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KFF Health News’ ‘What the Health?’: Abortion Access Changing Again in Florida and Arizona

The Host Julie Rovner KFF Health News @jrovner Read Julie's stories. Julie Rovner is chief Washington correspondent and host of KFF Health News weekly health policy news podcast, What the Health? A noted 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 shaken again this week as Floridas six-week abortion ban took effect. That leaves North Carolina and Virginia as the lone Southern states where abortion remains widely available. Clinics in those states already were overflowing with patients from across the region.

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

This weeks panelists are Julie Rovner of KFF Health News, Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet, Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, and Rachana Pradhan of KFF Health News. Panelists Sarah Karlin-Smith Pink Sheet @SarahKarlin Read Sarah's stories. Alice Miranda Ollstein Politico @AliceOllstein Read Alice's stories. Rachana Pradhan KFF Health News @rachanadpradhan Read Rachana's stories.

Among the takeaways from this weeks episode: Floridas new, six-week abortion ban is a big deal for the entire South, as the state had been an abortion haven for patients as other states cut access to the procedure. Some clinics in North Carolina and southern Virginia are considering expansions to their waiting and recovery rooms to accommodate patients who now must travel there for care. This also means, though, that those traveling patients could make waits even longer for local patients, including many who rely on the clinics for non-abortion services. Passage of a bill to repeal Arizonas near-total abortion ban nonetheless leaves the states patients and providers with plenty of uncertainty including whether the ban will temporarily take effect anyway. Plus, voters in Arizona, as well as those in Florida, will have an opportunity in November to weigh in on whether the procedure should be available in their state. The FDAs decision that laboratory-developed tests must be subject to the same regulatory scrutiny as medical devices comes as the tests have become more prevalent and as concerns have grown amid high-profile examples of problems occurring because they evaded federal review. (See: Theranos.) Theres a reasonable chance the FDA will be sued over whether it has the authority to make these changes without congressional action. Also, the Biden administration has quietly decided to shelve a potential ban on menthol cigarettes. The issue raised tensions over its links between health and criminal justice, and it ultimately appears to have run into electoral-year headwinds that prompted the administration to put it aside rather than risk alienating Black voters. In drug news, the Federal Trade Commission is challenging what it sees as junk patents that make it tougher for generics to come to market, and another court ruling delivers bad news for the pharmaceutical industrys fight against Medicare drug negotiations. Email Sign-Up

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

Julie Rovner: ProPublicas A Doctor at Cigna Said Her Bosses Pressured Her To Review Patients 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 Atlantics Americas Infectious-Disease Barometer Is Off, by Katherine J. Wu.

Rachana Pradhan: The Wall Street Journals Millions of American Kids Are Caregivers Now: The Hardest Part Is That Im Only 17, by Clare Ansberry.

Also mentioned on this weeks podcast: Times How Far Trump Would Go, by Eric Cortellessa. NPRs Why Is a 6-Week Abortion Ban Nearly a Total Ban? Its About How We Date a Pregnancy, by Selena Simmons-Duffin. NPRs Sickos Peeno Sees Few Gains in Health Insurance, by Julie Rovner. CNNs Walmart Will Close All of Its Health Care Clinics, by Nathaniel Meyersohn. Credits Francis Ying Audio producer Emmarie Huetteman Editor

To hear all our podcasts, click here.

And subscribe to KFF Health News’ “What the Health?” on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Pocket Casts, or wherever you listen to podcasts. Related Topics Courts Multimedia Pharmaceuticals States Abortion Arizona Biden Administration FDA Florida KFF Health News' 'What The Health?' Medical Devices Podcasts Prescription Drugs Tobacco Trump Administration Women's Health Contact Us Submit a Story Tip

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