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

#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

Health care repeal bill would have dealt death blow to ‘essential health benefits’

A variety of fixes aimed at appeasing resistant conservative House members failed to save the GOP’s Affordable Care Act repeal bill, which was pulled from consideration late Friday.

Among last-minute changes to the GOP’s proposed American Health Care Act (ACHA) was language that would have repealed 10 so-called “essential health benefits” in the individual market, letting states decided which mandates they wanted. Continue reading

Unpacking some key provisions of GOP’s health care bill

The House Republicans finally unveiled an ACA repeal bill on March 6. But they face critics on the right in both the House and Senate who have been clamoring for a bill that’s even more slimmed down.

And, in the Senate, they face a handful of Republicans (not all of whom are moderates, incidentally) from states that have expanded Medicaid – and who want those coverage gains preserved along with the federal funding that pays for the bulk of it. Continue reading

Keep employer plans in focus as ACA ‘repeal-and-replace’ proposals are rolled out

Photo: Katy Warner via Flickr

Most of the coverage offered under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is through the individual market (plans sold in the exchanges) or Medicaid. But as Jay Hancock of Kaiser Health News explains in a new AHCJ tip sheet, that doesn’t mean the employer-sponsored insurance system won’t be touched by any plan to repeal and replace the ACA.

Changes to how health care is subsidized – directly through tax credits or indirectly through tax breaks – may have a profound impact on the job-linked insurance that covers more than 150 million people. Continue reading

Reporter uncovers ripple effect of her state’s Medicaid policies

Photo: Patrick Feller via Flickr

Houston Chronicle reporter Jenny Deam last year wrote an in-depth story about how a mill is closing in a Texas town cost people not only their livelihood but also their health coverage. Because the mill was so crucial to Cuero’s economy, that closure had ripple effects that overshadowed the beleaguered community.

Deam’s Aug. 8, 2016, story, “No job. No insurance. No chance at ‘Obamacare.’ No safety net in Texas. Welcome to Cuero,” is a sharp reminder that many of the uninsured are hard-working people – or at least they would be if the mill had not closed and left them without work and insurance. Continue reading