This site is intended to help you untangle the wide range of concepts included in the implementation of health care reform. It is put together by journalists for journalists. We hope to provide resources and tips and commentaries and questions that will help deepen your understanding of the federal legislation, provide context for the decisions your state is making about implementation, and explore how reform, as well as parallel changes in the private sector, are affecting doctors, nurses, hospitals and other health care providers, as well as patients and families. 

Robert Wood Johnson FoundationWe thank the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for the support that made this Web portal possible. The foundation has not dictated the content on these pages, but rather has provided a grant or financial sponsorship that allows us to pay for the costs associated with collecting, writing, editing and presenting valuable resources.

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About your topic leader

What questions do you have about health reform and how to cover it?

Joseph Burns

Joseph Burns (@jburns18), AHCJ’s health reform topic leader, is writing blog posts, tip sheets, articles and gathering resources to help AHCJ members cover the complex implementation of health reform.

If you have questions or suggestions for future resources on the topic, please send them to

Joseph Burns is independent journalist who covers health reform, health care, and the business of care. As the health reform topic leader for the Association of Health Care Journalists, he has written extensively about efforts to make the Unite States’ health care system more equitable and affordable for all and how health systems and health insurers can improve patient outcomes and reduce costs. Also, he has written about how the nation's health care systems and health plans too often have failed to improve patient care or contain rising costs.

Over more than 30 years as a journalist, including more than 20 years covering health care, he has written for The New York Times, Hospitals & Health Networks, Managed Care magazine, Managed Healthcare Executive, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the National Business Coalition on Health, the National Committee for Quality Assurance and the National Quality Forum, among others.

He first job covering health care was as the editor of Business & Health magazine, formerly published by Medical Economics Co., where he wrote about the ill-fated health care reform plan that President Clinton proposed. Clinton later withdrew the plan in the face of stiff opposition from health insurers and the health care industry. Burns began his career as a newspaper reporter in Connecticut for the Meriden Record-Journal and then worked as a reporter and regional news editor for The Hartford Courant, the nation’s oldest newspaper. While working for The Courant, he taught newswriting at the University of Connecticut.