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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: All About Budget Reconciliation



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President Joe Biden has said he still wants a bipartisan bill to provide the next round of covid relief. But in case that doesn’t happen, House committees this week got down to work on a budget reconciliation bill that could pass the Senate with a simple majority. Proposals cover not just covid-related issues, but also some significant changes to the Medicaid program and the Affordable Care Act.


Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued new guidance for mask-wearing. But the guidelines are confusing for many, highlighting the rapidly changing science around the virus that leaves many laypeople uncertain about how best to proceed.

This week’s panelists are Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News, Joanne Kenen of Politico, Paige Winfield Cunningham of The Washington Post and Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet.

Among the takeaways from this week’s podcast:

In honor of Valentine’s Day, the panelists chose their favorite #healthpolicyvalentines from Twitter. KHN is also selecting its own assortment, to be published Friday.

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


Julie Rovner: The Washington Post’s “’Oh, We’re Still in This.’ The Pandemic Wall Is Here,” by Maura Judkis

Joanne Kenen: The New Yorker’s “Inside the Worst-Hit County in the Worst-Hit State in the Worst-Hit Country,” by Atul Gawande

Paige Winfield Cunningham: The Atlantic’s “Frustration Is Spreading Faster Than the Vaccine Is,” by Anne Applebaum

Sarah Karlin-Smith: HuffPost’s “Delay Second Doses? A Guide to the Latest COVID-19 Vaccine Debate,” by Jonathan Cohn

To hear all our podcasts, click here.

And subscribe to What the Health? on iTunesStitcherGoogle PlaySpotify, or Pocket Casts.

Kaiser Health News (KHN) is a national health policy news service. It is an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation which is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.



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