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Florida Sen. Rick Scott Off Base in Claim That Rise in Medicare Premiums Is Due to Inflation
The Republican senator says President Joe Biden’s “inflation crisis” caused Medicare to raise monthly premiums, which will add hundreds of dollars to beneficiaries’ costs. But Medicare experts say inflation was not to blame and most beneficiaries will shoulder a much smaller increase than what Rick Scott claims.
Summary of Costs and Impact of the Prescription Drug Provisions in the Build Back Better Act
As the House-passed Build Back Better Act moves to the Senate, a new explainer from KFF summarizes the key prescription drug provisions within the broader budget reconciliation bill. These provisions would lower prescription drug costs paid by people with Medicare and private insurance and curb drug spending by the federal government and private payers. The…More
KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: The Big Biden Budget Bill Passes the House
President Joe Biden’s social spending budget is on its way to the U.S. Senate, where Democratic leaders are (optimistically) hoping to complete work by the end of the year. Meanwhile, covid is surging again in parts of the country, along with the political divides it continues to cause. Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times, Joanne Kenen of Politico and the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, and Mary Agnes Carey of KHN join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this…
Becerra Says Surprise Billing Rules Force Doctors Who Overcharge to Accept Fair Prices
The Health and Human Services secretary says the administration has heard complaints from doctors and hospitals about the rules it unveiled for implementing the law to end surprise medical bills. But he says providers who have exploited a complicated system to charge exorbitant rates will have to bear their share of the cost — or close.
Success of Covid Antiviral Pills Hinges on Access to Speedy and Accurate Tests
The promising antiviral drugs to treat covid can halt hospitalizations and deaths, but only if they’re given to patients within three to five days of their first symptoms, a narrow window many people won’t meet. Here’s why.
KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Boosting Confusion
Federal health officials appear poised to extend a recommendation for covid boosters to all adults, following moves by some governors and mayors to broaden the eligible booster pool as caseloads rise. Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration finally has a nominee to head the agency: former FDA chief Robert Califf. And Medicare premiums for consumers will likely rise substantially in 2022, partly due to the approval of a controversial drug to treat Alzheimer’s disease. Tami Luhby of CNN,…
Stranded by the Pandemic, He Had Only Travel Insurance. It Left Him With a $38,000 Bill.
Although it’s possible to buy travel insurance that provides some health coverage, the devil is in the fine print. Obama-era laws that prevent refusal of payment for preexisting conditions don’t apply to travel insurance.
Public Opinion Is Unified on Lowering Prescription Drug Prices. Why Are Leaders Settling for Less?
Politicians and many health experts have done their best to see the glass half-full in the plan put forward by congressional Democrats and the president. But it’s “a far cry” from what other nations do to rein in drug prices, and polls show most voters demand more protection.
Texas Abortion Law Harms Survivors of Rape and Incest, Activists Say
While anti-abortion activists say abortion exceptions are a “punishment” to “innocent human life,” social workers say Texas’ new abortion law rigidly curtails options for rape and incest survivors at a moment when they need the “power and control” of choice to begin healing.
Patients Get Stranded Out of Network as Insurer-Hospital Contract Talks Fall Apart
As hospital systems and insurers adjust to the pandemic, their contract negotiations grow increasingly fraught. Contracts for in-network care are ending without a new deal, leaving patients suddenly with out-of-network bills or scrambling to find new in-network providers.
Congressional Doctors Lead Bipartisan Revolt Over Policy on Surprise Medical Bills
Congress last year shielded consumers from unexpected out-of-network charges, but hospitals and doctors have decried the arbitration plan put forward by the Biden administration for negotiating these bills as favoring insurers. More than 150 members of the House agree.
As Big Pharma and Hospitals Battle Over Drug Discounts, Patients Miss Out on Millions in Benefits
The number of pharmacies dispensing 340B discounted drugs soared to more than 31,000 this year. Drugmakers struck back by halting some discounts. Hospitals say they are losing millions of dollars — and cutting back services to patients — as a result.