Tuesday, February 7, 2023
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As US Bumps In opposition to Debt Ceiling, Medicare Turns into a Bargaining Chip

The Host

Julie Rovner


Learn Julie’s tales.

Julie Rovner is chief Washington correspondent and host of KHN’s weekly well being coverage information podcast, “What the Well being?” A famous professional on well being coverage points, Julie is the writer of the critically praised reference e-book “Well being Care Politics and Coverage A to Z,” now in its third version.

Whereas repealing the Inexpensive Care Act appears to have fallen off congressional Republicans’ to-do listing for 2023, plans to chop Medicare and Medicaid are again. The GOP needs Democrats to agree to chop spending on each applications in trade for a vote to forestall the federal government from defaulting on its money owed.

In the meantime, the nation’s well being care employees — from nurses to docs to pharmacists — are feeling the pressure of caring not only for the rising variety of insured sufferers in search of care, but additionally extra significantly sick sufferers who’re tough and typically even violent.

This week’s panelists are Julie Rovner of KHN, Joanne Kenen of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg College of Public Well being and Politico, Tami Luhby of CNN, and Victoria Knight of Axios.


Joanne Kenen
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg College of Public Well being and Politico


Learn Joanne’s tales

Tami Luhby


Learn Tami’s tales

Victoria Knight


Learn Victoria’s tales

Among the many takeaways from this week’s episode:

  • Conservative Home Republicans are hoping to capitalize on their new legislative clout to slash authorities spending, because the battle over elevating the debt ceiling presents a preview of doable debates this 12 months over pricey federal entitlement applications like Medicare.
  • Home Speaker Kevin McCarthy stated Republicans will defend Medicare and Social Safety, however the elevation of conservative firebrands — like the brand new chair of the highly effective Home Methods and Means Committee — raises questions on what “defending” these applications means to Republicans.
  • Report numbers of Individuals enrolled for insurance coverage protection this 12 months underneath the Inexpensive Care Act. Years after congressional Republicans final tried to repeal it, the as soon as extremely controversial program often known as Obamacare seems to be following the trajectory of different established federal entitlement applications: evolving, rising, and turning into much less controversial over time.
  • Latest studies present that whereas Individuals had much less hassle paying for well being care final 12 months, many nonetheless delayed care on account of prices. The findings spotlight that being insured shouldn’t be sufficient to maintain care inexpensive for a lot of Individuals.
  • Well being care employees are rising louder of their requires higher staffing, with a nursing strike in New York Metropolis and up to date studies about pharmacist burnout offering a few of the newest arguments for a way widespread staffing points could also be harming affected person care. There may be bipartisan settlement in Congress for addressing the nursing scarcity, however what they’d do is one other query.

Plus, for additional credit score, the panelists advocate their favourite well being coverage tales of the week that they assume you need to learn, too:

Julie Rovner: Roll Name’s “NIH Lacking Prime Management at Begin of a Divided Congress,” by Ariel Cohen

Tami Luhby: CNN’s “ER on the Area: An Inside Take a look at How NFL Medical Groups Put together for a Sport Day Emergency,” by Nadia Kounang and Amanda Sealy

Joanne Kenen: The Atlantic’s “Don’t Concern the Handshake,” by Katherine J. Wu

Victoria Knight: The Washington Put up’s “‘The Final of Us’ Zombie Fungus Is Actual, and It’s Present in Well being Dietary supplements,” by Mike Hume

Additionally talked about on this week’s podcast:

The New York Instances’ “As France Strikes to Delay Retirement, Older Staff Are in a Quandary,” by Liz Alderman

Stat’s “Congressional Medicare Advisers Warn of Increased Drug Costs, Regardless of New Worth Negotiation,” by John Wilkerson


Francis Ying
Audio producer

Emmarie Huetteman

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KHN (Kaiser Well being Information) is a nationwide newsroom that produces in-depth journalism about well being points. Along with Coverage Evaluation and Polling, KHN is among the three main working applications at KFF (Kaiser Household Basis). KFF is an endowed nonprofit group offering data on well being points to the nation.


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