Gayle King Faces Down R. Kelly: ‘What Makes You So Special?’

CBS News

Gayle King, host of CBS This Morning, stared down R. Kelly as he loomed above her—ranting and shouting—during an interview about the numerous abuse accusations leveled against him.

King maintained her composure throughout, telling the R&B star to his face that his account lacked credibility.

The veteran interviewer posted an Instagram shot of Kelly towering over her during the interview as he shouted “You don’t want to believe this!”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

The Daily Beast — Entertainment

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Podcast: KHN’s ‘What The Health?’ “Medicare-For-All” For Dummies

Republicans are still in charge of the White House and the Senate, but the “Medicare-for-all” debate is in full swing. Democrats of every stripe are pledging support for a number of variations on the theme of expanding health coverage to all Americans.

This week, KHN’s “What the Health?” podcast takes a deep dive into the often-confusing Medicare-for-all debate, including its history, prospects and terminology.

This week’s panelists are Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News, Joanne Kenen of Politico, Paige Winfield Cunningham of The Washington Post and Rebecca Adams of CQ Roll Call.

Among the takeaways from this week’s podcast:

  • Medicare-for-all is a new rallying cry for progressives, but the current Medicare program has big limitations. It does not cover most long-term care expenses, and includes no coverage of hearing, dental, vision or foot care. Medicare also includes no stop-loss or catastrophic care limit that protects beneficiaries from massive bills.
  • Though recent comments by Sen. Kamala Harris on eliminating private insurance with a move to Medicare-for-all stirred controversy, private insurance is indeed involved in many aspects of the government program. Private companies provide the Medicare Advantage plans used by more than a third of beneficiaries, the Medicare drug plans and much of the bill processing for the entire program.
  • Many consumers — and politicians — are confused by the terms being thrown around in the current debate about Medicare-for-all. The plan offered by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and some of his supporters would be a “single-payer” system, in which the government would be in charge of paying for all health care — although doctors, hospitals and other health care providers would remain private. Others often use the term Medicare-for-all to mean a much less drastic change to the U.S. health care system, such as a “public option” that would offer specific groups of people — perhaps those over age 50 or consumers purchasing coverage on the insurance marketplaces — the opportunity to buy into Medicare coverage.
  • Sanders’ vision of Medicare-for-all is based on Canada’s system. But even there, hospitals and doctors are private businesses, drugs are not covered everywhere, and benefits vary among the provinces.
  • The health care industry is nearly united in opposing the talk of moving to a Medicare-for-all program because of concerns about disruption to the system and less pay. Currently, Medicare reimbursements are about 40 percent lower than private insurance.

If you want to know more about the next big health policy debate, here are some articles to get you started:

Vox’s “Private Health Insurance Exists in Europe and Canada. Here’s How It Works,” by Sarah Kliff

The Washington Post’s “How Democrats Could Lose on Health Care in 2020,” by Ronald A. Klain

The American Prospect’s “The Pleasant Illusions of the Medicare-for-All Debate,” by Paul Starr

The Week’s “Why Do Democrats Think Expanding ObamaCare Would Be Easier Than Passing Medicare-for-All?” by Jeff Spross

Vox’s “How to Build a Medicare-for-All Plan, Explained By Somebody Who’s Thought About It for 20 Years,” by Dylan Scott

The New York Times’ “The Best Health Care System in the World: Which One Would You Pick?” By Aaron E. Carroll and Austin Frakt

The Nation’s “Medicare-for-All Isn’t the Solution for Universal Health Care,” by Joshua Holland

The New York Times’ “’Don’t Get Too Excited’ About Medicare for All,” by Elisabeth Rosenthal and Shefali Luthra

Plus, for extra credit, the panelists recommend their favorite health policy stories of the week they think you should read too.

Julie Rovner: Yahoo News’ “What Trump Got Wrong About ‘Right to Try,’” by Kadia Tubman

Joanne Kenen: STAT News’ “The Modern Tragedy of Fake Cancer Cures,” by Matthew Herper

Rebecca Adams: The Texas Tribune’s “Thousands of Texans Were Shocked By Surprise Medical Bills. Their Requests for Help Overwhelmed the State,” by Jay Root and Shannon Najmabadi

Paige Winfield Cunningham: STAT News’ “The ‘Big Pharma’ Candidate? As He Runs for President, Cory Booker Looks to Shake His Reputation for Drug Industry Coziness,” by Lev Facher

To hear all our podcasts, click here.

