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



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The high cost of prescription drugs is a top health issue for the public and politicians, but concerns raised by a group of moderate Democrats threaten to derail a bill being pushed by House Democratic leaders.

Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration has authorized the use of the Pfizer covid-19 vaccine for everyone age 12 and up, and Pfizer is applying for full licensure of that vaccine. It is currently being distributed under emergency authorization. Full approval could open the door to vaccine requirements in some workplaces, schools or other gathering spots, which will likely touch off more controversy.

And the Biden administration reinstated an Obama-era policy barring discrimination in health care for LGBTQ individuals, even as more states pass anti-LGBTQ legislation.

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 takeaways from this week’s podcast:


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

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

Joanne Kenen: Grist’s “There’s Federal Money Available to House the Homeless. No One’s Taking It,” by Adam Mahoney

Rachel Cohrs: Stat’s “CDC’s Slow, Cautious Messaging on Covid-19 Seems out of Step with the Moment, Public Health Experts Say,” by Nicholas Florko

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

To hear all our podcasts, click here.

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


KHN (Kaiser Health News) is a national newsroom that produces in-depth journalism about health issues. Together with Policy Analysis and Polling, KHN is one of the three major operating programs at KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation). KFF is an endowed nonprofit organization providing information on health issues to the nation.


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