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The summer that promised to let Americans resume a relatively normal life is turning into another summer of anxiety and face masks, as the delta variant drives covid caseloads up in all 50 states. Meanwhile, the Americans with Disabilities Act turns 35, and the Missouri Supreme Court orders the state to expand Medicaid after all. Mary Ellen McIntire of CQ Roll Call, Anna Edney of Bloomberg News and Rachana Pradhan of KHN join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also, Rovner interviews KHN’s Samantha Young, who reported and wrote the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” episode about an Olympic-level athlete with an Olympic-size medical bill.

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ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Missouri Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a challenge to the state's voter-approved Medicaid expansion plan, overturning a lower court's ruling that the constitutional amendment would wrongfully force lawmakers to set aside additional money.

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas racial justice panel appointed by Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly has recommended expanding Medicaid, adding another income tax bracket for top-income earners, restoring a food sales tax rebate and banning Native American mascots and team names in public schools.

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CINCINNATI (AP) — The Kentucky Department of Corrections can deny a life-saving but expensive hepatitis C medication to inmates, a federal appeals court ruled in a split decision. The dissenting judge in last week's 2-1 ruling at the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the majority's opinion will condemn hundreds of prisoners to long-term organ damage and suffering, The Courier-Journal reported.

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ATLANTA (AP) — The Biden administration's decision to reevaluate Georgia's plan to overhaul how state residents buy health insurance under the Affordable Care Act came as a “surprise” and suggests it wants to revisit the plan's approval, which is not allowed, Gov. Brian Kemp's office said.

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A voter-approved expansion of Medicaid took effect Thursday in Oklahoma after a decade of Republican resistance in a state that has become emblematic of the political struggle to extend the federal health insurance program in conservative strongholds.

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The third-ranking Democrat in the U.S. House is embarking on a listening tour to talk up the Biden administration's federal aid package and push for Medicaid expansion in states that have not taken that step.

The Biden administration is moving to undo many of the changes the Trump administration made to the enrollment process for the Affordable Care Act, in an effort to encourage more people to sign up for health insurance. Meanwhile, Congress is opening investigations into the controversial approval by the Food and Drug Administration of an expensive new drug that might or might not slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Joanne Kenen of Politico, Kimberly Leonard of Insider and Sarah Karlin-Smith of The Pink Sheet join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also, Rovner interviews Marshall Allen of ProPublica about his new book, “Never Pay the First Bill: And Other Ways to Fight the Health Care System and Win.”

Democrats in Congress and the states are devising strategies to expand health coverage — through the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, Medicaid and a “public option.” But progress remains halting, at best. Meanwhile, lawmakers in Washington may have to agree on how to control prescription drug prices if they wish to finance their coverage initiatives. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Tami Luhby of CNN and Shefali Luthra of The 19th join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also, Rovner interviews Michelle Andrews, who reported and wrote last month’s KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” episode about a very expensive sleep study.

The federal approval of a controversial drug to treat Alzheimer’s disease has reignited the debate over drug prices and the way the Food and Drug Administration makes decisions. Meanwhile, President Joe Biden seeks to gain goodwill overseas as he announces the U.S. will provide 500 million doses of covid vaccine to international health efforts. Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet, Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times and Joanne Kenen of Politico join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also, Rovner interviews Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, the new administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. And to mark the podcast’s 200th episode, the panelists discuss what has surprised them most and least over the past four years.

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