And subscribe to What the Health? on iTunesStitcher or Google Play.

Kaiser Health News

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Podcast: KHN’s ‘What The Health?’ A ‘Healthy’ State Of The Union

Health policy played a surprisingly robust role in President Donald Trump’s 2019 State of the Union address.

The president laid out an ambitious set of health goals in his speech Tuesday to Congress and the nation, including reining in drug prices, ending the transmission of HIV in the U.S. during the next decade and dedicating more resources to fighting childhood cancer.

Meanwhile, in Utah and Idaho, two of the states where voters last fall approved expansion of the Medicaid health program, Republican legislatures are trying to scale back those plans.

This week’s panelists for KHN’s “What the Health?” are Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News, Anna Edney of Bloomberg News, Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times and Alice Ollstein of Politico.

Among the takeaways from this week’s podcast:

  • The Trump administration is proposing to change the drug rebates in Medicare so that consumers purchasing the medicines get more of the savings and the middlemen negotiating the deals get less. But that effort could lead to increased insurance premiums — a consequence that could have significant political repercussions.
  • Trump’s pledge to end HIV transmissions in 10 years was a bit of a surprise since the disease had not been much of a priority in earlier moves by the administration.
  • The efforts to restrict Medicaid expansion approved by voters in Utah and Idaho show the limitations of referendums and could impact a move to get a Medicaid expansion question on the Florida ballot.
  • An intriguing study this week showed that medications to treat cardiac problems saved Medicare money. The results were surprising because generally public health officials suggest that prevention is important to improve health but doesn’t necessarily save money.

Also this week, Rovner interviews KHN senior correspondent Phil Galewitz, who investigated and wrote the latest “Bill of the Month” feature for Kaiser Health News and NPR. It’s about a man with a minor problem — fainting after a flu shot — and a major bill. You can read the story here.

If you have a medical bill you would like NPR and KHN to investigate, you can submit it here.

Plus, for extra credit, the panelists recommend their favorite health policy stories of the week they think you should read too:

Julie Rovner: NPR’s “Texans Can Appeal Surprise Medical Bills, But the Process Can Be Draining,” by Ashley Lopez

Margot Sanger-Katz: The Los Angeles Times’ “In Rush to Revamp Medicaid, Trump Officials Bend Rules That Protect Patients,” by Noam N. Levey

Anna Edney: Bloomberg News’ “Ketamine Could Be the Key to Reversing America’s Rising Suicide Rate,” by Cynthia Koons and Robert Langreth

Alice Ollstein: The Washington Post’s “’It Will Take Off Like a Wildfire’: The Unique Dangers of the Washington State Measles Outbreak,” by Lena H. Sun and Maureen O’Hagan

To hear all our podcasts, click here.

And subscribe to What the Health? on iTunesStitcher or Google Play.

Kaiser Health News

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Podcast: KHN’s ‘What The Health?’ Live From D.C.: A Look Ahead At Health Policy In 2019

(From left) Tom Miller, Kimberly Leonard, Anna Edney, Joanne Kenen and Julie Rovner(Lynne Shallcross/KHN)

The 2020 presidential campaign has begun and health is a big part of it, with Democratic candidates pledging their support for “Medicare-for-all” and many of its variations.

Meanwhile, Republicans and Democrats are both promising to do something about drug prices and “surprise” medical bills. But whether they can translate that agreement on the broad problem to a detailed solution remains to be seen.

This week’s panelists for KHN’s “What the Health?” are Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News, Joanne Kenen of Politico, Anna Edney of Bloomberg News and Kimberly Leonard of The Washington Examiner. Joining the panel for this week’s live show was Tom Miller of the American Enterprise Institute.

Among the takeaways from this week’s podcast:

  • The early jockeying among Democrats running for president is likely to overshadow any efforts to make changes to the Affordable Care Act or help stabilize its insurance marketplaces.
  • Legislative remedies for the ACA marketplaces are expected to hit the same roadblock that senators found in 2017: demands by conservatives that plans operating in those insurance exchanges be banned from offering abortion coverage.
  • Although the general idea of expanding Medicare garners high public support, if Democrats agree on a plan to push forward, it could be expected to meet strong opposition from the health care industry.
  • Republicans and Democrats have expressed interest in moving legislation to help lower drug prices. One area where they could find common ground might be revisions to the patent laws to help spur more lower-cost generic drugs.
  • Both parties also say they are concerned about surprise bills that patients receive after receiving medical care. Still, there is no consensus on how to approach the problem, and industry stakeholders are split on what remedies the country should take.

