New Speaker (Limited) Health Records


Julie Rovner KFF Health News


Read Julie’s story. Julie Rovner is chief Washington correspondent and host of KFF Health News’ weekly health policy news podcast “What Is Health?” A leading expert on health policy issues, Julie is the author of the critically acclaimed reference book Health Care Politics and Policy from A to Z, now in its third edition.

After nearly a month of bickering, House Republicans finally elected a new speaker: Louisiana Republican Rep. Mike Johnson, a relative unknown to many. While Johnson has long opposed abortion and LGBTQ+ rights, questions remain about his stance on other health issues.

Meanwhile, a new study finds that in the year after the Constitution was overturned Roe v. Wadethe number of abortions has actually increased, especially in states adjacent to states that now have bans or severe restrictions.

This week’s panelists include KFF Health News’ Julie Rovner, Stat’s Rachel Cohrs and Politico’s Alice Miranda Ollstein.

team member

Rachel Coles Statistics News


Read Rachel’s story Alice Miranda Olstein Politico


Read Alice’s story

Highlights from this week’s episode include:

  • New House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-Louisiana) doesn’t have much of a legislative record, but in a previous life he worked at the Christian conservative law firm Alliance Defending Freedom.ADF has been the winning party in several major Supreme Court cases on social issues over the past decade, including overturning Roe v. Wade.
  • This week in Colorado, a federal judge ruled that the state cannot enforce a new law banning medical abortion “reversal,” an unproven treatment that is not recognized by most medical associations because it could infringe The religious rights of those who advocate this therapy.
  • A new Medicaid demonstration program in Georgia that requires low-income adults who want Medicaid coverage to prove they work a certain number of hours per week has been slow to get off the ground, with only about 1,300 of an estimated 100,000 people enrolled in the first three months. people participated in this program. May be eligible.
  • The National Institutes of Health may soon have its first Senate-confirmed director in a year and a half. The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee voted on a bipartisan basis to elevate National Cancer Institute Director Monica Bertagnolli to the top NIH post after months of delays. Notably, committee chairman Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who voted against her on the panel, has been trying to use the nomination to win more drug pricing concessions from the Biden administration. Bertagnoli is still expected to receive full Senate approval.
  • Finally, in the first part of a new podcast feature, “This Week in Medical Misinformation,” KFF Health News’ Liz Szabo tells how Suzanne Somers, a popular TV actress from the late 1970s to the 1990s, Using his fame to push questions about medical treatments, becoming an “influencer” long before there was such a thing.

Also this week, Rovner interviewed Michael Cannon, director of health policy research at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, about his new book, “Recovery: A Guide to Reforming America’s Health Sector.”

Plus, for “extra points,” the panelists suggested health policy stories they read this week that they think you should read, too:

Julie Rovner: “Pandemic in Michigan counties recedes. Mistrust never ends,” by Greg Jaffe and Patrick Marley, The Washington Post.

Alice Miranda Olstein: “Dozens of states sue Meta over addictive features harming children,” by Rebecca Kern, Josh Sisco and Alfred Ng, Politico.

Rachel Coles: “Ozempic and Wegovy cost less than you think,” by Gina Kolata, The New York Times.

Also mentioned in this week’s episode:

“Susan Summers’ legacy tainted by celebrity medical misinformation,” by Liz Szabo, KFF Health News.

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Francis Ying Audio Producer Stephanie Stapleton Editor

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KFF Health News is a national newsroom that produces in-depth journalism on health issues and is one of KFF’s core operating programs – an independent source of health policy research, polling and news. Learn more about KFF.

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