Author Archives: Joanne Kenen

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 She welcomes questions and suggestions on health reform resources and tip sheets at

What reporters should know about GOP proposal to replace Obamacare

Photo: Charis Tsevis via Flickr

Photo: Charis Tsevis via Flickr

“Across state lines.” That’s shorthand for what many GOP politicians see as part of an acceptable replacement for the Affordable Care Act.

They see the approach as reducing barriers, so insurers can base themselves in one state, but sell in other states without having to include all the coverage mandates and benefit rules in those other states. Continue reading

Covering health care quandaries in an anti-immigrant campaign year

Photo: Living-Learning Programs via Flickr

Photo: Living-Learning Programs via Flickr

Here’s a story worth looking at in the states, particularly in the midst of a pretty heated campaign season: health care for those living in the United States without legal permission.

The Affordable Care Act, as you may remember, did not cover people living in the country illegally (though some conservatives insist otherwise). In fact, they can’t even buy a plan in the ACA exchanges with their own money – with no subsidy. (They can purchase insurance outside the ACA with their own money, and some who are employed do get covered through jobs, although there is some disagreement over how many.) Continue reading

Telemedicine: New ways to deliver care and how to report on it #AHCJ16

Photo" Pia Christensen/AHCJSpeakers representing a hospital, a telemedicine company and a professor and researcher took part in a panel moderated by Politico Pro's David Pittman.

Photo: Pia Christensen/AHCJSpeakers representing a hospital, a telemedicine company and a professor and researcher took part in a panel moderated by Politico Pro’s David Pittman.

At Health Journalism 2016 on Friday, David Pittman, an ehealth reporter for Politico, had some good advice for reporters covering telemedicine: Define your terms. Telemedicine can mean the most gee-whiz new smart phone app or wearable (think “smart bra” for heart monitoring)  – or an old fashioned telephone call between patient and doctor.

The breadth of the field, and some of the challenges were  illustrated at the Friday panel. Continue reading

Panel will assess continued growing pains of health reform in the states #AHCJ16

road-to-cleveland-2For several years now, I’ve moderated an AHCJ conference panel on health reform in the states and will do it again this year at Health Journalism 2016 in Cleveland. We’ll get pretty granular this year, looking at two specific states – Massachusetts and Washington state – and provide a national overview of how states are looking ahead to next year to solve some of their persistent challenges.

Those challenges include a relatively low rate of young and healthy people signing up, persistent public misconception about what the law does and does not do, and of course, affordability, affordability, affordability. Continue reading

What doctors really think about ACA and the role their politics play

thumbs-up-and-downWe have reams of data showing that people’s views of the Affordable Care Act largely align with their political view – Republicans hate it, Democrats like it (but by and large don’t love it.) That’s been a consistent finding in national polls and it’s particularly clear in the monthly Kaiser Family Foundation tracking polls.

What about doctors? Are their personal politics also coloring their view of the law passed six years ago? Apparently – yes, at least among primary care doctors and nurse practitioners. Continue reading