The panelists also discussed Anna Edney’s series on the dangers of generic drugs. You can read her stories here, here and here.

To hear all our podcasts, click here.

And subscribe to What the Health? on iTunesStitcher or Google Play.

Kaiser Health News

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Podcast: KHN’s ‘What The Health?’ ‘Medicare-For-All’? More? Some?

Democrats have officially launched their debate over “Medicare-for-all,” with lots of ideas on how to expand health insurance coverage (and lower costs) for Americans. Chances of any bill becoming law in the next two years are extremely slim, with Republicans still in control of the Senate and White House. But the debate is important in the run-up to the 2020 presidential primaries for Democrats.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration continues to give states the ability to add work requirements to their expanded Medicaid programs — Arizona is the latest. And it is reportedly considering ways to allow states more flexibility in exchange for limited Medicaid funding.

This week’s panelists for KHN’s “What the Health?” are Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News, Stephanie Armour of The Wall Street Journal, Paige Winfield Cunningham of The Washington Post and Alice Ollstein of Politico.

A note for interested listeners: On Jan. 31, the podcast will tape before a live audience at the Kaiser Family Foundation in downtown Washington, D.C. If you would like to attend, you can register here.

Among the takeaways from this week’s podcast:

  • Democratic lawmakers overwhelmingly support efforts to get the entire population covered by insurance. And while many of them say they support “Medicare-for-all,” they often have different views on what that system entails.
  • The full “Medicare-for-all” system being promoted by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and some others would jettison the private insurance market, and many centrist lawmakers and the health care industry are likely to fight it.
  • Arkansas is the first state to put into use the work requirements that the Trump administration has approved for the Medicaid program. So far, 18,000 people — many of whom are working — have been kicked out of Medicaid coverage because they have not properly reported their work or other activities that allow them to maintain the federal-state insurance.
  • The administration is reportedly considering offering states the option to take their Medicaid money in a block grant, a proposal advanced by Republican members of Congress during the debate to repeal the Affordable Care Act. But states have been hesitant so far to move in this direction.
  • The administration’s rules for insurers operating on the health law’s marketplaces in 2020 will continue to allow them to load many of the cost increases they seek onto silver plans. The cost of those plans are used to determine subsidy levels, so many customers discovered that their subsidies grew and that they could buy non-silver plans for less money out-of-pocket.
  • A new Gallup poll finds that the number of people who are uninsured is growing, reaching the highest point since 2014, just before the ACA’s marketplaces opened. This could likely be a talking point in the 2020 campaign.

Plus, for extra credit, the panelists recommend their favorite health policy stories of the week they think you should read too:

Julie Rovner: The Washington Post’s “Suicides Among Veterinarians Become a Growing Problem,” by David Leffler

Stephanie Armour: Politico’s “’I’m Trying Not to Die Right Now’: Why Opioid-Addicted Patients Are Still Searching for Help,” by Brianna Ehley and Rachel Roubein

Paige Winfield Cunningham: The Washington Post’s “Anonymous ‘Ghost Ship’ Is Among Groups Flooding Drug Pricing Debate,” by Christopher Rowland and Jeff Stein

Alice Ollstein: The Washington Post’s “They Went to Mexico for Surgery. They Came Back With a Deadly Superbug,” by Lena H. Sun

Kaiser Health News

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Watch Exclusive ‘What Men Want’ Clip: Stop Doing That

Watch Exclusive 'What Men Want' Clip: Stop Doing That

Who doesn't harbor a fantasy about being able to hear what other people are thinking? Constantly undercut by men in her field, sports agent Ali Davis (Taraji P. Henson) must seek out any advantage she can find. But when she develops the mysterious ability to hear men think, she is perplexed at first. Is this truly a good thing for her and her career?

In our exclusive clip from What Men Want, we get a glimpse of Ali's unease, as she hears what her assistant Brandon (Josh Brener)…

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Podcast: KHN’s ‘What The Health?’ Drug Prices Are Rising Again. Is Someone Going To Do Something About It?

Many drugmakers have announced price increases with the start of the new year. The new Congress wants to do something about that. And even though both Republicans and Democrats want to address the politically potent issue of drug prices, it is unclear what they might be able to agree on.

Battle lines are forming between the House and Senate on the matter of abortion. The House is led by abortion-rights supporters and, since the election, the Senate has become slightly more against abortion.

