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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: The Invisible Pandemic



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Covid-19 circumstances are on the rise once more, however you couldn’t inform from the habits of the general public (dashing again to regular), in addition to public well being and elected officers who worry backlash from even suggesting the reimplementation of precautions.

Meanwhile, the Senate (once more) didn’t muster even a easy majority of votes for a invoice to write down abortion protections into federal regulation, because the fallout continues from the leaked majority draft opinion from the Supreme Court suggesting it’s about to overturn the landmark 1973 ruling Roe v. Wade.

This week’s panelists are Julie Rovner of KHN, Joanne Kenen of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Politico, Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, and Sandhya Raman of CQ Roll Call.

Among the takeaways from this week’s episode:

  • The U.S. handed the edge of 1 million deaths from covid this week. But that’s virtually actually an undercount, and it’s unimaginable to know the way massive an issue the coronavirus stays as a result of many constructive house exams are usually not being reported to public well being authorities.
  • Lawmakers and the administration are additional complicating issues. The administration has been pushing a combined message. On one hand, it’s casting the persevering with pandemic as severe sufficient to require tens of billions of {dollars} in further emergency funds. At the identical time, it’s broadcasting that we actually don’t have to do something — akin to masking — to fight it.
  • Meanwhile, warning lights are flashing for public well being and future pandemics. Lawsuits — such because the one which originated in Florida and led to the tip of the masks requirement for interstate journey on airplanes and different public transportation — haven’t solely hamstrung state and native public well being officers and authorities however are having a chilling impact on different, non-covid-related efforts that will fall below conventional public well being work. For instance, opposition to covid vaccine necessities has spilled over to different vaccination necessities in place for many years.
  • While the abortion debate grows extra partisan on the federal degree, with Democrats virtually universally in help of abortion rights and Republicans virtually universally opposed, that isn’t the case on the state degree. Particularly amongst governors, there are nonetheless Democrats who oppose abortion rights and Republicans who help them.
  • Division inside the Republican Party appears to be rising on the difficulty. For a few years, the GOP was fairly clear that its purpose was to overturn Roe and depart the choice about regulate abortion to the states. Now, there’s discuss advancing a nationwide ban. Also, some components of the celebration appear to favor criminalizing ladies who search an abortion — a step that has usually not been taken.
  • Concerns additionally abound that restrictions and limits on abortion may have a chilling impact on the power of ladies to acquire contraception or entry well being care providers after having miscarriages.
  • On Capitol Hill, this week’s information of record-breaking low uninsured numbers got here out, however lawmakers are making no progress on laws to proceed the non permanent subsidies that made these protection numbers potential.

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

Julie Rovner: KHN’s “Travel Nurses See Swift Change of Fortunes as Covid Money Runs Dry,” by Hannah Norman

Joanne Kenen: Politico Magazine’s “How One Clinic in Texas Explains the Threat to Contraception,” by Joanne Kenen and Alice Miranda Ollstein

Alice Miranda Ollstein: Politico’s “’It’s a Tsunami’: Legal Challenges Threatening Public Health Policy,” by Krista Mahr

Sandhya Raman: CQ Roll Call’s “End of COVID-19 Emergency Endangers Substance Use Treatment,” by Jessie Hellmann

Also mentioned on this week’s podcast:

KHN’s “Ripple Effects of Abortion Restrictions Confuse Care for Miscarriages,” by Charlotte Huff


To hear all our podcasts, click on right here.

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

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