Abortion access changing again in Florida and Arizona

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KFF Health News by Julie Rovner


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Julie Rovner is chief Washington correspondent and host of KFF Health News’ weekly health policy podcast, “What the Health?” A renowned expert on health policy issues, Julie is the author of the critically praised reference book “Health Care Politics and Policy A to Z,” now in its third edition.

The national abortion landscape was rocked again this week when Florida’s six-week abortion ban went into effect. That leaves North Carolina and Virginia as the only Southern states where abortion remains widely available. Clinics in those states were already full with patients from across the region.

Meanwhile, in a wide-ranging interview with Time magazine, former President Donald Trump took credit for naming the Supreme Court justices who overturned Roe v.but he flatly refused to say what he might do about the abortion issue if he returned to office.

This week’s speakers are Julie Rovner of KFF Health News, Sarah Karlin-Smith of Pink Sheet, Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, and Rachana Pradhan of KFF Health News.


Pink Leaf Sarah Karlin-Smith


Read Sarah’s stories.

Alice Miranda Ollstein Politics


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Rachana Pradhan KFF Health News


Read Rachana’s stories.

Among the takeaways from this week’s episode:

  • Florida’s new six-week abortion ban is a big problem for the entire South, as the state has been an abortion haven for patients while other states cut off access to the procedure. Some clinics in North Carolina and southern Virginia are considering expanding their waiting and recovery rooms to accommodate patients who now need to travel there for care. This also means, however, that traveling patients can make waits even longer for local patients, including many who rely on the clinics for non-abortion services.
  • The passage of a bill to repeal Arizona’s near-total abortion ban, however, leaves the state’s patients and caregivers with a lot of uncertainty — including whether the ban will temporarily go into effect anyway. Additionally, voters in Arizona, as well as those in Florida, will have the opportunity in November to weigh in on whether the procedure should be available in their state.
  • The FDA’s decision that lab-developed tests should be subject to the same regulatory scrutiny as medical devices comes at a time when the tests have become more prevalent — and as concerns have risen amid examples of problems that occur because escaped federal review. (See: Theranos.) There is a reasonable chance that the FDA will be sued over whether it has the authority to make these changes without congressional action.
  • Additionally, the Biden administration has quietly decided to shelve a potential ban on menthol cigarettes. The issue raised tensions over its links between health care and criminal justice, and ultimately appears to have faced election-year headwinds that led the administration to set it aside rather than risk alienating black voters. .
  • In drug news, the Federal Trade Commission is challenging what it considers to be “junk” patents that make it harder for generics to come to market, and another court ruling brings bad news for the pharmaceutical industry’s fight against drug negotiations. Medicare medications.

Plus, for “extra credit,” the panelists suggest health policy stories they read this week that they think you should read, too:

Julie Rovner:A Cigna doctor said her bosses pressured her to review patient cases too quickly. Cigna threatened to fire her,” by Patrick Rucker, The Capitol Forum, and David Armstrong, ProPublica.

Alice Miranda Ollstein: The Associated Press'”Dozens of deaths reveal risks of injecting sedatives into people restrained by police,” by Ryan J. Foley, Carla K. Johnson, and Shelby Lum.

Sarah Karlin-Smith: The Atlantic “America’s infectious disease barometer is off”, by Katherine J. Wu.

Rachana Pradhan:Millions of American Children Are Caregivers Now: ‘The Hardest Part Is I’m Only 17”, by Clare Ansberry.

Also mentioned in this week’s podcast:


Francis Ying Audio Producer Emmarie Huetteman Editor

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