Category Archives: Insurance

Medicaid expansion may go to the ballot box in three states

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.

Photo: joelip via Flickr

Advocates in three conservative states – Utah, Idaho and Nebraska – are trying to get Medicaid expansion on the ballot in November.

Organizers in Utah already have submitted signatures, which are now being verified. They have surplus signatures so odds are that they will make it. According to an article by Dylan Scott of Vox, a recent poll by the Salt Lake Tribune and the University of Utah found 62 percent of Utah voters support the ballot initiative. Continue reading

Skepticism is required when covering the science behind genetic tests

Joseph Burns

About Joseph Burns

Joseph Burns (@jburns18), a Massachusetts-based independent journalist, is AHCJ’s topic leader on health insurance. He welcomes questions and suggestions on insurance resources and tip sheets at joseph@healthjournalism.org.

Photo: Pia Christensen/AHCJCharles Piller, Paul Raeburn and Christopher Robertson (left to right) discussed the science of genetic testing on the first day of Health Journalism 2018.

Health insurers struggle to understand whether genetic tests give physicians actionable information about how to diagnose and treat patients’ illness. If health insurers struggle, then journalists certainly will as well. For example, see this tip sheet that Beth Daley (@BethBDaley) wrote for AHCJ when she was at the New England Center for Investigative Reporting.

Genetic testing holds immense promise, but as speakers explained during the “Science of Genetic Testing” session at Health Journalism 2018, misuse and misinterpretation of these tests have undercut that promise. Continue reading

#AHCJ18 panel explores prospects for a single-payer health system

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.

Photo: Tom Spaulding via Flickr

Bernie Sanders gave renewed life to the single-payer movement, and it’s likely to play in the 2018 and 2020 elections.

But how will we talk about it? What does “single-payer” mean? Can the United States ever achieve it? Should it? Those were some of the questions raised at the Health Journalism 2018 session in Phoenix, “Is single-payer on the table?” moderated by Julie Appleby, an AHCJ board member and Kaiser Health News correspondent. Continue reading

Gene therapy development on the rise but costs remain an issue

Markian Hawryluk

About Markian Hawryluk

Markian Hawryluk (markianhawryluk) covers health and fitness issues for The (Bend, Ore.) Bulletin. He has won numerous awards for his health writing from AHCJ and the Society of Professional Journalists and won the 2009 Bruce Baer Award for Investigative Journalism. In 2012, he was named a Knight-Wallace Fellow at the University of Michigan.

After decades of unfulfilled promises and setbacks, the field of gene therapy broke through with three FDA-approved products last year, ushering in what is likely to be a rapid escalation of new treatments for some of the rarest and most debilitating diseases.

“Part of the idea of the Human Genome project was that once we had the identity of all the genes, it would be important and straight forward for us to development more therapeutic options for people with serious inherited diseases, said Katherine High, M.D., president and director of research and development for Philadelphia-based Spark Therapeutics. “But it turned out this took a little longer to do than the Human Genome project.” Continue reading

Focus shifts to states’ efforts in health policy

Dan Goldberg

About Dan Goldberg

Dan Goldberg is a senior health reporter for Politico New York. Before joining Politico New York, Goldberg was the health care reporter for the New Jersey Star-Ledger.

States are going to have unprecedented opportunities to shape health care policy during the next couple years, as President Trump’s administration approves Medicaid waivers and loosens rules around the Affordable Care Act.

States are going to have tools and options they have never had before, said Joanne Kenen, executive health editor at Politico. Kenen moderated a panel on states and health care in the age of Trump on Friday at the Association of Health Care Journalists conference, Health Journalism 2018, in Phoenix. Continue reading