CBO releases score for Senate’s health care bill

Pia Christensen

About Pia Christensen

Pia Christensen (@AHCJ_Pia) is the managing editor/online services for AHCJ. She manages the content and development of healthjournalism.org, coordinates AHCJ's social media efforts and edits and manages production of association guides, programs and newsletters.

The Congressional Budget Office released its analysis of the Senate’s health care plan, the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), on Monday afternoon.

This came hours after Senate Republicans released a revised version of the bill that adds a provision to penalize people who let their insurance coverage lapse for an extended period. People who let their health insurance lapse for longer than 63 days but then wanted to re-enroll would have to wait six months. The CBO score does take that revision into account in its analysis.

The CBO found that, if this legislation were to be enacted, it would: Continue reading

11 journalists from the Mid-Atlantic region chosen for fellowship

Pia Christensen

About Pia Christensen

Pia Christensen (@AHCJ_Pia) is the managing editor/online services for AHCJ. She manages the content and development of healthjournalism.org, coordinates AHCJ's social media efforts and edits and manages production of association guides, programs and newsletters.

The Association of Health Care Journalists has named the 2017-18 class of the Regional Health Journalism Fellowship, an annual fellowship program for reporters and editors across the United States.

The program, which changes regions each year, will focus this year on journalists from the Mid-Atlantic region, namely Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Delaware, Kentucky and West Virginia.

Read on to see who the fellows are and how to follow them on Twitter.

Watchdog reporter takes on dental therapist access issue

Mary Otto

About Mary Otto

Mary Otto, a Washington, D.C.-based freelancer, is AHCJ's topic leader on oral health and the author of "Teeth: The Story of Beauty, Inequality, and the Struggle for Oral Health in America." She can be reached at mary@healthjournalism.org.

Photo: Legislative Support ServicesBrian Cladoosby, president of the National Congress of American Indians and chairman of the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, speaks at the February 22 bill signing for Washington state’s SB 5079 which increases access to affordable dental care. Behind him are Sen. John McCoy, left, and Gov. Jay Inslee, right.

Kathy Hoekstra’s beat covering national regulatory issues for the public interest news organization Watchdog.org, now has led her to America’s dental divide.

In recent months, Hoekstra has focused on the legal angle to examine the dental therapist debate now roiling in statehouses across the country.

Dental therapists often are compared to nurse practitioners in the medical world. Trained in a narrow range of preventive and restorative procedures and employed in some countries around the globe, they have attracted supporters among U.S. oral health advocates who see the speciality as an affordable means to expand access to dental services for millions of Americans who currently lack routine care. Continue reading

Services enabling disabled to live more mainstreamed life may fall prey to GOP reforms

Joanne Kenen

About Joanne Kenen

Joanne Kenen, (@JoanneKenen) the health editor at Politico, is AHCJ’s topic leader on health reform and curates related material at healthjournalism.org. She welcomes questions and suggestions on health reform resources and tip sheets at joanne@healthjournalism.org.

Photo: Alexander Edward via Flickr

Medicaid is a lifeline for the disabled. As Jonathan Cohn explains, the current Washington debate over Medicaid’s future has profound and often overlooked implications.

Right now much of the Washington policy fight centers on how quickly – when, but not if – the Medicaid expansion of the Affordable Care Act would get rolled back under Republican repeal-and-replace bills. As we’ve pointed out before, there’s a lot less attention being paid to Republican proposals to cap Medicaid spending – to put an end to its open-ended federal entitlement funding. The Senate Republicans are arguing over what rate the spending would grow (there are a few different ways of measuring inflation and medical inflation….). They are not debating whether or not to make this fundamental change – which the Democrats all oppose. Continue reading

Senate plans quicker action than House on its health care reform bill

Deborah Crowe

About Deborah Crowe

Deborah Crowe (@dcrowe60) is an independent journalist, longtime AHCJ member and copy editor for healthjournalism.org. She can be reached at debcrowe2@yahoo.com.

If Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has his way, the Senate’s Obamacare repeal-and-replace process will be a disciplined and at-times clandestine whirlwind romance, culminating in a shotgun wedding. The goal: have the landmark legislation ready for President Trump’s signature by the time Congress breaks for the Independence Day holiday. Continue reading