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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: The Senate Acts



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The Senate has set the stage for a busy fall that will include debate on a broad array of health issues, such as prescription drug prices, Medicare expansion and further expansion of the Affordable Care Act. Before leaving for a delayed August break, the chamber passed a bipartisan infrastructure bill and budget resolution with an outline of a $3.5 trillion measure to be crafted when lawmakers return. Whether any of those health issues can make it across the legislative finish line remains to be seen, and the path to success is a narrow one.

Meanwhile, covid’s delta variant is spreading rapidly around the U.S., particularly in states with large swaths of unvaccinated people. And the spike is happening just as schools around the country are opening, with children under 12 still unvaccinated.

This week’s panelists are Julie Rovner of KHN, Joanne Kenen of Politico, Mary Ellen McIntire of CQ Roll Call and Yasmeen Abutaleb of The Washington Post.

Among the takeaways from this week’s episode:

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 “Covid Killed Her Husband. Now It’s Taking the Only Home Her Kids Have Ever Known,” by William Wan


Joanne Kenen: Stat’s “A Snort or a Jab? Scientists Debate Potential Benefits of Intranasal Covid-19 Vaccines,” by Helen Branswell

Mary Ellen McIntire: Journal of the American Medical Association’s “Gun Violence Researchers Are Making Up for 20 Years of Lost Time,” by Alicia Ault

Yasmeen Abutaleb: The Atlantic’s “The Vaccine Cards Are the Wrong Size,” by Amanda Mull

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And subscribe to KHN’s What the Health? on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts.

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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