KHN’s “What about Health?”: Covid and Children


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Almost a year after the pandemic began, many public schools are still closed for personal classes. While there is growing evidence that schools are not a major source of infection, teachers and staff remain concerned about returning to class before vaccination.

In the meantime, people who have lost their health insurance will have another chance to enroll under the Affordable Care Act starting February 15. The official registration period ended in December. This time around, the Biden government is planning a major public outreach to inform millions of Americans that they may be eligible for free or low-cost coverage.

This week’s panelists are Julie Rovner from Kaiser Health News, Margot Sanger-Katz from the New York Times, Alice Miranda Ollstein from Politico, and Anna Edney from Bloomberg News.

Among the takeaways from this week’s podcast:

  • White House press secretary Jen Psaki appeared on Wednesday to hear Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to reopen schools. At a press conference earlier in the day, Walensky said teachers don’t necessarily need to be vaccinated in order for schools to reopen. When asked about it later that day, Psaki said the CDC has yet to issue official guidance on the matter. She added that President Joe Biden would like to give priority to vaccinating teachers.
  • Many schools across the country are successfully running one-on-one classes despite the pandemic. About 40% are open, and while many public health officials are in favor of keeping schools open, they recognize that coronavirus variants that are discovered must be monitored closely to ensure they are not a threat to children and adults in schools represent.
  • Coronavirus Czar of the White House Jeffrey Zients has been asked by the Obama administration to help save the Affordable Care Marketplace website in the event of a crash. But getting the whole country vaccinated is a completely different – and bigger – task.
  • The scarcity of covid vaccines creates national frustration, inequalities, and unique programs to reconcile. The system is slowly improving, with a small increase in vaccine production and better systems for registration.
  • The increasing threat from various forms of the coronavirus may cause official guidelines to change as public health officials better understand them. However, changes in the formal recommendations in the past have created confusion. Too often, consumers fail to understand that knowledge about the virus is evolving and that it is also the case in the public health area.
  • The Supreme Court has scheduled oral presentations on the Medicaid Labor Rules case by the end of March. If the Biden administration wants to discuss the case by making changes to these programs or removing the work requirements, it must act quickly.

This week, too, Rovner interviewed Cara Anthony from KHN, who wrote the latest KHN NPR feature, “Bill of the Month” – about a couple and their newborn and a very arcane insurance rule. If you have an outrageous medical bill you want to share, please do so here.

For added recognition, panellists also recommend their favorite health stories of the week that they think you should also read:

Julie Rovner: The lily “The latest pandemic for women? Snapping Vaccine Appointments for Her Parents ”by Soo Youn

Anna Edney: Stat’s “Trump Officials Are Actively Working to Prevent States Getting Money to Introduce Vaccines Last Fall,” by Nicholas Florko

Alice Miranda Ollstein: “The New York Times’ 9 Best NY Health Officials Quit As Cuomo Scorns Expertise” by J. David Goodman, Joseph Goldstein, and Jesse McKinley

Margot Sanger-Katz: The New York Times, “How Rich Hospitals Benefit From Patients In Car Accidents,” by Sarah Kliff and Jessica Silver-Greenberg

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Kaiser Health News (KHN) is a national health policy news service. It is an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation that is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

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Thanks for visiting get comfortable with the space, officially registering is the most important thing to do right now The first big project won’t start until your on board.