Biden declares the pandemic ‘over’

President Joe Biden’s declaration in a nationwide interview that the covid-19 pandemic is “over” has sophisticated his personal administration’s efforts to get Congress to supply extra funding for remedies and vaccines, and to get the general public to go get one more booster.

In the meantime, issues a few return of medical inflation for the primary time in a decade helps enhance insurance coverage premiums, and personal corporations are scrambling to assert their piece of the well being care spending pie.


This week’s panelists are Julie Rovner of KHN, Anna Edney of Bloomberg Information, Joanne Kenen of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg College of Public Well being and Politico, and Lauren Weber of KHN.

Among the many takeaways from this week’s episode:

  • Biden’s remark to “60 Minutes” that the pandemic was over — though covid remains to be a difficulty — highlights the issue in speaking to the general public easy methods to transition from a public well being disaster to a public well being drawback.
  • A lot of the nation could agree with the president, as evidenced by fewer folks utilizing face masks commonly and a decreased variety of business restrictions associated to covid. However a number of hundred persons are nonetheless dying every day, a excessive toll typically missed.
  • Insurance coverage premiums look like on the upswing this fall, though medical prices haven’t been rising as shortly as different components of the financial system in latest months. The rise could replicate insurers’ issues that, popping out of the covid disaster, shoppers will likely be in search of extra medical companies.
  • One facet of well being enterprise that’s driving up prices is the elevated funding by personal fairness corporations, that are increasing their attain past emergency room docs and some different specialties to a wider vary of medical companies, together with gastroenterology and ophthalmology.
  • One other concern for the way forward for well being prices is the transfer towards consolidation in well being care. Amongst latest developments on that entrance have been Amazon’s announcement it’s transferring into major care with the acquisition of One Medical and CVS’ choice to purchase house well being care firm Signify Well being.
  • Abortion insurance policies proceed to make information in varied states. West Virginia handed a legislation that restricts almost all abortions; a number of Utah Republican legislators despatched cease-and-desist letters to abortion suppliers of their state; and Puerto Rico has a brand new political celebration campaigning on the problem of making an attempt to curb the commonwealth’s liberal abortion legislation.
  • Whereas Democrats hope the problem of abortion will swing extra voters their method within the midterm elections, it is not clear whether or not total help for abortion will likely be a deciding challenge for voters in additional conservative states and convey any modifications.

Plus, for additional credit score, the panelists suggest their favourite well being coverage tales of the week they suppose it is best to learn, too:


Julie Rovner: The Anchorage Every day Information’ “Many Alaska Pharmacies Are Understaffed, Leading to Sporadic Hours and Patients Turned Away,” by Annie Berman

Joanne Kenen: Capital B’s “Clinicians Dismiss Black Women’s Pain. The Consequences Are Dire,” by Margo Snipe


Anna Edney: The Guardian’s “Fury Over ‘Forever Chemicals’ as US States Spread Toxic Sewage Sludge,” by Tom Perkins

Lauren Weber: KHN’s “Doctors Rush to Use Supreme Court Ruling to Escape Opioid Charges,” by Brett Kelman


Additionally talked about on this week’s episode:

Kaiser Health NewsThis text was reprinted from with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Household Basis. Kaiser Well being Information, an editorially unbiased information service, is a program of the Kaiser Household Basis, a nonpartisan well being care coverage analysis group unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

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