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

Reporters must contend with readers’ perceptions, ‘fake facts’

In my blog posts, I usually try to highlight stories that have a lesson – something that you can take and apply to your own reporting on health reform.

This story  by the Washington Post’s Jenna  Johnson doesn’t have such a clear-cut, practical “how-to” aspect. But I’ve found myself thinking about her opening anecdote again and again since I read it, so I figured it’s time to share.  Continue reading

What’s next for drug costs? #AHCJ17 hears from the experts – including a patient

President Donald Trump has spoken about the cost of drugs frequently. Though not always clearly and consistently, he has called for government negotiation of prices. Drug prices also have caught Congress’s eye, although we’re not quite sure what (if anything) legislators are willing to do about it.

But patients are fed up, as David Mitchell, founder of Patients for Affordable Drugs reminded us last week during a Health Journalism 2017 session in Orlando. Continue reading

Public radio collaborative shines light on ACA’s impact in their rural communities

Photo: Rebecca KigerPatients wait for treatment at a West Virginia day program for substance abuse.

The Ohio Valley ReSource is an award-winning collaborative of seven public radio stations in Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky that have partnered to produce some fine multimedia work on rural health and Affordable Care Act. Their region has been hard hit by the opioid crisis and the spread of HIV – expanded health care coverage under the ACA is seen as critical in combating both.

The collaborative has done a nice mix of narrative and policy – looking at coal miners, alcoholism, job creation and rural providers, particularly clinics. Continue reading

Public health experts discuss ‘infectious nature’ of violence at #AHCJ17

Photo: Deborah CroweDr. Georges Benjamin gestures during a roundtable with Rachel Davis and Gary Slutkin, moderated by Andrea McDaniels.

What happens if we stop treating violence as a problem of crime and morality – and start treating it as a public health problem? A contagious public health problem?

That was the provocative starting point of the Health Journalism 2017 kickoff roundtable: Violence as a public health emergency.

Gary Slutkin,  chief executive officer of Cure Violence, set the scene for us. We know the victim of a shooting has a health problem – the gunshot injury. But what about the shooter?  Does he or she have a health problem too? Perhaps an untreated health problem arising from exposure to violence? Continue reading

#AHCJ17 panel to explore what’s next for health reform

For those of us who cover health policy nationally or in our states and local communities, it has been a dizzying couple of months.

The “Day 1” slam dunk repeal that President Donald J. Trump and the Republicans who control the House and the Senate promised turned into a prolonged and uncertain mélange of repeal, replace, repair, implode, explode – not to mention beg, negotiate, threaten and wheedle. Continue reading