POLITICO's Pulse Check

Karen DeSalvo and mini-news roundup

Episode Summary

Karen DeSalvo, a top HHS official in the Obama administration, reflects on her time in government, how HHS has changed under Trump and some of the public health issues shaping the nation. POLITICO's Dan Diamond runs through several health care stories that got overshadowed by Congress' shutdown fight.

Episode Notes

Karen DeSalvo was a top HHS official in the Obama administration, where she spent months simultaneously running the Office of National Coordinator for Health IT and serving as the acting assistant secretary for health. She also will be a familiar voice for longtime PULSE CHECK listeners: Karen appeared on an early episode of PULSE CHECK, where she talked about her work and her life story. (You can find a link to that earlier episode in the show notes below.)

Karen and POLITICO's Dan Diamond caught up at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference to discuss what she's been up to in the year since leaving HHS (starts at the 1:35 mark), how her old departments are performing under the Trump administration (starts at 7:15), whether the focus on social determinants of health is overblown (starts at 14:00), and her latest gig at the new Dell Medical School (starts at 22:00).

Then after the break, Dan runs through some of last week's big health care stories that got overshadowed by Congress' fight over a government shutdown (starts at the 23:45 mark).

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Have questions, suggestions or feedback? Email ddiamond@politico.com.

Stories referenced on the podcast:

Karen DeSalvo's first appearance on PULSE CHECK in June 2016, where she talked at length about her work and career path: https://simplecast.com/s/14426be4

A summary of Karen's comments on health IT on that earlier episode: https://www.politico.com/story/2016/06/desalvo-we-are-seeing-the-returns-on-ehr-investments-224064

Jennifer Haberkorn and Brianna Ehley's story on the CDC director's financial conflicts of interest: https://www.politico.com/story/2018/01/18/cdc-director-avoids-congressional-testimony-297284

Sarah Karlin-Smith and Brianna's story on the Trump administration targeting the drug policy office:

Dan and Jen's story on HHS' push to institute new protections for health workers with religious objections: https://www.politico.com/story/2018/01/16/conscience-abortion-transgender-patients-health-care-289542