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Julie Rovner is chief Washington correspondent and host of KHN’s 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.
Medicare Advantage, a private-sector replacement to original Medicare, is now enrolled in nearly half of all Medicare beneficiaries. But it remains controversial because — while most of its subscribers like the extra benefits many plans provide — the program frequently costs the federal government more than if those seniors remained in the fully public program. That controversy is becoming political, as the Biden administration tries to rein in some of those payments without being accused of “cutting” Medicare.
In the meantime, President Joe Biden signed a bill to release classified U.S intelligence regarding covid-19’s possible origin in China. New evidence suggests that the virus may be linked to raccoon dogs in Wuhan, the place where it first became widespread.