CMS Administrator Seema Verma Talks Expansion of Telehealth, Development of COVID-19 Vaccine and Answers Recent Allegations

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter welcome Seema Verma, Administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services under the Trump administration, a trillion dollar-a-year agency providing health coverage for 130 million vulnerable Americans on Medicaid and Seniors on Medicare. She discusses the agency’s dramatic transformation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including hundreds of waivers lifting restrictions for providers across the country, a swift expansion of telehealth adoption, and Operation Warp Speed’s quest to provide a safe and efficacious vaccine for widespread distribution, once it is approved. She also addresses recent allegations around agency spending questions.


Guns, America and the “Violence Inside Us”: US Senator Chris Murphy Explores Origins of the Nation’s Gun Culture and His Own Odyssey for Reform

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with US Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut, whose critically acclaimed new book examines America’s long, unique history of violence and its embedded gun culture. His book, “The Violence Inside Us: A Brief History of an Ongoing American Tragedy”, examines the birth and growth of America’s gun culture, the conditions that perpetuated it, and his quest to pass sane gun laws in response to the Sandy Hook School shooting.

MONDAY, JULY 13, 2020

COVID-19’s Deadly Grip: Former CMS Administrator Andy Slavitt on America’s Next Right Steps

This week hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Andy Slavitt, former Acting Administrator of CMS under President Obama. He is founder of United States of Care and Town Hall Ventures, two entities committed to advancing health coverage and health reform in the US through bipartisan coalitions. Mr. Slavitt analyzes the failed national response to COVID-19 here in the US, the need for a more unified and robust strategy to protect the public, and his recommendations for fixing America’s flawed health care system.

MONDAY, JULY 6, 2020

COVID-19 and American Indians: Dr. Donald Warne on the Devastating Toll of the Pandemic on Native American Populations

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Donald Warne, Director of Indians Into Medicine (INMED) at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine. A renowned expert on American Indian health policies, Dr. Warne talks about the devastating toll COVID-19 is exacting on communities of color, particularly American Indians, who already suffer the effects of long term poverty, health disparities and Congress’ repeated failure to fully fund Indian Health Services which has led to a huge burden of chronic disease.

MONDAY, JUNE 22, 2020

Inflection Point: US House Majority Whip James Clyburn on Race, Police, and the Pandemic

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with House Majority Whip, US Congressman James Clyburn who says we have reached an inflection point in American history in addressing the high cost to communities of color from health disparities, policing injustices and economic inequality. Congressman Clyburn examines important legislation aimed at stemming racially motivated police brutality, as well as improving health care access for vulnerable Americans through expansion of community health centers and telehealth.

MONDAY, JUNE 8, 2020

NAACP Health Director Dr. Marjorie Innocent Talks About Racism in America

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Marjorie Innocent, Senior Director of Health Programs at the NAACP. Dr. Innocent speaks on the current climate of protest against entrenched racism in America, the NAACP’s call to action to address police brutality, economic and health disparities, and the need to foster a culture of collaboration to address racism’s toll on people of color in this country.

MONDAY, MARCH 16, 2020

Coronavirus Pandemic and Congressional Action: Representative Rosa DeLauro on Protecting Families and Businesses Through Crisis

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Connecticut Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, on the passage of the Families First and the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Act, two bills passed in Congress to address the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic. Congresswoman Delauro discusses the need for more resources for testing and for health systems support, the need for paid sick leave and family leave, the rise of telehealth to meet demand and the need for the public to heed the warnings to stay home through the worst of the crisis.


Pandemic Expert Dr. Sheri Fink on Reducing Harm From Coronavirus in US

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Sheri Fink, Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times Correspondent and one of the Executive Producers of “Pandemic: How to Avoid an Outbreak” on Netflix. She has covered numerous catastrophes, epidemcis and war zones, and shares her insights into public health interventions that reduce harm from pandemics, and how institutions and individuals must prepare to protect themselves.


What You Need to Know About COVID-19 With Dr. Saad Omer of the Yale Institute for Global Health

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Saad Omer, Director of the Yale Institute for Global Health, on the expanding COVID-19 outbreak. A renowned epidemiologist, Dr. Omer discusses the best protocols against spread of the Coronavirus epidemic, the need for evidence-based science to guide government responses, and how the global research community is working together to tackle this outbreak and create a vaccine in record time.


Pulitzer Prize Winners Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn Chronicle America’s ‘Deaths of Despair’ in Their Latest Book “Tightrope”

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter welcome Pulitzer Prize winners, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof and journalist and consultant Sheryl WuDunn. The prolific husband-and-wife writing team discuss their latest book about a humanitarian crisis happening right here in America. In “Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope”, they explore the decline in life expectancy and the rise of ‘deaths of despair’ in the US. They also examine solutions to address this growing public health crisis.


