KHN’s ‘What is Health?’: Invisible Epidemic

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The Covid-19 case is on the rise again, but you can’t tell from public behavior (returning to normal), as well as public health and elected officials who are afraid of retaliation, even advising to re-apply the warning.

Meanwhile, the Senate (again) failed to garner even a simple majority vote for a bill to write abortion protection into federal law, as the majority leaked from the Supreme Court resulted in the opinion that it was about to overturn the landmark 1973. Rule Rowe vs. Wade.

This week’s panelists are Julie Rovner of KHN, Joan Kennen of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Politics, Alice Miranda Olstein of Politico and Evening Raman of CQ Roll Call.

In this week’s episode Takeway:

  • The United States has crossed the 1 million death toll from Covid this week. However, this is almost certainly an undercount, and it is impossible to know how much of a problem the coronavirus remains because many positive home tests are not being reported to public health authorities.
  • Legislators and administrations are complicating matters further. The administration is giving a mixed message. On the one hand, it is constantly pushing the epidemic seriously enough to require billions of dollars in emergency funding. At the same time, it’s broadcasting that we don’t really need to do anything – like masking – to deal with it.
  • Meanwhile, warning lights for public health and future epidemics are burning. The lawsuits – which originated in Florida and eliminated the need for masks for interstate travel on air and other public transport – have not only hurt state and local public health officials and authorities but also had a chilling effect on others, non-covid-related efforts under traditional public health work . For decades, however, opposition to the need for the vaccine has spread over the need for other vaccines.
  • While the abortion debate has become more biased at the federal level, Democrats are almost universally in favor of abortion rights and Republicans are almost universally opposed, not at the state level. Among governors in particular, there are still Democrats who oppose the right to abortion, and Republicans support them.
  • The issue is splitting within the Republican Party. For many years, the GOP was quite clear that its goal was reversed Rowe And leave the decision on how to control abortion to the states. Now, there is talk of advancing a national embargo. Also, some elements of the party seem to favor criminalizing women seeking abortion – a move that is not usually taken.
  • There are also concerns that restrictions and limits on abortion will have a soothing effect on women’s ability to access contraception or healthcare services after a miscarriage.
  • On Capitol Hill, news broke this week of record-breaking low uninsured numbers, but lawmakers are making no progress in enacting legislation to continue temporary subsidies that have made those coverage numbers possible.

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

Julie Rovner: KHN’s “Travel Nurses See Rapid Change Dries Covid Money,” by Hannah Norman

Joanne buys: Politico Magazine’s “How a Texas Clinic Explains the Contraceptive Threat,” by Joan Kennen and Alice Miranda Olstein

Alice Miranda Olstein: Politico “‘It’s a Tsunami’: Legal Challenges to Public Health Policy Threats,” by Krista Maher

Evening Raman: “Completion of Covid-19 Emergency Hazardous Substance Treatment” by Jesse Hellman in CQ Roll Call.

Also discussed in this week’s podcast:

KHN’s “ripple effect of abortion restrictions confuses abortion care,” by Charlotte Huff

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KHN (Kaiser Health News) is a national newsroom that creates in-depth journalism about health issues. KHN is one of the three major operating programs of KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation), including policy analysis and polling. KFF is a non-profit organization that provides health information to the nation.

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