And even though the majority of the Department of Health and Human Services remains unaffected by the partial government shutdown, the lapse of funding for other agencies is having spillover effects on health programs.

This week’s panelists for KHN’s “What the Health?” are Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News, Joanne Kenen of Politico, Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times and Alice Ollstein of Politico.

Among the takeaways from this week’s podcast:

  • The biggest conflict among Republicans and Democrats on the drug issue centers on the GOP’s reluctance to give the government a role in directly negotiating prices. Adding to the pressure is the clear indication that the issue will be front and center in the 2020 campaign.
  • Some states, such as California, are looking to find ways to bring down drug costs on their own. California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, has proposed that the state have direct negotiations with drugmakers. Such efforts could mean cutting off consumers’ access to some drugs, if manufacturers don’t agree to a price the state likes, and that is a painful choice for officials and patients.
  • When House committee assignments were released this week, women were appointed to lead many of the key panels that have a hand in health policy, including the chairman and top Republican on the Appropriations Committee and two Energy and Commerce subcommittees.
  • The House Democratic Caucus now has more liberal members and fewer conservatives, so the party’s efforts to roll back restrictions on abortion are likely to be more robust. That could also trigger some big battles with Republicans through the legislative session.
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is putting a bill on the Senate floor that would make permanent the Hyde Amendment — which bars federal funding of abortions in nearly all circumstances. But it seems unlikely that bill could be passed by the Senate, where it needs 60 votes, and even some Republicans are believed to oppose it.

Plus, for extra credit, the panelists recommend their favorite health policy stories of the week they think you should read too:

Julie Rovner: Bloomberg News’ “This JPMorgan Health Conference Is So Packed Attendees Are Meeting in the Bathroom,” by Kristen V Brown

Joanne Kenen: The New York Times’ “The Strange Marketplace for Diabetes Test Strips,” by Ted Alcorn

Margot Sanger-Katz: Kaiser Health News’ “Patients Turn To GoFundMe When Money And Hope Run Out,” by Mark Zdechlik

Alice Ollstein: The Washington Post’s “Federal Officials Launch Audit of D.C. Government’s Opioid Grant Spending,” by Peter Jamison

Kaiser Health News

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Next 3 Surprising Comedies: ‘What Men Want,’ ‘Isn’t It Romantic,’ ‘Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral’

Next 3 Surprising Comedies: 'What Men Want,' 'Isn't It Romantic,' 'Tyler Perry's A Madea Family Funeral'

Bryan Cranston and Kevin Hart star in The Upside (above), which opened in theaters everywhere over the weekend. In the comedy, Cranston plays a disabled man who is wealthy, yet unhappy. Hart portrays a poor man on parole who desperately needs a job, yet displays a great sense of humor. The two wind up together and soon embrace the idea that they each have something to offer the other. Nicole Kidman also stars.

The idea of two unlikely, mismatched people being forced together has often…

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Fandango Movie News

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Podcast: KHN’s ‘What The Health?’ Doctors, Guns And Lame Ducks

Election Day was Nov. 6, but results remain undetermined in some races at the state and federal levels. Nonetheless, it is already clear that the election could have major implications for health policy in 2019.

The current Congress is back in Washington for a lame-duck session, and while the budget for the Department of Health and Human Services is set for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1, other health bills, including ones addressing AIDS and bioterrorism, are on the to-do list.

This week’s panelists for KHN’s “What the Health?” are Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News, Rebecca Adams of CQ Roll Call, Kimberly Leonard of the Washington Examiner and Alice Ollstein of Politico.

Among the takeaways from this week’s podcast:

  • With the political divide between a Republican Senate and a Democratic House, getting legislation passed in the next Congress may prove hard. But bipartisan support could arise for bills to protect consumers from surprise medical bills and, perhaps, to control some drug prices.
  • The House will likely spend much of its time exercising oversight responsibilities, including possible probes of the Trump administration’s policies on separating immigrant children from their parents, changes in health law rules for contraception coverage, changes in Medicaid and the administration’s decision not to defend the Affordable Care Act in a key court case.
  • Among the issues on state ballots this month was a constitutional amendment in Alabama that makes it state policy to “recognize and support the sanctity of unborn life and the rights of unborn children.” Although abortion opponents hail such “personhood” measures, they have been defeated in other states because they could impinge on infertility treatments, such as in vitro fertilization. It’s not clear whether the Alabama measure will be challenged in court because of that.
  • On the ballot in Oregon and Washington were industry-backed measures that would stop localities from instituting soda taxes. The effort failed in Oregon and passed in Washington.
  • During Congress’ current lame-duck session, members will be looking to pass an appropriations bill for parts of the government. Although HHS already got its appropriations bill, other health measures — such as the renewal of the PEPFAR global HIV initiative, grants for states on bioterrorism and pandemic planning, and changes to Medicare’s doughnut hole funding — could be added.
  • A tweet by the National Rifle Association urging doctors to keep out of the gun control debate and “stay in their lane” has provoked a furor from doctors, who say they must deal with the ramifications of a flawed policy.

