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Health Care Costs

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DENVER (AP) — Colorado Gov. Jared Polis on Wednesday signed into law legislation requiring insurers to offer a standard state-supervised health plan to people and small business. The law also provides for sanctions for hospitals and other health care providers that don't participate in lowering costs.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats are committed to passing legislation this year to curb prescription drug prices, but they're still disagreeing on how to cut costs for patients and taxpayers while preserving profits that lure investors to back potentially promising treatments.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — A new $56,000-a-year Alzheimer’s drug would raise Medicare premiums broadly, and some patients who are prescribed the medication could face copayments of about $11,500 annually, according to a research report published Thursday.

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — After two years of lobbying to lower prescription drug costs for Floridians, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Friday he's waiting for final approval from the Biden administration to import drugs from Canada, which he said would save tens of millions of dollars.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate on Tuesday confirmed President Joe Biden’s pick to run U.S. health insurance programs, putting in place a key player who’ll carry out his strategy for expanding affordable coverage and reining in prescription drug costs.

Democratic leaders in Congress have vowed to pass legislation to address high prescription drug prices this year, but some moderates in their own party appear to be balking. Meanwhile, younger teens are now eligible for a covid-19 vaccine and the Biden administration reinstated anti-discrimination policy for LGBTQ people in health care. Joanne Kenen of Politico, Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet and Rachel Cohrs of Stat join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more.

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It’s 100 days into Joe Biden’s presidency and a surprisingly large number of health policies have been announced. But health is notably absent from the administration’s $1.8 trillion spending plan for American families, making it unclear how much more will get done this year. Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention loosens its mask-wearing recommendations for those who have been vaccinated, but the new rules are confusing. Joanne Kenen of Politico, Mary Ellen McIntire of CQ Roll Call and Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Plus, Rovner interviews KHN’s Julie Appleby, who reported the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” episode.

After a bruising confirmation process, Xavier Becerra was sworn in as secretary of Health and Human Services this week. The Senate also confirmed the nominations of former U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy to return to the post he held in the Obama administration, and former Pennsylvania health secretary Rachel Levine as assistant secretary for health. Levine is the first openly transgender person to receive Senate confirmation. Meanwhile, questions continue to swirl around the AstraZeneca covid vaccine, which some public health experts worry will create more hesitancy toward other vaccines.

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