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KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: What’s In The Next Round Of COVID-19 Relief?

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House Democrats are moving ahead with another round of COVID-19 relief, including additional funding for state Medicaid programs, an open enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act’s marketplace plans, and money to pay premiums for newly unemployed Americans to continue on their employer health coverage. Republicans, however, say the Democrats’ bill goes too far.

Meanwhile, the outbreak of the virus in the White House complex — including a top aide to Vice President Mike Pence ― has complicated the Trump administration’s efforts to press for a broader opening of the economy even while the illness continues to spread.

This week’s panelists are Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News, Joanne Kenen of Politico and Rebecca Adams of CQ Roll Call.

Among the takeaways from this week’s podcast:

  • The House Democrats’ newest COVID relief bill would double what the federal
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What’s Missing In The Coronavirus Response

In the age of coronavirus, Americans are being told to stay home and wear masks outside. The federal government has made way for hospitals to treat patients in repurposed hotels and dormitories. Private companies are working to push out new diagnostic tests.

But the national effort has been disorganized, relying heavily on state action, said health systems experts and public health researchers. That approach has fallen short, they assert.

“We’re in a lot more trouble than we need to be,” said Dr. Donald Berwick, who ran the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services during the Obama administration.

So what else should the United States be doing?

Public health specialists said a range of tools, high-tech strategies and old-school public health interventions could help tamp down the spread of COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus.

Though an ambitious

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To Curb Coronavirus, What’s Behind The Wearing Of A Mask?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday recommended wearing cloth face masks when going out, especially to places like grocery stores and pharmacies.

That’s because a “significant portion” of people with the virus lack symptoms or can transmit the disease through close contact before they show signs of illness, the CDC said. It is not recommending people try to purchase N95 or surgical masks, and the federal agency included online instructions on making masks out of materials at home.

The recommendation is optional. President Donald Trump, for instance, said he didn’t envision wearing one. But in recent days, the number of people sporting some type of protective face gear appears to have soared.

So what gives?

Many experts agree that wearing a mask probably won’t keep people from getting the coronavirus, but it might help prevent those with the disease — especially those without symptoms ― from

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