Health Policy Happenings, 9.10.21

After taking last week off while out of town, we’re back again for another roundup of what’s going on in the health policy world! You can check out past HPH here.

Congress is currently considering proposals in the reconciliation bill to reign in the cost of prescription drug costs, including allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices and a plan put forward by the Biden Administration. The $3.5T bill aims to significantly address health care and other social determinants of health.

This article was very helpful in outlining why drugs cost so much and the various stakeholders in the current conversation.

Climate change is having an immensely detrimental and dangerous impact on health and employment.

The Indian Health Service has long been underfunded and under-resourced. Medicaid expansion has the potential to dramatically improve access (and hopefully outcomes) for patients who need care both in and out of the IHS system.

Texas doubles down on restrictions that render abortion illegal across the state while refusing to address maternal morality and child health.

California will be offering non-health care services through the Medi-Cal program (CA Medicaid) to some of the most vulnerable low-income Californians.

Just as Texas is using a citizen enforcement model for their new abortion regulations, Missouri is using a similar strategy to evade federal gun regulations. I’m including this because gun violence is a public health crisis and we should pay attention to what’s going on in the states.

Medicare has barely been updated since it was established in 1965 and it is hardly comprehensive coverage.

A new study shows that the administrative burdens of health care (prior authorization, dealing with insurance, making appointments) are estimated to cost as much as financial barriers (copayments, deductibles) to access to care.

What is the goal of the COVID-19 vaccine?

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