Anyone who has started a new reporting job knows the feeling: You want to find some story somewhere on your beat that you can crank out to show you know how to deliver good copy on time.
It’s unlikely that you’re thinking you’ll uncover a big story that turns into a five-part series. But that’s what happened to Megan Hart, a reporter covering health care for KHI News Service in Topeka, Kan. Continue reading
Photo: Rachel S. O’Hara /Sarasota Herald-TribuneFelix Perlata, 4, Alani Waiters, 5, and Cymia Martin, 4, floss their teeth before heading back to class at Morton Clark Head Start preschool in Bradenton, Fla.
In recent months, Maggie Clark’s Two Million Kids series for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune has explored many facets of the state’s troubled Medicaid program: a dearth of preventive and specialty care in many communities, problems faced by providers and a decade-long legal battle to reform the system. In a recent installment, Clark focused upon the shortage of oral health care services for Florida’s poor children. Continue reading
Political party platforms get a spurt of attention in the summer of the respective party conventions – and then more or less disappear for four years. But it is worth taking a look at the documents because they do sum up the mindset. Today we’ll start out with the Republican Party’s official take on a variety of health care issues.
The two party’s platforms’ actual language – choice of words, phrases and emphasis – is enlightening. Continue reading
As America’s population ages, the shortage of dental care for the nation’s elders presents a growing problem.
Many seniors lack public or private coverage that would help defray the cost of dental services, according to a new fact sheet from the Pew Charitable Trusts.
“Perhaps the single greatest barrier is the inability to afford care,” Pew noted in its brief. “Seniors with dental insurance are 2.5 times more likely than those without coverage to visit a dentist and about half of seniors lacked insurance in 2015.” Continue reading
Photo: Don via FlickrNashville cemetery statue
Last week we posted an update on mental health coverage under the Affordable Care Act, so let’s follow up with a look at what’s going on in Tennessee, courtesy of Holly Fletcher at The Tennessean.
Tennessee is among the 19 states that have not taken up Medicaid expansion under the ACA. This summer a Tennessee legislative task force put forth a proposal for a partial expansion program, with the first stage focusing in large part on people with mental illness or substance abuse disorders. If approved – which isn’t certain – it could later be expanded, but only if it meets cost and quality objectives. As Fletcher reported, that’s not so easy. Gov. Bill Haslam, a Republican, last year tried to enact a market-based version, only to be blocked by a more conservative legislature, as one commentator noted in the newspaper. Continue reading