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U.S. political parties for years have argued about the role of government in providing health care and expanding coverage to more people. But as the cost of medical services continues to grow faster than most Americans’ incomes, even people with private insurance coverage are finding the cost of care becoming unaffordable, KHN’s Julie Rovner writes in a new article in BMJ.

Health care was a major topic at the Democratic presidential candidate debates in Detroit on Tuesday and Wednesday, but the focus on plan minutiae may have left viewers more confused than edified. Alice Ollstein of Politico, Kimberly Leonard of the Washington Examiner and Caitlin Owens of Axios join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss the points made by the candidates plus a series of Trump administration health initiatives on drug prices and hospital shopping.

Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee unveiled their long-awaited proposal to try to rein in prescription drug costs, even as bipartisan leaders of the other Senate committee that oversees health announced it would not bring its drug price bill to the Senate floor until fall. Paige Winfield Cunningham of The Washington Post, Rebecca Adams of CQ Roll Call and Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this, plus court actions on health issues.

Need to know more about “Medicare for All?” It’s a top issue in the Democratic presidential primary campaign. This holiday week, we are rerunning our explainer on the subject. But first, KHN’s “What the Health?” host Julie Rovner talks to KHN’s Shefali Luthra about how health played out in the first Democratic candidate debates last week.

Joanne Kenen of Politico, Jen Haberkorn of the Los Angeles Times and Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss the latest news about the Trump administration’s effort to allow health care practitioners and organizations to refuse to provide care or refer patients for services that violate their conscience or religion. Also this week, the administration orders TV ads for prescription drugs to include list prices. And Tennessee wants free rein from the federal government to run its Medicaid program. Plus, Rovner interviews Joan Biskupic, author of a new book on Chief Justice John Roberts, about the behind-the-scenes negotiations that led to the 2012 ruling upholding the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act.