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Twenty state attorneys general filed another lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act this week. They charge that when Congress added a provision to the December tax bill that eliminates the tax penalty for not having health insurance, the entire health law was invalidated. Attorneys general were also part of the unsuccessful effort to strike down the law in 2012.

Meanwhile, a key Democratic think tank, the Center for American Progress, has released a health overhaul proposal that tries to bridge the divide among Democrats between the Affordable Care Act and a “Medicare for All” single-payer proposal. Will Democrats get on the same page on health care? Or will they end up as split as Republicans?

This week’s panelists for KHN’s “What the Health?” are Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News, Sarah Kliff of, Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times and Joanne Kenen of Politico.

Among the takeaways from this week’s podcast:

  • If the lawsuit brought by 20 states this week against the Affordable Care Act were to get to the Supreme Court, it would likely be several years down the road, and it’s not clear that the court would still look like it does now.
  • The divide among the states over health policy is growing again and perhaps taking the country back to pre-ACA days.
  • Some Democrats are beginning to wonder if the ACA can work long-term and is resistant to Republican efforts to sabotage it. But they have not yet settled on a plan for a future health care policy that will avoid an intra-party civil war.

Plus, for “extra credit,” the panelists recommend their favorite health stories of the week they think you should read, too.

Julie Rovner: California Healthline’s “Health Care Revamp At The L.A. County Jails,” by Anna Gorman.

Joanne Kenen: The Atlantic’s “What Are Active-Shooter Drills Doing To Kids?” by James Hamblin.

Margot Sanger-Katz: BuzzFeed News’ “The Inside Story Of How An Ivy League Food Scientist Turned Shoddy Data Into Viral Studies,” by Stephanie M. Lee.

Sarah Kliff: BuzzFeed News’ “Passengers Who Call Uber Instead Of An Ambulance Put Drivers At Risk,” by Caroline O’Donovan.

To hear all our podcasts, click here.

And subscribe to What the Health? on iTunesStitcher or Google Play.


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