A Health-Heavy State of the Union

Linda Rider

The Host

Julie Rovner


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Julie Rovner is chief Washington correspondent and host of KHN’s weekly wellbeing plan news podcast, “What the Overall health?” A famous expert on wellness policy challenges, Julie is the author of the critically praised reference ebook “Health Care Politics and Policy A to Z,” now in its 3rd edition.

Wellness treatment was a recurring theme through President Joe Biden’s 2023 Condition of the Union address on Capitol Hill this 7 days. He took a victory lap on current accomplishments like capping prescription drug costs for seniors on Medicare. He urged Congress to do more, which include creating long term the boosted insurance plan quality subsidies additional to the Reasonably priced Care Act throughout the pandemic. And he sparred with Republicans in the viewers — who jeered and named him a liar — over GOP proposals that would slash Medicare and Social Stability.

Meanwhile, abortion legal rights advocates and opponents are anxiously awaiting a federal court selection out of Texas that could final result in a nationwide ban on mifepristone, one particular of two drugs utilised in medicine abortion.

This week’s panelists are Julie Rovner of KHN, Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Rachel Cohrs of Stat, and Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet.


Rachel Cohrs
Stat Information


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Sarah Karlin-Smith
Pink Sheet


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Alice Miranda Ollstein


Examine Alice’s stories

Amid the takeaways from this week’s episode:

  • President Joe Biden’s State of the Union tackle emphasised modern victories versus high health care expenses, like Medicare protection caps on insulin and out-of-pocket caps on prescription drug paying. Biden’s lively, informal trade with lawmakers above likely cuts to Medicare and Social Stability appeared to steal the show, although the political battle more than slicing costs in people entitlement plans is rooted in a essential dilemma: What constitutes a “cut”?
  • Biden’s phone calls for bipartisanship to increase wellness systems like pandemic-period subsidies for Economical Care Act wellbeing strategies are expected to clash with conservative calls for to slash federal federal government paying out. And past year’s Senate fights demonstrate that at times the opposition will come from inside the Democratic Party.
  • Even though some abortion advocates praised Biden for vowing to veto a federal abortion ban, some others felt he did not talk sufficient about the looming troubles to abortion accessibility in the courts. A decision is anticipated quickly in a Texas court docket scenario demanding the upcoming use of mifepristone. The Trump-appointed judge’s selection could ban the drug nationwide, that means it would be barred even in states in which abortion carries on to be legal.
  • The Fda is at the middle of the abortion tablet case, which problems its acceptance of the drug many years ago and could established a precedent for authorized challenges to the acceptance of other drugs. In other Fda information, the company a short while ago modified plan to allow for homosexual adult men to donate blood declared new food basic safety management in reaction to the baby formula crisis and kicked again to Congress a question of how to control CBD, or cannabidiol, solutions.
  • In drug pricing, the top rated-providing pharmaceutical, Humira, will before long arrive at the close of its patent, which will give a telling look at how competitors influences the rate of biosimilars — and the difficulties that stay for lawmakers to solve.

Also this week, Rovner interviews Kate Baicker of the University of Chicago about a new paper delivering a possible middle floor in the work to create common health and fitness insurance policy protection in the U.S.

In addition, for “extra credit rating,” the panelists suggest health and fitness plan stories they read this 7 days they believe you need to read, as well:

Julie Rovner: The New York Times’ “Don’t Enable Republican ‘Judge Shoppers’ Thwart the Will of Voters,” by Stephen I. Vladeck

Alice Miranda Ollstein: Politico’s “Mpox Is Simmering South of the Border, Threatening a Resurgence,” by Carmen Paun

Sarah Karlin-Smith: KHN’s “Decisions by CVS and Optum Panicked 1000’s of Their Sickest Sufferers,” by Arthur Allen

Rachel Cohrs: ProPublica’s “UnitedHealthcare Tried out to Deny Protection to a Chronically Sick Patient. He Fought Again, Exposing the Insurer’s Interior Workings,” by David Armstrong, Patrick Rucker, and Maya Miller

Also talked about in this week’s podcast:


Francis Ying
Audio producer

Emmarie Huetteman

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KHN (Kaiser Health Information) is a national newsroom that provides in-depth journalism about health concerns. Collectively with Policy Examination and Polling, KHN is a single of the 3 important operating plans at KFF (Kaiser Spouse and children Basis). KFF is an endowed nonprofit corporation supplying info on wellbeing problems to the nation.

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