Plus, for extra credit, the panelists recommend their favorite health stories of the week they think you should read, too:

Julie Rovner: The New York Times’ “When Hospitals Merge to Save Money, Patients Often Pay More,” by Reed Abelson

Rebecca Adams: The New York Times’ “Something Happened to U.S. Drug Costs in the 1990s,” by Austin Frakt

Kimberly Leonard: Harper’s Magazine’s “Discovery, Interrupted: How World War I Delayed a Treatment For Diabetes and Derailed One Man’s Chance at Immortality,” by Jeffrey Friedman

Alice Ollstein: The Incidental Economist‘s “The Trump Administration Targets the Contraception Mandate,” by Nicholas Bagley

To hear all our podcasts, click here.

And subscribe to What the Health? on iTunesStitcher or Google Play.

Kaiser Health News

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Podcast: KHN’s ‘What The Health?’ Split Decision On Health Care

Voters on Election Day gave control of the U.S. House to the Democrats but kept the U.S. Senate Republican. That will mean Republicans will no longer be able to pursue partisan changes to the Affordable Care Act or Medicare. But it also may mean that not much else will get done that does not have broad bipartisan support.

Then the day after the election, the Trump administration issued rules aimed at pleasing its anti-abortion backers. One would make it easier for employers to exclude birth control as a benefit in their insurance plans. The other would require health plans on the ACA exchanges that offer abortion as a covered service to bill consumers separately for that coverage.

This week’s panelists for KHN’s “What the Health?” are Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News, Rebecca Adams of CQ Roll Call, Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times and Joanne Kenen of Politico.

Among the takeaways from this week’s podcast:

  • The Trump administration’s new contraception coverage rule comes after an earlier, stricter regulation was blocked by federal courts.
  • The insurance bills that the Trump administration is now requiring marketplace plans to send to customers for abortion coverage will be for such a small amount of money that they could become a nuisance and may persuade insurers to give up on the benefit.
  • House Democrats, when they take control in January, say they want to move legislation that will allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices. But fiscal experts say that may not have a big impact on costs unless federal officials are willing to limit the number of drugs that Medicare covers.
  • It appears that both Democrats and Republicans in Congress are interested in doing something to protect consumers from surprise medical bills. The issue, however, may fall to the back of the line given all the more pressing issues that Congress will face.
  • One of the big winners Tuesday was Medicaid. Three states approved expanding their programs, and in several other states new governors are interested in advancing legislation that would expand Medicaid.

Plus, for extra credit, the panelists recommend their favorite health stories of the week they think you should read, too:

Julie Rovner: Kaiser Health News’ “Hello? It’s I, Robot, And Have I Got An Insurance Plan For You!” by Barbara Feder Ostrov

Margot Sanger-Katz: Stat News’ “Life Span Has Little to Do With Genes, Analysis of Large Ancestry Database Shows,” by Sharon Begley

Joanne Kenen: The Washington Post’s “How Science Fared in the Midterm Elections,” by Ben Guarino and Sarah Kaplan

Rebecca Adams: The New Yorker’s “Why Doctors Hate Their Computers,” by Atul Gawande

To hear all our podcasts, click here.

And subscribe to What the Health? on iTunesStitcher or Google Play.

Kaiser Health News

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Hugh Jackman: ‘What happens in America affects the world’

Associated Press

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Podcast: KHN’s ‘What The Health?’ Open Enrollment And A Midterm Preview

Nov. 1 marks the start of Open Enrollment for people buying their own coverage for 2019 in most states. Despite the turmoil surrounding the Affordable Care Act, most consumers will have more choices and mostly flat — and in some cases lower — premiums.

