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 healthjournalism.org. She welcomes questions and suggestions on health reform resources and tip sheets at joanne@healthjournalism.org.

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

Looking at the conservative ‘heritage’ of some core ACA features

Photo: Fibonacci Blue via Flickr

The New York Times Magazine recently looked at the prolonged fight against the Affordable Care Act (ACA) waged by Heritage Action for America, the political arm of conservative think tank Heritage Foundation, which has helped populate the Trump administration both in and out of health care.

Vice President Mike Pence and Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price are Heritage supporters and have brought in like-minded associates.

But, as we have seen, the task of repealing the ACA is hard, in part because the legislation has changed the health care landscape in so many ways. Continue reading

Actuaries’ analysis of ACA alternatives can inform news coverage

Photo: Andy via Flickr

Photo: Andy via Flickr

For those of us deluged with analyses and opinions from the left and the right over replacements for the Affordable Care Act – the actuarial cavalry has arrived.

The American Academy of Actuaries has released three papers analyzing long-time conservative ideas about health reform. These alternatives – high-risk pools, selling insurance across state lines, and association health plans (AHPs) – are playing a high-profile role in the debate over ACA “repeal and replace.” Continue reading

Health policy experts weigh in on ACA alternatives

kennedyschoolWe got a last-minute notice about an event tonight (livestream available) at the Institute of Politics at Harvard’s Kennedy School that may be of interest to AHCJ members.

Congress seems stuck on ACA alternatives – but what do some of the top academic minds think the next step in national health reform should be? Continue reading