KHN’s ‘What the Well being?’: Staffing Up at HHS

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Greater than a month into President Joe Biden’s time period, nominees to fill among the prime posts on the Division of Well being and Human Providers are lastly getting affirmation hearings within the Senate, beginning with the nominee for secretary, California Legal professional Common Xavier Becerra. Barring one thing sudden, it seems that Becerra, together with the surgeon basic nominee, Vivek Murthy, and the nominee for assistant secretary for well being, Rachel Levine, will all be confirmed, regardless of criticisms raised by some Republicans.

In the meantime, the Supreme Courtroom agreed to listen to a case difficult the Trump administration’s guidelines for the federal household planning program that successfully evicted Deliberate Parenthood from participation. And the Biden administration requested the court docket to cancel oral arguments scheduled for late March about work necessities authorized by the Trump administration for grownup Medicaid recipients in some states.

This week’s panelists are Julie Rovner of KHN, Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Instances and Tami Luhby of CNN.

Among the many takeaways from this week’s podcast:

  • Republican complaints that Becerra will not be certified for the job of HHS secretary as a result of he’s not a medical physician had been stunning to many. Since HHS was separated from the Division of Training, there have been 12 secretaries and solely three have been physicians.
  • Democrats appear assured that Becerra weathered Republican criticism about his {qualifications} and his assist for reproductive rights and that he might be confirmed.
  • The Republican arguments about Becerra’s positions on abortion could sign a shift away from the GOP’s emphasis on repealing the Inexpensive Care Act and again to conventional points that provoke conservative voters.
  • The folks Biden has chosen to work on well being coverage by and enormous have robust backgrounds in administration and plenty of had been within the Obama administration engaged on the implementation of the ACA. They’re possible coming in with a mission to make modifications and achieve this rapidly.
  • The Biden administration is predicted to hunt to reverse the Title X rule at concern in a case simply accepted by the Supreme Courtroom earlier than the justices hear the matter. However even when the administration can do this, conservatives should still ask the court docket to proceed.
  • The covid aid invoice transferring by way of Congress contains a number of measures that will make medical insurance plans offered on the ACA market extra reasonably priced, however these modifications would final solely two years. ACA advocates cause it might be laborious, nevertheless, for future lawmakers to take these advantages away.

Additionally this week, Rovner interviews HuffPost’s Jonathan Cohn, whose new e-book, “The Ten Yr Struggle: Obamacare and the Unfinished Campaign for Common Protection,” is out this week.

Plus, for further credit score, the panelists suggest their favourite well being coverage tales of the week they suppose you must learn too:

Julie Rovner: The Washington Put up’s “The Pleasure of Vax: The Individuals Giving the Photographs Are Seeing Hope, and It’s Contagious,” by Maura Judkis

Margot Sanger-Katz:’s “Path to Normality: 2021 Outlook of COVID-19 within the US,” by Youyang Gu

Tami Luhby: The Guardian and KHN’s “’It Doesn’t Really feel Price It’: Covid Is Pushing New York’s EMTs to the Brink,” by Martha Pskowski

Alice Miranda Ollstein: KHN’s “Covid Vaccine Web sites Violate Incapacity Legal guidelines, Create Inequity for the Blind,” by Lauren Weber and Hannah Recht

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