KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Drug Price Effort Hits a Snag


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The excessive price of prescribed drugs is a prime well being situation for the general public and politicians, however issues raised by a gaggle of average Democrats threaten to derail a invoice being pushed by Home Democratic leaders.

In the meantime, the Meals and Drug Administration has licensed using the Pfizer covid-19 vaccine for everybody age 12 and up, and Pfizer is making use of for full licensure of that vaccine. It’s at present being distributed underneath emergency authorization. Full approval may open the door to vaccine necessities in some workplaces, colleges or different gathering spots, which is able to seemingly spark off extra controversy.

And the Biden administration reinstated an Obama-era coverage barring discrimination in well being look after LGBTQ people, whilst extra states cross anti-LGBTQ laws.

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

Among the many takeaways from this week’s podcast:

  • Opposition by a handful of conservative and average Democrats to Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s proposal to drive down prescription drug costs was a little bit of a shock since a few of the members had voted for very comparable laws within the earlier Congress. Again then, although, it was clear the invoice had no probability of survival in a Republican-controlled Senate. Now the stakes are a lot greater as a result of Democrats management Congress and the White Home.
  • Along with drugmakers’ clout on Capitol Hill, some resistance to Pelosi’s plan displays the very fact it was written by management behind closed doorways and didn’t undergo the standard committee course of, during which members of the Home would have had an opportunity to debate and amend the laws.
  • One other issue within the dispute is that a number of of the representatives who signed the letter to the speaker come from areas the place drugmakers have massive operations and argue that measures to decrease costs may price jobs.
  • The administration introduced that greater than 1 million individuals have signed up for well being protection on the Reasonably priced Care Act’s marketplaces through the particular enrollment interval established by the Biden administration. The enrollment increase is attributed to enhanced subsidies handed by Congress earlier this yr and a powerful messaging marketing campaign in regards to the want for insurance coverage by the administration.
  • Democrats within the Senate are pushing ahead the nomination of Chiquita Brooks-LaSure to move the Facilities for Medicare & Medicaid Companies, regardless of efforts by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) to dam her nomination as a protest towards Biden administration insurance policies that might lower Medicaid funds to Texas hospitals.
  • If Brooks-LaSure is confirmed, nominations for different key posts at HHS will seemingly shortly comply with, such because the heads of Medicaid and the Well being Sources & Companies Administration. However there was no motion on a brand new commissioner for the Meals and Drug Administration.
  • The vaccine advisory committee for the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention is recommending that youngsters 12 and older not solely can safely get the Pfizer covid-19 vaccine, however that it may be given with different vaccines. Well being officers had beforehand advisable that vaccines be spaced aside. Pediatricians, nonetheless, are involved about what number of youngsters missed different vital vaccinations over the course of the pandemic.
  • Equipping pediatricians to present the vaccine to kids could show important in getting this age group protected. However the vaccine that has been authorized requires probably the most stringent chilly storage, so that could be a hurdle in getting it into docs’ workplaces. The administration is in search of methods to make it simpler for pediatricians to ship the shot.

Plus, for additional credit score, the panelists suggest their favourite well being coverage tales of the week they suppose it is best to learn too:

Julie Rovner: HBO’s “The Crime of the Century” by Alex Gibney

Joanne Kenen: Grist’s “There’s Federal Cash Accessible to Home the Homeless. No One’s Taking It,” by Adam Mahoney

Rachel Cohrs: Stat’s “CDC’s Gradual, Cautious Messaging on Covid-19 Appears out of Step with the Second, Public Well being Specialists Say,” by Nicholas Florko

Sarah Karlin-Smith: KHN’s “The Making of Reluctant Activists: A Police Capturing in a Hospital Forces One Household to Rethink American Justice,” by Sarah Varney

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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 without doubt one of the three main working packages at KFF (Kaiser Household Basis). KFF is an endowed nonprofit group offering info on well being points to the nation.


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