KHN’s ‘What the Well being?’: All I Need for Christmas Is a COVID Reduction Invoice

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Congress seems to be inching ever nearer to settlement on a long-delayed COVID-19 reduction invoice, which might lengthen unemployment insurance coverage and different emergency packages set to run out within the subsequent a number of days. That invoice, nonetheless, apparently is not going to embrace the top-priority gadgets for each political events: enterprise legal responsibility protections supported by Republicans and help to states and localities sought by Democrats.

The invoice is more likely to be a part of a large spending invoice to maintain the federal authorities funded for the remainder of the fiscal yr. And it would embrace a last-minute shock: laws to place an finish to “shock” medical payments despatched to sufferers who inadvertently receive care outdoors their insurance coverage community.

This week’s panelists are Julie Rovner of Kaiser Well being Information, Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Rebecca Adams of CQ Roll Name and Mary Agnes Carey of KHN.

Among the many takeaways from this week’s podcast:

  • Congress has primarily agreed on a federal spending invoice for the remainder of the fiscal yr — which started in October. However it’s going to probably wait as lawmakers proceed squabbling over the COVID reduction package deal, with negotiations now centering on small particulars.
  • Republicans for months have been hesitant to maneuver ahead on a invoice that would offer extra reduction for shoppers affected by the pandemic as a result of get together leaders didn’t like Democrats’ insistence that it embrace extra state and native help. However that provision has been jettisoned, so Republicans are much less against the measure. Plus, they see a political draw back to holding up the invoice: Their two Georgia candidates for Senate — dealing with Democratic opponents in a particular runoff election — are being hammered on the difficulty.
  • The compromise on shock medical payments got here after supporters secured settlement amongst Democrats who had favored various cures and all of the committees within the Home and Senate on the invoice, a consensus that was solid with main concessions by progressives.
  • However docs’ teams and different business critics are nonetheless attacking the shock billing proposal — although many observers see the invoice as tilted of their favor over insurers — so its passage will not be assured. Supporters are banking on the looming finish of the congressional session to maneuver the measure over the end line.
  • Vice President Mike Pence introduced he’ll get vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19 in public this week in hopes of convincing anybody skeptical in regards to the pictures that they’re protected. President-elect Joe Biden is planning on doing the identical quickly. However this can be a troublesome stance for politicians. They don’t need to look as if they’re pushing themselves forward in line, however additionally they need to normalize using the vaccine.
  • About 200 state and native public well being leaders have give up or been fired due to public opposition to measures to curb the coronavirus. Though President Donald Trump has reined in his criticism of a few of these officers and their efforts, the opposition continues to be sturdy. These critics could also be buttressed by fears that new restrictions imposed to manage the surging virus will damage the financial system.

Additionally this week, Rovner interviews Elizabeth Mitchell, president and CEO of the Pacific Enterprise Group on Well being, about the way forward for employer-provided medical insurance.

Plus, for further credit score, the panelists suggest their favourite well being coverage tales of the week they suppose you must learn too:

Julie Rovner: The Texas Month-to-month’s “Texas Marriage ceremony Photographers Have Seen Some $#!+,” by Emily McCullar

Alice Miranda Ollstein: The New York Instances’ “‘Like a Hand Greedy’: Trump Appointees Describe the Crushing of the C.D.C.,” by Noah Weiland

Mary Agnes Carey: NPR’s “How Do We Grieve 300,000 Lives Misplaced?” by Will Stone

Rebecca Adams: Bloomberg Information’ “White Home Official Recovers From Extreme Covid-19, Pal Says,” by Jennifer Jacobs


To listen to all our podcasts, click on right here.

And subscribe to What the Well being? on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, Spotify, or Pocket Casts.

This story was produced by Kaiser Well being Information, an editorially unbiased program of the Kaiser Household Basis.

Associated Matters

  • Value and High quality

  • Well being Care Prices

  • Perception

  • Insurance coverage

  • Multimedia

  • Public Well being

  • COVID-19

  • KHN's 'What The Well being?'

  • Podcasts

  • Shock Payments

  • U.S. Congress

  • Vaccines

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