Guns are Killing American Children: University of Michigan Researcher Rebecca Cunningham is Seeking To Find Out Why

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Rebecca Cunningham, Director of the University of Michigan Injury Prevention Center. Dr. Cunningham is leading a national team of scientists in ground-breaking collaborative research to examine the myriad causes of the gun violence epidemic in this country, now the leading cause of death for America’s teens, and second leading cause of death for American children overall. Congress has recently allocated money for gun violence research after a two-decade drought. Her team is examining social causes, policy requirements and prevention interventions to address the crisis.


2020 Voters Call for Health Care Fix – Not Repeal or Replace

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter welcome Marilyn Serafini, Director of the Health Policy Project at the Bipartisan Policy Center which recently conducted a poll of voters in early polling states in the 2020 Presidential Election. Results show voters are most concerned about the costs of health care, preferring to fix the existing system, rather than repeal the Affordable Care Act or replace it with a Medicare For All approach.


Protecting Your Personal Health Data: US Senator Bill Cassidy on Bipartisan Smartwatch Data Act

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with US Senator Bill Cassidy (R) LA, on the bipartisan bill he co-sponsored aimed at protecting personal health information from industry profiteering. He discusses the “Smartwatch Data Act” which seeks to protect data generated on smart watches, personal electronic devices and genomics testing, to give patients more control over how their data is used for commercial gain.


Ending HIV Epidemic in a Decade: CDC Director Robert Redfield on Treatments, Prevention and Hope For Vaccine

This week, on the eve of World Aids Day, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter revisit their conversation with Dr. Robert Redfield, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on the quest to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic in ten years. They discuss the CDC’s efforts to advance infection prevention in high risk groups through the use of PrEP, better treatment protocols for those already infected, and the ongoing quest to develop an AIDS vaccine.


Democratic Presidential Hopeful John Delaney on His Market-Based Approaches to Universal Health Care and Addressing Climate Change

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter welcome another 2020 Presidential candidate to Conversations on Health Care, former Maryland Congressman and entrepreneur John Delaney. They discuss his record as a centrist Democrat who favors more market-based approaches to universal health care, which gives all Americans access to coverage, but keeps private payers in the mix, providing more consumer choice than Medicare for All. He favors a carbon tax approach to addressing climate change to foster US innovation to reduce reliance on fossil fuels.


Vaping and the Rise of Teen Nicotine Addiction: Warnings and Solutions from Matthew Myers, CEO of Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter welcome Matthew Myers, co-founder and CEO of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, a leading organization dedicated to reducing tobacco use and harm around the country and the world. He discusses the dramatic decline of teen tobacco use, until the recent rise in vaping and e-cigarettes among the nation's youth - leading to a dramatic increase in nicotine addiction. He discusses the best approach to addressing this public health crisis.


From Civil Rights to the ACA: House Majority Whip James Clyburn on Fight for Health Equity in America

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter celebrate 10 years on the air and our 500th episode with Congressman James Clyburn (D-SC), House Majority Whip and the third ranking Democrat in Congress. He talks about the legacy of the Affordable Care Act in advancing health equity, and the need to strengthen the nation's community health centers through a national broadband and telehealth initiative to more effectively deploy quality health care to all Americans.


2020 Democratic Presidential Contender Montana Governor Steve Bullock on Health Care, Climate Change and Gun Safety

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Montana Governor and 2020 Democratic Presidential Candidate Steve Bullock. They discuss his views on strengthening the Affordable Care Act, protecting women's health rights, taking action on climate change, enacting sensible gun laws, and reducing the influence of dark money on American politics.


AMA's First African American Female President, Dr. Patrice Harris on Quest for Health Equity

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Patrice Harris, the 174th President of the American Medical Association and the first African American woman to hold the post. She talks about the AMA's efforts to innovate for the evolving health care of the 21st century, with a focus on tackling the opioid crisis, addressing racial disparities in the medical profession, and advancing health coverage, equity and behavioral health parity for all Americans.


Medicare-for-All on the Campaign Trail: Kaiser's Larry Levitt Explains It All

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Larry Levitt, Executive Vice President for Health Policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation who looks at the differences in proposals from the Democratic presidential candidates. He looks at variations in the "Medicare-for-all" proposals, how it would impact consumers, and examines the shifting role of insurance companies in the ongoing health policy debate.