Career Development : Calendar

What’s next? Reporting on health reform between now and 2014

06/10/10     Washington, DC

Resources from this briefing

Toolkit: Fresh Ideas for Reporting on Health Reform (PDF)
This 18-page resource has story ideas, new angles on stories you've covered, reform timelines and resources to help you cover new temporary high-risk pools, Medicaid and Medicare changes, reform's impact on private coverage, provisions for small businesses, and the important state role in implementing reform. Also included: expert sources with contact information, and useful websites.

Recording of the briefingAudio
(MP3, 30 MB)

Video of the briefing

Full transcript of the briefing



A briefing with some top Washington-based journalists sponsored by the Association of Health Care Journalists, the Alliance for Health Reform and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

After an intense year of covering health reform, the subject now seems more complicated than ever. Implementation timelines go on for page after page. Many questions seem to have no answers, at least not yet.  Seems like a good time to take a breath and plot out how to cover health reform for the rest of this year, and the time leading up to 2014.

Who are the key players within HHS who'll be drawing up the regulations? How can you stay on top of the various implementation deadlines? How do you tie local issues to national decision-making on reform? What's the likely role of the states in implementation, and how can coverage be coordinated between the Washington bureaus and the beat reporters back home? What are some possibilities for freelancers in covering reform? How does the role of bloggers differ from that of others covering this topic?


  • Phil Galewitz, Kaiser Health News
  • Joanne Kenen, New America Foundation's New Health Dialogue Blog
  • Noam Levey, Los Angeles Times
  • Julie Rovner, National Public Radio
  • Moderator: Ed Howard, Alliance for Health Reform

About the panelists 

Sponsor    logos

PHIL GALEWITZ is a correspondent with Kaiser Health News. Before joining KHN in June 2009, he was a health writer for The Palm Beach Post. He is a member of AHCJ's board of. In 2004-05, he was a Kaiser Media Fellow and spent the year researching and writing about community solutions to the uninsured. Galewitz was a national health writer with The Associated Press and worked as a health writer for The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa. He has contributed to several national magazines, including Self, Redbook and Glamour. Galewitz has won a number of awards for his work.

JOANNE KENEN is the senior writer in the Health Policy Program at the nonpartisan New America Foundation. She runs the New Health Dialogue blog and writes about health policy and health reform for numerous publications. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, the Washingtonian Magazine, The Washington Post, Kaiser Health News, AARP Magazine, American Prospect, Parenting, Miller-McCune and other magazines and newspapers. A longtime Reuters correspondent in New York, Florida/the Caribbean, and Washington, she has covered health policy in Congress from 1994-2006. As a Kaiser Family Foundation Media Fellow in 2006-07, Kenen wrote extensively about palliative medicine, the evolution of hospice care, and changes in medical education.

NOAM N. LEVEY covers health care policy for the Los Angeles Times/Tribune Washington bureau. Levey grew up in Boston, where his father was a doctor, and earned a degree from Princeton University in Middle Eastern history. He has written for newspapers in the Persian Gulf, Midwest and California. Since 2003, he has been a staff writer for the Los Angeles Times, covering City Hall, Capitol Hill and most recently, the 2008 presidential election.

JULIE ROVNER is an award-winning health policy correspondent for NPR, specializing in the politics of health care. She is also a columnist for National Journal's CongressDaily  Rovner is the author of a critically praised reference book, Health Care Politics and Policy A-Z, co-author of Managed Care Strategies 1997, and has contributed to several other books, including two chapters in 1995's Intensive Care: How Congress Shapes Health Policy. Previously, Rovner covered health and human services for the Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report, specializing in health care financing, abortion, welfare, and disability issues. Later, she covered health reform for the Medical News Network, an interactive daily television news service for physicians, and provided analysis and commentary on the health reform debates in Congress for NPR. 


Recording of the briefingAudio
(MP3, 30 MB - We plan to have a better quality recording in the next few days but have posted this version for people who need it right away.)

