Talking Health

Related links

McCain's statement on the underinsured
Obama's statement on the underinsured
How Many Are Underinsured? Trends Among U.S. Adults, 2003 and 2007 (Commonwealth Fund)
Low health insurance caps leave patients stranded (The Associated Press)

Technical details

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Press release: New webcast series for health journalists debuts July 9

Talking Health: Covering the Underinsured

Webcast series debuts

AHCJ, The Commonwealth Fund, and the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism present Talking Health, a webcast that explores the growing problem of the underinsured – those who have insurance but are still at risk for substantial out-of-pocket expenses.

Launch in external player

PC users: Get the latest Windows Media Player
Mac users: Get Windows Media Components
for QuickTime by Flip4Mac

The program, moderated by AHCJ board president Trudy Lieberman, features Sara R. Collins, Ph.D., an assistant vice president at the Commonwealth Fund; Helen Darling, president of the National Business Group on Health, and Mila Kofman, Maine's superintendent of insurance. Two journalists, AHCJ board member Julie Appleby of USA Today and Reed Abelson from The New York Times, will offer suggestions and ideas for journalists based on the information discussed by the panelists.

About the speakers:

Reed Abelson has covered health care for the business section of The New York Times since 2002. Her interests include the rising cost of medical care, how financial incentives affect the delivery of health care and the increasing numbers of people in this country without adequate health insurance. Abelson joined the newspaper as a reporter in 1995. She previously worked at Smart Money, Forbes, Fortune and the Philadelphia Business Journal.

Julie Appleby, M.P.H., covers the health care industry for the business section of USA Today. She has been co-chair of the Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism since its inception. Appleby has worked at the San Francisco Chronicle, the Financial Times and the Contra Costa Times in Walnut Creek, Calif. Her reporting has led to several awards.

Sara R. Collins, Ph.D.  is assistant vice president for the Program on the Future of Health Insurance at The Commonwealth Fund. She is an economist whose responsibilities include survey development, research and policy analysis, as well as program development and management for the Fund's health care coverage and access program. Prior to joining the Fund, Collins was associate director/senior research associate at the New York Academy of Medicine, Division of Health and Science Policy. Previously, she was an associate editor at U.S. News & World Report where she wrote articles on economics and health care. She was also a senior health policy analyst in the New York City Office of the Public Advocate.

Helen Darling is president of the National Business Group on Health (formerly Washington Business Group on Health), a national nonprofit, membership organization devoted to providing practical solutions to its employer-members' most important health care problems and representing large employers' perspective on national health policy issues. Its 300 members, including 65 of the Fortune 100 in 2006, purchase health and disability benefits for over 50 million employees, retirees and dependents. Darling heads the Business Group’s Institute on Health Care Costs and Solutions which looks for practical solutions from a business perspective to the nation’s growing crisis of rapidly rising costs and affordability of care, on top of continuing problems of patient safety and quality. Previously, she directed the purchasing of health benefits and disability at Xerox Corporation for 55 thousand U.S. employees. Earlier in her career, Darling was an adviser to Sen. David Durenberger,on the Health Subcommittee of the Senate Finance Committee. She directed three studies at the Institute of Medicine for the National Academy of Sciences.

Mila Kofman has been the superintendent of insurance in Maine since March. At the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), she chairs the Consumer Protection and Innovations Working Group. Kofman was an associate research professor and project director at the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute. She studied state private health insurance market reforms, regulation, products, and financing strategies. In 2007, she was recognized by the American Council on Consumer Interests and was the 2007 Esther Peterson Consumer Policy Forum Speaker. As a federal regulator at the U.S. Department of Labor, she worked on legislation and implemented HIPAA and related laws. In 2000, she was appointed special assistant to the Senior Health Care Adviser to the President at the White House to work on legislative and regulatory initiatives – the Patient’s Bill of Rights, long-term care insurance, nursing home reform, and ERISA reform. In 2000, she was honored with the Labor Secretary’s Exceptional Achievement Award.

Trudy Lieberman is the director of the health and medicine reporting program at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. She is a contributing editor for Columbia Journalism Review, a contributor to The Nation and the author of several books. She has won numerous awards for her reporting including two National Magazine Awards. She also was a Fulbright Scholar to Japan and a John J. McCloy fellow to Germany to study health care in those countries. She is president of the AHCJ board of directors.