable Care Act came out this week. Spoiler: They are higher than most analysts expected.

Plus, Andy Slavitt, former acting head of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services under President Barack Obama, talks about his new group, “The United States of Care.”

This week’s panelists for KHN’s “What the Health?” are Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News, Joanne Kenen of Politico, Alice Ollstein of Talking Points Memo and Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times.

Among the takeaways from this week’s podcast:

  • The budget bill signed by President Donald Trump on Friday provides a lot of funding for health programs, but it also takes money away from others. It takes a big chunk of funding out of the Affordable Care Act’s Prevention and Public Health Fund and raises premiums for some wealthier Medicare beneficiaries.
  • That bill could make a number of changes to how Medicare works, including some new rules for accountable care organizations and more flexibility in telemedicine rules.
  • Trump’s proposed budget for next year, which comes out Monday, will offer a number of options to bring down drug prices. Some of them might be possible through the regulation process rather than requiring congressional action.
  • A data analysis this week of the ACA marketplace enrollment numbers points out big variations among states.
  • The panel takes on a listener’s question about the possibility that states could let insurers charge higher premiums to marketplace customers who didn’t have insurance before.
  • In the recent debate about the administration’s approval of work requirements for some Medicaid enrollees, officials often talk about “able-bodied” adults. That term has little definition and goes back to Elizabethan England.

Plus, for “extra credit,” the panelists recommend their favorite health stories of the week they think you should read, too.

Julie Rovner: Vox.com, “Why a Simple, Lifesaving Rabies Shot Can Cost $10,000 in America,” by Sarah Kliff.

Alice Ollstein: The New York Times, “In Sweeping War On Obesity, Chile Slays Tony The Tiger,” by Andrew Jacobs.

Joanne Kenen: Politico, “Trump’s Controversial New Health Care Idea,” by Sarah Karlin-Smith.

Margot Sanger-Katz: Harvard Business Review, “What Could Amazon’s Approach to Health Care Look Like,” by Robert S. Huckman.

To hear all our podcasts, click here.

And subscribe to What the Health? on iTunesStitcher or Google Play.