Biden’s budget touches all the bases

the host

Julie Ruffner KHN @tweet. Julie Rovner is the senior Washington correspondent and host of KHN’s weekly health policy newscast, “What the Health?” A noted expert on health policy issues, Julie is the author of the critically acclaimed reference book Health Care Policy and Politics A to Z, now in its third edition.

President Joe Biden’s 2024 fiscal budget proposal includes new policies and funding boosts for several important constituencies for the Democratic Party, including advocates for people with disabilities and reproductive rights. He also proposes ways to shore up Medicare’s dwindling hospital insurance trust fund without cutting benefits, essentially daring Republicans to align him on the strong political case.

Meanwhile, five Texas women denied abortions when their pregnancies threatened their lives or the survival of the fetuses they were carrying have filed a lawsuit against the state. They charge that the language of the abortion ban in Texas makes it impossible for doctors to provide needed care without fear of heavy fines or prison sentences.

This week’s panelists are KHN’s Julie Rovner, The 19th’s Shefali Luthra, Axios’ Victoria Knight, and The New York Times’ Margot Sanger-Katz.


Victoria Knight Axios @tweet Shefali Luthra XIX @tweet Margot Sanger Katz The New York Times @tweet

Among the points learned from this week’s episode:

  • Biden’s budget runs the line between keeping Medicare and keeping the Medicare trust fund solvent while pushing progressive policies. Republicans have yet to propose a budget, but it seems likely that any GOP plan would rely heavily on cuts to Medicaid and subsidies under the Affordable Care Act. Democrats will fight both.
  • Although the president’s budget includes something of a Democratic “wish list” of social policy priorities, the proposals are less comprehensive than those presented last year. Instead, much — such as extending Medicare’s $35 monthly insulin cost cap to include private insurance — builds on advances already being made. This puts a new focus on the things the president has accomplished.
  • Walgreens, the nation’s second largest drugstore chain, is caught up in the abortion wars. In January, the chain said it would apply for certification from the US Food and Drug Administration to sell the abortion pill mifepristone in states where abortion is legal. However, last week, under threats from Republican attorneys general in states where abortion is still legal, the chain backtracked on whether or not to seek to sell the pill there, causing a backlash from both abortion rights supporters and opponents. .
  • The five women suing Texas after being denied an abortion amid serious pregnancy complications are not calling for the state’s ban to be lifted. Instead, they are seeking clarity on who qualifies for exceptions to the ban, so doctors and hospitals can provide needed care without fear of prosecution.
  • Although anti-abortion groups have insisted for decades that those who have abortions should not be prosecuted, bills that have been introduced in many state legislatures would do just that. In South Carolina, those who have abortions can face the death penalty. So far none of these laws have been passed, but the flurry of measures could herald a major change in policy.

Also this week, Rovner interviews Harris Meyer, who wrote and wrote the Dossier the last two KHN-NPRbill of the monthFeatures. Both were about families facing unexpected bills after giving birth. If you have an outrageous or exorbitant medical bill you want to share with us, You can do that here.

Plus, for “extra credit,” panelists suggest health policy stories they read this week and think you should read them, too:

Julie Rovner: KHN’sGirls in Texas can get contraceptives at federal clinics, until Father Christian objectsWritten by Sarah Varney

Shefali Luthra: nineteenth “Experts say the language of treating childhood obesity carries its own health risks for childrenBy Jennifer Gerson

Victoria Knight: KHN’sAfter the death of people receiving Medicare, some states aggressively seek repayment from their estateWritten by Tony Lees

Margot Sanger Katz: ProPublicaHow Obamacare enabled a billion-dollar snatch of Christian healthcareWritten by J. David McSwan and Ryan Gabrielson

Also featured in this week’s podcast:


Frances Young, Sound Producer, Stephanie Stapleton Editor

Kaiser Health News

This article has been reprinted from Courtesy of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

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