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KHN’s “What the Health?”: Vaccine Obligation Politics


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Do I need to require a corona vaccine? The answer to that question, like almost everything else related to pandemics, has become partisan, as expected. Even when the federal government is preparing to issue rules requiring large employers to ensure that their workers are vaccinated, the Governor of the Republican Party is trying to ban such obligations. The employer is caught in the middle.

Meanwhile, at Capitol Hill, Democrats are still working to reach an agreement on a package to improve social spending, the size of which depends heavily on how much prescription drug prices can be reduced.

This week’s panelists are Julie Rovner from KHN, Alice Miranda Ollstein from Politico, Jen Haberkorn from the Los Angeles Times, and Mary Ellen McIntire from CQ Roll Call.

Among the points from this week’s episode:

  • Parliamentary Democrats’ struggle to find a compromise in the $ 3.5 trillion spending package for health and other social programs will pass their voluntary deadline of late October to pass the bill. There is a possibility. Leaders are struggling with what to cut while responding to spending cuts demands from moderates within the party.
  • All of that package appears vulnerable at this stage of negotiations. The leader considers various strategies, such as discarding some proposals or setting new interests in a shorter time frame to test whether they work and the public appreciates them. I am.
  • Democratic priorities seem to include suggestions for increasing the interests of children. But endangered healthcare programs—new benefits of Medicare, providing insurance to low-income residents in states that have not expanded their Medicaid programs, and enhanced premium subsidies under the Affordable Care Act Extensions — each have strong supporters and calm leaders.
  • The proposal to add billions of dollars to a long-term care program may draw a short straw. However, Congress has some strong allies, such as Senator Ron Wyden (Democratic Party) and Bob Casey (Democratic Party).
  • Democratic leaders want to fund some of the initiatives in this package by reducing Medicare drug spending. This week’s KFF poll showed that it is a very popular concept among Republicans. But pharmaceutical companies are fighting that strategy with major advertising campaigns and political contributions. Democrats have a very thin majority in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, so they need to select only a few vulnerable members to thwart their efforts. However, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi seems determined to make some provisions on the bill’s drug price negotiations, even if the original plan is not fully effective.
  • The Ministry of Labor has reportedly sent a draft rule requiring large employers to vaccinate the workforce for review by the Office of Management and Budget. That is, the rules may come soon. But in a conservative state like Texas, where Republican Governor Greg Abbott has banned orders, the opposite must be head-on. This issue may end in federal court.
  • The dispute over vaccination obligations highlights the division between the Republican business-oriented faction trying to overcome the pandemic and the party’s more liberal wings. Some of the most conservative political leaders devote themselves to their libertarian wings and see the vaccine mission as a way to excite the base. However, the experience of some large companies suggests that companies and many workers do not oppose their obligations. One example is United Airlines, where 99% of workers are vaccinated.
  • The federal court opposes Texas’s abortion law, which seems to be heading for a Supreme Court review. Some analysts may urge the court to take up the Texas issue before hearing a proceeding in December on another law seeking to limit abortion in Mississippi. Suggests. However, the Supreme Court generally prefers to fully discuss the case in a lower court before coming to judge, so a decision on Texas law may have to wait.
  • The abortion issue has taken a considerable amount of advertising time in the Virginia Governor’s election. Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe has told voters that he will strive to keep abortion legal in the state, suggesting that opposition Glenn Youngkin will not. This is the strategy used by California Governor Gavin Newsom in last month’s election to successfully fight the scallop.

Also this week, Rovner interviews Beth Macy, author of the best-selling Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors and the Drug Company That Addicted America, and executive producer of the miniseries of the same name currently being streamed on Hulu.

In addition, as an additional credit, panelists also recommend talking about your favorite health policy for the week that you think you should read.

Julie Robner: KHN’s “6 months to live or die: how long patients with alcoholic liver disease should wait for a transplant”, Aneri Pattani

Jen Haberkorn: The Washington Post, “Covid and Cancer: A Dangerous Combination, Especially for Colored People,” Laurie McGinley

Mary Ellen McIntyre: Laurel Wamsley’s NPR “Judging” Honesty “Religious Beliefs is Difficult for Vaccine Mandatory Employers”

Alice Miranda Olstein: 19NS“Kansas has become a beacon for abortion access. It may disappear next year,” said Shefari Rusla.


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KHN’s “What the Health?”: Vaccine Obligation Politics

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