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Healthcare politics

  • Season: Season 2
  • Posted On:
  • Featuring: Sean Collins, Julie Rovner, & Ali Santore

As the Biden Administration begins its work, we ask two healthcare policy experts to help us understand the political landscape the new president faces in Washington. Boring may be the new normal in D.C. — and that may be just what the doctor ordered.

Episode Notes

  • This podcast was recorded on 1/11/2021

Ali Santore and Julie Rovner join us for a conversation about the opportunities and challenges members of the new Biden administration face as they work to mend the nation, deal with the nation's response to a deadly pandemic, and advance access to care for underserved populations in what is now a four trillion-dollar healthcare business in America. 

Nominally, the Democrats have an advantage in Congress, but it's only with a razor-thin margin in the Senate that will necessitate cooperation across both the aisle and within the party itself. That suggests we'll see a return to more deliberative processes on Capitol Hill and less drama.

Confused by the difference between a Public Option and Medicare for All? Julie Rovner wrote in detail about these and other issues leading up to the 2020 election. Read her piece here. And be sure to check out this video that sorts through some of the political rhetoric. 

Executive Orders have become a common way for Presidents to accomplish short-term goals, but they can be undone with a stroke of the next guy's pen. Julie writes about the Great Undoing that's likely to be high on the Biden agenda.

For the latest healthcare policy news, follow Julie on Twitter.  And check out her other stories at the Kaiser Health News website.  And be sure to  listen to What the Health?  (our second-favorite podcast!)

Stay up-to-date on Ali Santore's advocacy work for Providence on the Community Partnership website.  Ali also contributes to the Providence leadership blog.  

Julie Rovner is Chief Washington Correspondent for Kaiser Health News and host of the all-women panelist podcast, “What the Health?” Prior to joining KHN in 2014, she spent 15 years as health policy correspondent for NPR, specializing in the politics of health care. A noted expert on health policy issues, Rovner is the author of a critically-praised reference book Health Care Politics and Policy A-Z.

Ali Santore is senior vice president of government affairs and social responsibility for Providence. Her national advocacy and engagement strategies have advanced federal priorities that preserve and expand access to care for the underserved, positioning Providence as a leading advocate for mental health, advance care planning, and strengthening the Medicaid program. Ali also oversees Providence's social responsibility programs, including the organization's initiative to become carbon-negative by 2030.

Seán Collins is the host and a producer of the Hear Me Now Podcast, a production of the Providence Institute for Human Caring. He is a veteran public radio producer, having spent more than 20 years at NPR News where he led a team that produced the network's flagship newsmagazine, All Things Considered. Collins is a former Benedictine monk.


  • Seán Collins
  • Julie Rovner
  • Ali Santore