Senate, reporters return to the health reform bill

About Pia Christensen

Pia Christensen (@AHCJ_Pia) is the managing editor/online services for AHCJ. She manages the content and development of healthjournalism.org, coordinates AHCJ's social media efforts and edits and manages production of association guides, programs and newsletters.

As the Senate gets back to work on health care reform, some reporters have taken a a good look at what’s contained in the proposed legislation.

Mike Shields of the Kansas Health Institute’s News Service focuses on school health clinics, saying that both the House and Senate versions of the bill “differ somewhat in their provisions for school-based health centers, but if either becomes law millions of federal dollars for starting and equipping the clinics would become available and services provided at them could be reimbursed through Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program. That would be a major financial boost for many of the operations.”

journalists-in-clinic

AHCJ members visit a school-based health center in the Bronx during a field trip as part of the 2008 Urban Health Journalism Workshop.

School-based health clinics provide primary care services to children on the school grounds. Attendees of the 2008 Urban Health Journalism Workshop had the opportunity to see the school-based health centers in two Bronx schools. Read more about the visit and see a multimedia presentation from P.S. 28.

MaryJo Webster of the Pioneer Press looks at the role of school nurses in public health and legislation that could provide money for more school nurses. The story touches on health care reform, H1N1, declining school revenues and rising medical problems among students.

In comments on the NICAR-L mailing list, operated by Investigative Reporters and Editors, Webster noted that this is a story that could be done anywhere:

Just need to find out if your state or at least your local school district(s) tracks the number of school nurses, their qualifications and their salaries – and then get data over a period of years to look for trends.

Mary Agnes Carey, Phil Galewitz and Laurie McGinley of Kaiser Health News found that the Senate’s health bill is “chock full of interesting but little publicized provisions affecting consumers” and lay out the details on seven of them.

Scott Hensley, on NPR’s Shots blog, writes about amendments that legislators are expected to add to the health care reform bill.

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