“What is health?” of KHN: a state of the Union very heavy in terms of health

"What is health?"  of KHN: a state of the Union very heavy in terms of health

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Russia’s attacks on Ukraine dominated the headlines of President Joe Biden’s first official State of the Union address, but Biden made a point of highlighting several of the administration’s high-priority health issues, including covid, mental health, nursing home regulations and military ailments. toxic burn pit personnel.

Also this week, the Biden administration unveiled a plan to better prepare the country for a new wave of covid. Congress is also starting to work on pandemic preparedness legislation, though some lawmakers might be reluctant to spend even more money on the effort.

This week’s panelists are KHN’s Julie Rovner, Politico’s Alice Miranda Ollstein, Washington Post’s Amy Goldstein and Pink Sheet’s Sarah Karlin-Smith.

Among the takeaways from this week’s episode:

  • The Biden administration’s proposals to improve nursing home care are a byproduct of the covid pandemic. Nearly a quarter of the 975,000 deaths in this country are among people living or working in nursing homes.
  • But the proposed changes will come up against a stark reality: nursing homes are facing severe labor shortages. Recruiting employees is a challenge due to the difficulty of the work, the risks of covid and the meager average salary.
  • It can be expected that improving home nursing care will take time. Some proposals will require congressional funding, and while nursing home safety has broad bipartisan support, many interests are vying for federal dollars. Also, making changes through regulation is a time-consuming process.
  • Biden also highlighted in his State of the Union address the dire need to strengthen mental health services in the country, following issues including rising suicides, childhood depression and addiction. to opioids, all of which have been made worse by the pandemic.
  • Among the notable health care omissions in Biden’s speech was a push for new Medicare benefits and the expansion of Medicaid in a few conservative states that delayed acceptance of this option under the Affordable Care Act. Both controversial policies are prized by Democratic stalwarts, but they were provisions that helped stall the president’s Build Back Better legislation.
  • Following the State of the Union address, the administration rolled out plans to fight the covid virus for the long term and put the country on a less volatile path to manage future outbreaks. The plan would also require funding from Congress, but the administration has lowered its expectations due to bipartisan congressional concerns about overall covid spending.
  • Although mask mandates are being lifted across the country and covid cases have dropped dramatically, the administration fears it is driving football up too soon. Officials are still feeling the repercussions of last summer, when they suggested the arrival of a vaccine and the decline of the disease indicated the country was past the worst of the pandemic. The delta and omicron variants quickly proved them wrong.
  • The Senate failed to advance the Women’s Health Protection Act, a bill to guarantee women the right to an abortion if the Supreme Court strikes down the landmark Roe vs. Wade decision. The measure did not come close to getting the 60 votes needed in the Senate to arrest a filibuster and did not even attract all the Democratic votes.
  • Some opponents of the Women’s Health Protection Act argue it goes too far beyond protections deersuch as allowing minors to have abortions without the intervention of their parents.
  • As advocates and opponents brace for a possible Supreme Court ruling later this year that changes deer, attention has turned to medical abortions. Many conservative states are working to restrict access to these pills, but a legal battle could be brewing over whether a state has the power to restrict FDA-approved drugs.

Plus, for extra credit, the panelists recommend their favorite health policy stories of the week that they think you should also read:

Julie Rovner: The “Wall Street Journal”Why is everyone standing so close? The boundaries of personal space have shifted during the pandemicby Alex Janin

Alice Miranda Ollstein: The New York Times'”Time is running out to avoid a heartbreaking future, warns the Climate Panelby Brad Plumer, Raymond Zhong and Lisa Friedman

Amy Goldstein: The Washington Post”Conflict in Ukraine could trigger outbreaks of Covid, polio and other diseases, experts sayby Loveday Morris and Dan Diamond

Sarah Karlin-Smith: “KHN’s Covid expert joins exodus in business, where science turns into profits”, by Jay Hancock

Also discussed on this week’s podcast:

Biden’s ‘Promise to Improve KHN Home Nursing Will Require Many More Workers’, by Jordan Rau

“Biden Promises Better Nursing Home Care, But He Likely Won’t Accelerate,” by Rachana Pradhan and Harris Meyer

The Washington Post”Most Americans say coronavirus not yet under control and support restrictions to try to manage it, post-ABC poll findsby Amy Goldstein and Emily Guskin

The New York Times'”Abortion pills now account for more than half of abortions in the United States“, by Pam Belluck

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