Covering high-risk insurance pools: Tips for reporters: Four reporters offer story tips, suggestions and resources.

Health care reform has passed: What's next? Four journalists on the front lines offer their advice and suggestions on what needs to be covered next and how to approach this complex topic.

Briefing Agenda (PDF)

Resource List -- Reporting on Health Reform Between Now and 2014 (PDF), Alliance For Health Reform, 6/10/2010

Chapter One: Health Reform, from the Alliance sourcebook for reporters, Covering Health Issues (PDF), Joanne Kenen for the Alliance for Health Reform, 6/7/2010
This first chapter of the Alliance’s sourcebook for reporters has been completely revised to reflect the provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA) and the companion Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010. Contains key facts about the reform law, background, tips for reporters, story ideas, experts with contact information, and helpful websites.

Covering Health Issues, 5th Edition—Appendix C: Covering Health Issues for News and Radio (PDF), Deborah Potter for the Alliance For Health Reform, 6/7/2010
This short appendix from the Alliance’s sourcebook is geared specifically towards TV and radio reporters. The appendix gives suggestions on how to make health stories more visual, accessible and engaging for the consumer, and provides examples of effective health reporting.

The Future of Children's Health Coverage (PDF), Alliance for Health Reform, 6/8/2010
This four-page issue brief details the children's coverage expansions in the new health reform law and also the law's potential to strain existing coverage programs for children. By Lisa Swirsky of the Alliance.

Health Care Reporting Guide for Journalists (PDF), The New America Foundation, 6/1/2009
A short reference document, especially useful for reporters new to the health policy beat, that lists websites relevant to health care reporting.

Navigating the Implementation Process--Reform Overview, Health Reform GPS, 4/12/2010
A short document that summarizes the key components of health reform implementation.

Health Reform Implementation Timeline, The Kaiser Family Foundation, 4/27/2010
A health reform implementation timeline divided into specific health reform topics covering 2010 to 2014.

Implementation Timeline for Federal Health Reform (PDF), National Governor's Association, 4/13/2010
A PPACA implementation timeline designed to assist states in understanding key deadlines and implementing health reform

Fact Sheet- Temporary High Risk Pool Program, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services , 4/1/2010
An HHS document outlining the role of states in the implementation of high-risk pools

Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program Provisions in the New Health Reform Law (PDF), The Kaiser Family Foundation, 4/7/2010
An 11-page document outlining changes to Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program under PPACA legislation

Early Medicaid Expansions under Health Reform (PDF), Families USA, 5/1/2010
A short fact sheet on the options availabe to states for expanding Medicaid programs under health reform

Health Reform's Changes in Medicare, Health Affairs and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation , 5/20/2010
A three-page brief addressing changes in Medicare under health reform legislation

Summary of Key Changes to Medicare in 2010 Health Reform Law (PDF), Kaiser Family Foundation, 4/1/2010
A nine-page document that summarizes the key Medicare provisions under the new health reform law; includes a Medicare implementation timeline

Major Medicare Savings Under Health Reform Legislation (PDF), American Medical Association, 4/7/2010
A short overview of how Medicare changes in the health reform legislation are projected to cut spending

Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2009: Health Insurance Market Reforms (PDF), National Association of Insurance Commissioners, 4/20/2010
An 11- page in-depth chart that outlines the what and when of health insurance market reforms

Summary of Coverage Provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PDF), The Kaiser Family Foundation, 4/28/2010
A three-page document outlining the expansion of public insurance programs, individual mandates and changes to private insurance

Changes Coming To Insurance Plans , Kaiser Heatlh News, 4/6/2010
Article focusing on the changes to insurance plans under health reform legislation that go into effect in September, 2010

Near-Term Changes in Health Insurance: Newly enacted health reform legislation mandates dozens of health insurance changes. Many go into effect this year and the next (PDF), Health Affairs and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation , 4/30/2010
A four-page brief on changes to the private insurance market that go into effect before 2012

Summary of Small Business Health Insurance Tax Credit Under PPACA (P.L. 111-148) (PDF), Congressional Research Service , 4/5/2010
A four-page summary that explains the Small Business Tax Credit under reform.

