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 Follow her on Facebook.

As the ‘Medicare-for-all’ debate heats up, some useful terms to keep straight

Photo: Kat Grigg via Flickr

“Medicare-for-all,” “single-payer” and “universal coverage” are going to be in the news a lot over the next few years – and confuse many people. While these terms often are used interchangeably, they all mean slightly different things. Continue reading

Chronicling the uninsured: A yearlong look that combines policy, narrative

Bloomberg Health reporter John Tozzi has written a terrific “how I did it” essay summing up a yearlong project on Chronicling America’s Uninsured that really delved deeply into who can’t afford health insurance – or chooses not to pay the high cost – and what they experience.

It’s a powerful combination of policy and narrative in a way we don’t often hear. And he showed that health care and insurance isn’t just beyond reach of the poor or working class. It’s a crisis for growing numbers of people much further up the income ladder. Continue reading

Utah’s Medicaid expansion hits some headwinds

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert

No sooner had we posted an update on the prospects for Medicaid expansion in several states, including the three that passed ballot initiatives in November, than news came of obstacles emerging in Utah.

The state legislature may take one or more of these actions: delay the April start; cover fewer people; add work requirements or other conditions. Continue reading

Midterm elections changed prospects for Medicaid expansion

The Commonwealth Fund’s Sara R. Collins, Ph.D., vice president for health care coverage and access, walked us through the prospects for Medicaid expansion and the ongoing controversy over work requirements in a recent webcast for AHCJ members. (The recorded webcast and her slides are here.)

Collins noted that the November midterm election changed the odds of expansion in at least six states – the three that approved ballot initiatives on expansion (Utah, Nebraska and Idaho) and three that elected pro-expansion Democratic governors to succeed Republicans (Kansas, Wisconsin and Maine.) Continue reading

Fellow looks at how Medicaid work requirements have been implemented in Arkansas

Benjamin Hardy, a reporter with the Arkansas Nonprofit  News Network and a 2018 AHCJ Health Care Performance Reporting Fellow,  has just written a How I Did It essay on his coverage of Medicaid work requirements in Arkansas.

While seven states have received CMS approval of work requirements, Arkansas is the first to put them in effect.  The rest are either being challenged in court, or in the implementation phase – or in question as a Democratic governor succeeds a Republican one. Several more states – eight, by my latest count – have requests pending before CMS and that number could grow. Continue reading

How are ACA’s quality measures affecting health care?

On a recent What the Health podcast, where I’m a frequent guest, we took some listeners’ questions. One was about what CMS does with all the data it collects on quality from health care facilities and providers – and whether there’s any evidence that the quality reporting actually improves outcomes for patients. Continue reading