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KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: Republicans in COVID Disarray

President Donald Trump’s sobering view of COVID-19 didn’t last long – this week, he was back to pushing hydroxychloroquine, a drug that has been shown not to work in treating the virus. Meanwhile, Republicans on Capitol Hill are still scrambling to agree among themselves and with the White House on the next coronavirus relief bill, as both a moratorium on evictions and extra unemployment payments expire. And the debate over drug prices, which was going to be one of the biggest health issues of this election year, makes a brief appearance. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Mary Ellen McIntire of CQ Roll Call and Anna Edney of Bloomberg News join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this and more. Also, Rovner interviews KHN’s Markian Hawryluk, who wrote the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” story about a surprise bill from a surprise surgical assistant.

Avoiding Care During the Pandemic Could Mean Life or Death

Americans are avoiding hospitals and clinics by the millions, even when they shouldn’t, and many experts expect a jump in preventable disease diagnoses after the COVID crisis eases. Paradoxically, the pandemic may have been good for some heart patients, however.

Don’t Count on Lower Premiums Despite Pandemic-Driven Boon for Insurers

Early in the pandemic, insurers expected the costs of treating COVID-19 would vastly increase medical spending. Instead, non-COVID care has plummeted and insurers have pocketed the result. Still, few industry observers are predicting broad-based premium cuts in 2021, though some health plans have proposed lowering their rates.

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