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. Follow her on Facebook.

Reporter finds causes of infant mortality in Indiana are complex

Giles Bruce, who covers health for the Times of Northwest Indiana, did deep reporting into infant mortality in Indiana, work that was recognized in AHCJ’s Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism this year. He started with a disturbing number – 623 babies died before their first birthday in Indiana last year.

In a new “How I Did It” essay, he explains more about his series. He looked at factors ranging from air pollution to ignorance about safe sleep practices for infants, and examined some of the potential solutions, including the role of expanded health insurance coverage, often under Medicaid expansion. Continue reading

States continue to expand Medicaid, with others possibly voting on the issue

Image: The Kaiser Family Foundation’s State Health Facts

There’s been a spurt of Medicaid expansion activity in several states. Thirty-three states plus the District of Columbia have approved expansion (including Maine – more on that below.)

Virginia is the most recent state to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam ran last fall on a Medicaid pledge – and the balance of power in his state’s legislature shifted too, with the GOP still in control but now with narrow majorities in both chambers. Continue reading

What to know about the DOJ’s latest whack at the ACA

Photo: Phil Roeder via Flickr

The Obamacare wars have re-ignited, thanks to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the U.S. Department of Justice, and a surprising assault on the most popular part of the Affordable Care Act: the protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

A group of GOP state attorney generals, with Texas and Wisconsin in the lead, had filed in federal court what was generally regarded as a long-shot lawsuit to have the entire ACA scrapped. Continue reading

Klein expands on award-winning work on access to care

Photo: Len Bruzzese/AHCJAHCJ President Ivan Oransky, M.D., presents Kerry Klein with an Award for Excellence in Health Care Journalism during Health Journalism 2018.

Kerry Klein, from Valley Public Radio, won first place for Health Policy (small outlet) in the Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism for her series “Struggling for care,” looking at the physician shortage in California’s San Joaquin Valley. Health coverage has vastly expanded in California through the state’s concerted effort to support the Affordable Care Act, expand Medicaid, and get people signed up. But it hasn’t solved access problems in places like the Valley. Continue reading

Bright spots in the ACA: Some successful states may surprise you

Image: Courtesy of Robert Wood Johnson FoundationClick through to see a larger image.

When we think of states doing well under the Affordable Care Act, we tend to think of the usual suspects, Democratic leaning states like California, Massachusetts and New York. And it’s true that the states using their own online exchanges for ACA enrollment tend to be the high performers.

What about the states that use the federal platform, Healthcare.gov? Continue reading