Shefali Luthra
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In Arizona Race, McSally Makes Health Care Pledge At Odds With Track Record

In Arizona Race, McSally Makes Health Care Pledge At Odds With Track Record

“”—Subscribe to KHN’s free Weekly Edition newsletter.Past and PresentOur RulingJune 29, 2020Trailing Democratic challenger Mark Kelly in one of the country’s most hotly contested Senate races, Arizona Sen. Martha McSally is seeking to tie herself to an issue with across-the-aisle appeal: insurance protections for people with preexisting health conditions.This story also ran on .“Of course I will always protect those with preexisting conditions. Always,” the Republican said in a TV ad released June 22.The ad comes in response to criticisms by Kelly, who has highlighted McSally’s votes to...

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Shefali Luthra
June 29, 2020
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Conflicting COVID Messages Create Cloud Of Confusion Around Public Health And Prevention

Conflicting COVID Messages Create Cloud Of Confusion Around Public Health And Prevention

This story also ran on .Regina Fargis didn’t know what to do.Fargis runs Summit Hills — a health and retirement community in Spartanburg, South Carolina, that offers skilled nursing, activities and communal meals for its residents, most of whom are over 60, the highest-risk category for coronavirus complications. In South Carolina, more than a hundred new cases were emerging daily. So she took precautions: no visitors, hand sanitizer everywhere and regular reminders for residents about the importance of social distancing.For a time, it worked. Many similar facilities were hit hard by the...

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Shefali Luthra
June 29, 2020
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Trump’s Take On COVID Testing Misses Public Health Realities

Trump’s Take On COVID Testing Misses Public Health Realities

“If we stopped testing right now, we’d have very few cases, if any.”— President Donald Trump in remarks during a June 15 roundtable discussionPresident Donald Trump sought to downplay the numbers associated with COVID-19 in the United States — which have passed 2 million confirmed cases and are nearing 120,000 lives lost — by arguing that the soaring national count was simply the result of superior testing.This story was produced in partnership with .“If you don’t test, you don’t have any cases,” Trump at a at the White House. “If we stopped testing right now, we’d have very few cases, if...

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Shefali Luthra
June 17, 2020
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In Fierce Debate, Democratic Candidates Expand Health Agenda Arguments

In Fierce Debate, Democratic Candidates Expand Health Agenda Arguments

This story also ran on .Democratic presidential candidates faced off on the debate stage for the eighth time this campaign season. Meeting in Manchester, N.H., they returned to now familiar health care themes — “Medicare for All” versus a public option, the cost of prescription drugs and other key areas they say are ripe for change.Once again, candidates sparred over the cost of the single-payer health reform bill promoted by Vermont  Sen. Bernie Sanders. Former Vice President Joe Biden argued it would necessarily raise taxes, pointing to its estimated $32 trillion price-tag (a number...

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Shefali Luthra
February 11, 2020
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Would ‘Medicare For All’ Cost More Than U.S. Budget? Biden Says So. Math Says No.

Would ‘Medicare For All’ Cost More Than U.S. Budget? Biden Says So. Math Says No.

“Sanders’ ‘Medicare for All’ plan “would cost more than the entire federal budget that we spend now.”Former Vice President Joe Biden in comments during the New Hampshire presidential primary debate, Feb.7This story was produced in partnership with .During the Feb. 7 Democratic presidential debate, former Vice President Joe Biden once again questioned the price tag of “Medicare for All,” the single-payer health care proposal championed by one of his key rivals, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.Biden argued that the plan was fiscally irresponsible and would require raising middle-class taxes....

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Shefali Luthra
February 14, 2020
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Insurers Sank Connecticut’s ‘Public Option.’ Would A National Version Survive?

Insurers Sank Connecticut’s ‘Public Option.’ Would A National Version Survive?

This story also ran on .Health care costs were rising. People couldn’t afford coverage. So, in Connecticut, state lawmakers took action.Their solution was to attempt to create a public health insurance option, managed by the state, which would ostensibly serve as a low-cost alternative for people who couldn’t afford private plans.Immediately, an aggressive industry mobilized to kill the idea. Despite months of lobbying, debate and organizing, the proposal was dead on arrival.“That bill was met with a steam train of opposition,” recalled state Rep. Sean Scanlon, who chairs the legislature’s...

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Shefali Luthra
March 4, 2020
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Sanders Embraces New Study That Lowers ‘Medicare For All’s’ Cost, But Skepticism Abounds

Sanders Embraces New Study That Lowers ‘Medicare For All’s’ Cost, But Skepticism Abounds

“[”—Subscribe to KHN’s free Weekly Edition newsletter.So, Savings?The Cost-Sharing QuestionOther Estimates?The ‘Lives Saved’Our RulingFebruary 26, 2020Updated at 11:03 a.m. ET on Feb. 26: This story was updated to include information we received after the story was posted about recent studies the Sanders’ campaign referenced regarding the costs of single-payer. This update does not change the rating.Defending his signature health plan — a single-payer system known as “Medicare for All” that would move all Americans to government-funded coverage  — Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders argued that the...

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Shefali Luthra
February 26, 2020
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Trump Wrongly Said Health Insurers Will Pay For All Coronavirus Treatment

Trump Wrongly Said Health Insurers Will Pay For All Coronavirus Treatment

The health insurance industry has “agreed to waive all copayments for coronavirus treatments.”President Donald Trump during his March 11 White House addressThis story was produced in partnership with .As coronavirus cases multiply in the United States, one concern Americans have is what they can expect to pay if they seek treatment.Speaking from the , President Donald Trump suggested that people with health insurance shouldn’t have to worry about that.“Earlier this week, I met with the leaders of the health insurance industry who have agreed to waive all copayments for coronavirus...

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Shefali Luthra
March 13, 2020
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The Coronavirus, The Congressman And Me

The Coronavirus, The Congressman And Me

I got the COVID-19 text at 8:30 Tuesday night, three days after returning from a journalism conference in New Orleans.“At least one NICAR attendee has tested positive for coronavirus,” wrote my colleague Liz Lucas. Several of us had attended the data journalism conference, which draws reporters and editors from across the country.What do you do when you think you might have been exposed to a virus that is shutting down countries? As health care journalists, we are ― in theory — uniquely equipped to know. But in real life, figuring out if we are at risk and getting tested is nearly...

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Shefali Luthra
March 13, 2020
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What’s Missing In The Coronavirus Response

What’s Missing In The Coronavirus Response

In the age of coronavirus, Americans are being told to stay home and wear masks outside. The federal government has made way for hospitals to treat patients in repurposed hotels and dormitories. Private companies are working to push out new diagnostic tests.But the national effort has been disorganized, relying heavily on state action, said health systems experts and public health researchers. That approach has fallen short, they assert.“We’re in a lot more trouble than we need to be,” said Dr. Donald Berwick, who ran the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services during the Obama...

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Shefali Luthra
April 9, 2020
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