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Looking for Obamacare Story Angles?

Looking for Obamacare Story Angles?

Picture of Jill  Braden Balderas

October 1, 2013, marks the first day millions can sign up for Obamacare through the Health Insurance Marketplace. The success or failure of the health care expansion rests on adoption rates by the uninsured. Many of them have never had health insurance, so trying to bring the estimated 48 million uninsured into the fold in 2014 is no small task.

How can you cover the overall implementation issues as well as the nitty gritty details for readers, listeners or users? Sarah Kliff, health policy reporter for the Washington Post, Richard Figueroa, a foundation executive with The California Endowment and former California deputy cabinet secretary and health care adviser, and Peggy Girshman, executive editor of Kaiser Health News explored the issues and outlined potential story angles (Webinar recording at right; Slides only below).


Sarah Kliff

covers health policy for the Washington Post. Sarah joined the Post in August 2011 from Politico, where she authored Politico Pulse, a daily health policy tipsheet. Prior to Politico, Sarah was a staff writer at Newsweek covering national politics.

Her writing has appeared in National Geographic, the BBC, Humanities Magazine and St. Louis Magazine. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Kaiser Family Foundation and University of Southern California Annenberg School of Journalism.

Richard Figueroa

is the director of health and human services at The California Endowment. He was previously a deputy cabinet secretary and health care advisor in the Office of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, where he was responsible for health care, human services and health insurance issues. He also served as legislative director for California Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi.  Mr. Figueroa is also a voting member of the State of California Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board (MRMIB), which administers the Healthy Families Program (S-CHIP), Access for Infants and Mothers; and federal and state health insurance programs for otherwise medically uninsurable individuals. 

He also served as deputy legislative secretary under Governor Gray Davis, principal consultant to the Senate Committee on Insurance, senior consultant to the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee and a legislative budget analyst in the Office of the Legislative Analyst.  He has a bachelor’s degree from UC Davis and a master’s degree in business administration from UCLA.

Peggy Girshman is the executive editor of Kaiser Health News. She spent her early years working as a story and program producer for commercial television stations in Washington DC, WNET-TV, and as the senior producer for several PBS series, including Scientific American Frontiers and a 26-part series on statistics.

She worked for NPR News for 15 years in several editor positions: in science/health, domestic news and as deputy managing editor, eventually becoming a managing editor responsible for marrying the radio and digital sides.  She was senior medical producer at Dateline NBC from 1998-2001. She was an executive editor of CQ Politics. She is the winner of a national Emmy award, a co-winner of the AAAS science-writing prize and winner of two Peabody awards for covering health policy.


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