What will happen to the health law going forward, however, will depend largely on what happens in the midterm elections Tuesday. Important health decisions will result not just from which party controls the U.S. House and Senate, but who wins governorships and comes to control state legislatures as well.

This week’s panelists for KHN’s “What the Health?” are Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News, Anna Edney of Bloomberg News, Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times and Joanne Kenen of Politico.

Among the takeaways from this week’s podcast:

  • With changes in the ACA marketplace for 2019, it will be very important for consumers to look at the variety of options. Those earning less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level (just under $ 24,300 for an individual) are likely well served by silver plans on the federal health law’s exchanges. But the choices for benefits and prices are much more complicated for people earning more than that.
  • People who don’t get insurance through work or the government and earn too much to qualify for premium subsidies under the health law might be tempted to try the new, less-expensive short-term plans being touted by the Trump administration. But they should be cautious and consider two major downsides: The plans likely won’t cover preexisting conditions, and the benefits will be skimpier than those of ACA plans. For example, many short-term plans are expected not to cover mental health and maternity services or prescription drugs.
  • Federal officials announced Wednesday that Wisconsin could implement work requirements for some Medicaid enrollees. They also said, however, that the state could not begin drug testing for the enrollees.
  • If Democrats take control of the House or Senate, it’s possible that they could work with President Donald Trump on some specific issues, especially efforts to bring down drug prices or consumer protections against surprise medical bills.
  • Perhaps the biggest change that could come from the election results is an increase in the number of states that expand Medicaid under a provision of the ACA. Seventeen states have not taken that step, but several deep-red states in the West have the question on their ballots, and the outcomes from governors’ races in other states could also lead to expansion.

Rovner also interviews Barbara Feder Ostrov, who wrote the latest “Bill of the Month” feature for Kaiser Health News and NPR. It’s about a California college professor whose skin rash led to a $ 48,000 bill for allergy skin testing. You can read the story here.

If you have a medical bill you would like NPR and KHN to investigate, you can submit it here.

Plus, for extra credit, the panelists recommend their favorite health stories of the week they think you should read, too:

Julie Rovner: The Washington Post and Kaiser Health News’ “For The Disabled, A Doctor’s Visit Can Be Literally An Obstacle Course — And The Laws Can’t Help,” by Rachel Bluth.

Anna Edney: Bloomberg Businessweek’s “Your DNA Is Out There. Do You Want Law Enforcement Using It?” by Drake Bennett and Kristen V Brown.

Margot Sanger-Katz: The Federalist’s “How An Obscure Regulatory Change Could Transform American Health Insurance,” by Christopher Jacobs.

Joanne Kenen: The Atlantic’s “The Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger Language Of Dieting,” by Amanda Mull.

To hear all our podcasts, click here.

And subscribe to What the Health? on iTunesStitcher or Google Play.

Kaiser Health News

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‘Making a Murderer: Part 2’ Creators Tell All: ‘What Happens When Injustice Is Exposed?’

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast

Upon its premiere in late 2015, Netflix’s Making a Murderer became an instant phenomenon (and sparked a true-crime documentary renaissance) by bringing to national attention the plight of Manitowoc County, Wisconsin, residents Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey, who in 2005—shortly after Avery was released from prison after serving 18 years for a rape he didn’t commit—were charged with the murder of Teresa Halbach.

Filmed over the course of 10 years, during which time Avery and Dassey were convicted and sentenced to life in prison, Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos’ series was an exhaustive examination of injustice, laying bare the devious motivations and tactics (including planting evidence and eliciting a false Dassey confession) used by state and law enforcement officials to put the men behind bars. Depressing and enraging in equal measure, it was an expert non-fiction exposé, as compulsively addictive as anything released during our modern binge-watching era.

Fans of Making a Murderer are thus thrilled by its return for an all-new 10-episode run—except, of course, that like its predecessor, the series continues to paint a portrait of the legal system that’s destined to infuriate. Charting Avery and Dassey’s attempts to exonerate themselves with the aid of new lawyers (famed attorney Kathleen Zellner for Avery; Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth co-founders Laura Nirider and Steve Drizin for Dassey), Ricciardi and Demos’ follow-up affords a detailed look at the myriad obstacles of the post-conviction process, the amazing possibilities afforded by forensic science, and the dogged obstinacy of the state of Wisconsin, which continues to uphold Avery and Dassey’s convictions even in the face of contradictory evidence. Multifaceted, eye-opening and heartbreaking, it’s yet another must-see effort from the directors.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The Daily Beast — Entertainment

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