Tag Archives: white house

Biden administration pledges open access to briefings after AHCJ raises concerns

About Felice J. Freyer

Felice J. Freyer is AHCJ's vice president and chair of the organization's Right to Know Committee. She is a health care reporter for The Boston Globe.

A spokesman for President Biden’s administration has pledged that any legitimate reporter who signs up with the White House press office will be invited to briefings and provided with embargoed background materials.

The promise came after AHCJ’s Right to Know Committee protested the practice of holding small group briefings with select reporters.

The press official denied that there had been any attempt to exclude people and objected to characterizing the press briefings as “closed.” Instead, he said, the White House press staff is working on updating its mailing lists. Continue reading

A physician offers his view on the White House Conference on Aging

About Liz Seegert

Liz Seegert (@lseegert), is AHCJ’s topic leader on aging. Her work has appeared in NextAvenue.com, Journal of Active Aging, Cancer Today, Kaiser Health News and other outlets. She is a senior fellow at the Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement at George Washington University and co-produces the HealthCetera podcast.

Bruce Chernof, M.D.

Bruce Chernof, M.D.

Bruce Chernof, M.D., is a geriatrician, president of The SCAN Foundation, based in Long Beach, Calif., and a former chairman of the Federal Commission on Long Term Care. He was in the audience for last week’s White House Conference on Aging, listening from multiple perspectives. Overall, he said in a phone interview, he was pleased with the outcomes.

Q: What were your overall impressions of the conference?

A: It’s important the President was there and spoke up as forcefully as he did. We needed the President to take part in this conversation. It was a very interesting and different conference but I liked the underlying theme: how do we discuss and transform aging? Everyone likes to talk about the scary stuff first – the diseases, the falls, the dementia. There’s not enough focus on the positive aspects of aging, and that limits our ability to focus on everything older adults can and do contribute. Continue reading

Ms. Seegert goes to Washington 

About Liz Seegert

Liz Seegert (@lseegert), is AHCJ’s topic leader on aging. Her work has appeared in NextAvenue.com, Journal of Active Aging, Cancer Today, Kaiser Health News and other outlets. She is a senior fellow at the Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement at George Washington University and co-produces the HealthCetera podcast.

When the confirmation email arrived in my inbox late Friday afternoon, I had all but given up on obtaining press credentials to cover the once-a-decade White House Conference on Aging on Monday, just three days away.

But there it was: “You have been confirmed …”

After dashing off a few quick emails to Pia and Len, searching for an affordable, decent hotel (not as easy as it sounds) and making Amtrak reservations, it hit me – “holy cow, I’m going to the White House on Monday! Continue reading

Conference offers occasion, sources to report on key issues of aging

About Eileen Beal

Eileen Beal, M.A., has been covering health care and aging since the late 1990s. She's written several health-related books. including "Age Well!" with geriatrician Robert Palmer, and her work has appeared in Aging Today, Arthritis Today,WebMD and other publications.

The Older Americans Act – signed into law on July 14, 1965 – mandated a national conference on aging every 10 years. I’ve attended the past two White House Conferences on Aging (1995, 2005), and this decade’s event is far different from the previous ones.

This conference was preceded by five, one-day, invitation-only “forums;” prior conferences featured hundreds of federally sanctioned local events. At the one-day forums, mornings were spent listening to national and local experts, then attendees separated into special interest groups for the afternoon to discuss – and then report back on – one of four designated topics. Here is how one attendee assessed the forum in Boston. Continue reading

Obama announces Office of Health Reform

About Andrew Van Dam

Andrew Van Dam of The Wall Street Journal previously worked at the AHCJ offices while earning his master’s degree at the Missouri School of Journalism.

President Barack Obama has, by executive order, established an Office of Health Reform in the White House, with a parallel Office of Health reform to be created in the Department of Health and Human Services.

The Office of Health Reform will operate as part of the White House executive office, and “provide leadership to the executive branch in establishing policies, priorities, and objectives for the Federal Government’s comprehensive effort to improve access to health care, the quality of such care, and the sustainability of the health care system.” The HHS office will coordinate closely with the White House office.

The new office will lead and coordinate the effort to provide “high-quality, affordable, and accessible health care and to slow the growth of health costs.” Staff will coordinate with the Domestic Policy Council, National Economic Council, Council of Economic Advisers, Office of Management and Budget, HHS, Office of Personnel Management, and other entities as needed.

The office also will work on public outreach, coordinate with state and local entities, present suggestions and ideas to the president, and monitor and advance the president’s health agenda.

In addition to those tasks, the newly created government entity and its director, liasons and subcommittees will “work with the Congress and executive departments and agencies to eliminate unnecessary legislative, regulatory, and other bureaucratic barriers that impede effective delivery of efficient and high-quality health care.”