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More than a month into the Biden administration, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, the nominee to run the Department of Health and Human Services, finally got his confirmation hearings in the Senate, along with nominees for surgeon general and assistant secretary for health. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court announced it would hear a case challenging the Trump administration’s regulation that effectively evicted Planned Parenthood from the federal family planning program. Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times, Tami Luhby of CNN and Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews HuffPost’s Jonathan Cohn, whose new book, “The Ten Year War: Obamacare and the Unfinished Crusade for Universal Coverage,” is out this week.

With a majority too small to eliminate the filibuster, Democrats will not have enough votes in the Senate to pass many of their plans without Republicans and will also have only a razor-thin majority in the House. This combination could doom many Democratic health care proposals, like offering Americans a government-sponsored public insurance option, and complicate efforts to pass further pandemic relief.

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U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions defended the administration for taking a hardline stand on illegal immigration and said the voters elected President Donald Trump to do just that. But the judge, an appointee of Republican President George W. Bush, issued a nationwide injunction on future family separations.

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