KHN’s “What about health?”: Roe v.  Wade on the ropes


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The Supreme Court agreed to hear a case in the next term that could lead to a substantial change or overthrow of Roe v. calf, the 1973 case that legalized abortion nationwide. It’s about Mississippi law that bans the procedure after 15 weeks of gestation. That is long before a fetus is viable outside the womb and below roeStates must not ban abortion before viability.

Meanwhile, the unexpected announcement by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that fully vaccinated people might stop wearing masks indoors and outdoors has created considerable confusion as the U.S. has no way of proving they are vaccinated.

And despite a successful referendum, Republican governor of Missouri Mike Parson has announced that his state will not expand the Medicaid program after Republican-led lawmakers failed to provide the state’s share of the funding.

This week’s panelists are Julie Rovner from KHN, Alice Miranda Ollstein from Politico, Sarah Karlin-Smith from Pink Sheet and Mary Ellen McIntire from CQ Roll Call.

Among the takeaways from this week’s podcast:

  • Many states have adopted abortion restrictions that conflict with previous Supreme Court rulings on the matter. If it were to comply with Mississippi law, the court would have to reject or materially change its standards from the law Roe v Wade Decision and subsequent cases.
  • The judges’ decision is expected to be taken next summer, just a few months before the midterm elections, and will be used by both parties as part of their election campaigns, regardless of which way the court decides.
  • The CDC was heavily criticized last week for its abrupt announcement of masks. Although some officials, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, trying to soften the message by saying it doesn’t mean people can’t wear masks or, in some cases, don’t need them, health officials, states and some companies of them failed to notice the announcement and are struggling with the answer.
  • The use of masks has also upset the House of Representatives. Spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi said she will not remove the mask mandate on the floor until 100% of the members have been vaccinated. But some Republicans refuse to take the shot or say if they received a vaccine and they are fined for being maskless on the floor of the house.
  • Biden government officials announced that the US will provide 20 million doses of vaccine to other countries battling Covid-19, but the donation cannot meet their needs. World health officials have complained that the US is too concerned about withholding vaccine to give low risk children shots as millions of adults around the world die. Even so, federal officials are still concerned that vaccination efforts are not reaching enough Americans here.

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

Julie Rovner: CNNs “There’s no way to pay for it:” One of America’s largest hospital chains sued thousands of patients during the pandemic, “by Casey Tolan

Alice Miranda Ollstein: Shefali Luthra and Chabeli Carrazana, the “women in health care are at the breaking point – and they are leaving” from the 19th century

Sarah Karlin-Smith: KHN’s “Why Your Dentist Seems Pushy” by Daryl Austin

Mary Ellen McIntire: Stat’s “How the Covid Pandemic Ends: Scientists Look to the Past to See the Future” by Helen Branswell

To hear all of our podcasts, click here.

And subscribe to What the Health? on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, Spotify or Pocket Casts.

KHN (Kaiser Health News) is a national newsroom that produces extensive journalism on health issues. Alongside Policy Analysis and Polling, KHN is one of the three most important operational programs of the KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation). KFF is a foundation that provides health information to the nation.

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