Will the Small Business Tax Credit Help Small Business Owners Provide Insurance (PDF), National Federation of Independent Businesses, 5/1/2010
An analysis of the implications of the small business tax credit for small businesses

Health Insurace Reform and Your State (HHS-Gov): Map By State , United States Department of Health and Human Services , 5/26/2010
A website with an intreactive map that allows users to see the implications of health insurance reform by state

Facing Obamacare: What States Should Know , The Heritage Foundation, 5/3/2010
An article that addresses how increased federal involvement in the health system under health reform legislations may affect states

State Actions to Implement Federal Health Reform , National Conference of State Legislatures, 6/20/2010
Overviews state-by-state actions by legislatures and governors to implement health care reform

State Decison-Making in Implementing National Health Reform (PDF), National Governors Association, 5/1/2010
A 12-page discussion draft outlining the impact of health reform on states

What Will Happen Under Health Reform--And What's Next? A Resource for Journalists, The Commonwealth Fund, 5/1/2010
A 12-page report geared for journalists covering health reform implementation. Features a helpful timeline, summary of major provisions in the legislation and background on how reform will affect different types of people.

Health Care Reform Law: Timeline for Small Businesses, National Federation of Independent Businesses , 4/13/2010
A detailed implementation timelime of health reform provisions affecting small businesses

Health Coverage for the High-Risk Uninsured: Policy Options for Design of the Temporary High-Risk Pool (PDF), National Institute For Health Care Reform, 5/1/2010
A 12-page study outlining the policy issues that will need to be resolved for high-risk pools when states set up new temporary high-risk pools, with information on how to estimate the size of the eligible population.

Medicaid Coverage and Spending in Health Reform: National and State-by-State Results for Adults at or below 133% FPL (PDF),Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured , 5/1/2010
A seven-page executive summary of a study providing national and state-by-state estimates of increases in coverage and costs of the Medicaid provisions in the reform law

Lower Premiums, Stronger Businesses: How health insurance reform will bring down costs for small businesses (PDF), United States Department of Health and Human Services , 1/1/2010
A six-page document outlining how health care reform may decrease health costs for small businesses

The Mississippi Delta's Healthcare Blues -- Noam Levey, Los Angeles Time, 6/3/2010
A short article by Noam M. Levey using a human interest story in order to investigate how the reform law could help low-income people in Mississippi and how the state is fighting the law.

Health Premiums Likely to Rise More -- Noam Levey, Los Angeles Times, 4/13/2010
This article by Noam M. Levey provides both a compelling example of health reporting and an informative analysis of loopholes in the health reform law, which may allow insurance companies to greatly increase premiums.

Some Recent Grads Face Health Care Coverage Gap -- Julie Rovner, National Public Radio, 5/27/2010
This short story by Julie Rovner clarifies confusion surrounding provisions in the new health reform legislation to extend coverage to young adults as dependents on their parents’ plans.

Medicine Means Sometimes Having to Say You Are Sorry -- Joanne Kenen, Miller-McCune, 4/2/2010
Describes how some health care organizations are changing how they respond when medical errors occur, admitting fault and apologizing rather than "denying and defending."

Covering Health Issues, 5th Edition -- Updated, Alliance for Health Reform, 6/1/2010
This popular 246-page sourcebook for reporters has been updated to reflect the provisions of the new health reform law, and issues involved in the law's implementation.

Cubriendo temas de salud 2009, Alliance for Health Reform, 6/1/2010
This is the Spanish translation of the "Covering Health Issues" sourcebook for reporters, described above.

Health Law's Grandfather Clause Could Deprive Consumers Of Key Benefits -- Phil Galewitz and Mary Agnes Carey, Kaiser Health News, 5/10/2010
This article notes that existing health plans are exempt from several of the consumer protections contained in the new reform, with potential consequences.