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Remaking Health Care

This column explores how health reform is changing the ways in which we pay for and deliver health care in the U.S. It also highlights the ways in which our current system is falling short on measures of coverage, access and affordability. On any given week, that could mean a look at how Republican plans to repeal Obamacare could reshape the individual insurance market, how the safety net system is adapting to new financial pressures, or how the trend of doctors and hospitals merging into ever-larger entities is driving up costs. We also explore health care costs and whether the Affordable Care Act or its successor plans can live up to the promise to rein them in. Throughout, we keep watch on how the goals of health reform intersect with the shaping power of markets and human behavior. Contributors include veteran health journalist Trudy Lieberman and independent health journalist Kellie Schmitt, with occasional contributions from independent journalists such as Susan Abram and Sara Stewart.

Picture of Laura Ungar

Even as the ACA transforms the nation’s health care system, its future remains uncertain. But no matter what happens, the law and its impact will remain a central subject for health care journalists for years to come, as AHCJ 2015 panelists Sarah Kliff and Julie Appleby explained.

Picture of Judy  Silber

The high-deductible health plans sold under the "bronze" banner may look lousy at first glance. But while they may not be ideal coverage, they're far better than the high deductible plans sold before Obamacare. And they can supply a critical lifeline when misfortune strikes.

Picture of Kellie  Schmitt

A recent report found big differences in how counties are handling California’s estimated 3 million uninsured. Some county safety net programs are serving very few residents, raising questions of whether such counties are adequately adapting to meet the needs of the remaining uninsured.

Picture of Judy  Silber

A new survey based on text messages finds that most Californians with health insurance are satisfied with their coverage and ability to get appointments. But the survey also found the coverage sign-up process poses big hurdles for the majority of uninsured respondents.

Picture of Judy  Silber

New federal immigration rules could potentially reduce California's pool of remaining uninsured by up to half a million people. But even if the new rules survive a current court challenge, the barriers to coverage are still high.

Picture of Kellie  Schmitt

New research from Berkeley economist Ben Handle finds that one company's health care spending dropped 17 percent after switching to high-deductible plans. The research gives new insight into how people's health care habits change when the incentives shift.

Picture of Veronica Zaragovia

Radio reporter Veronica Zaragovia of KUT in Austin focused her reporting series on the rollout of the ACA in Texas, especially some of its unanticipated effects. Here she reflects on a few of the lessons she learned along the way.

Picture of William Heisel

Are you making good use of hospital and nursing home inspection records in your reporting? If not, a few key database resources can help get you started. A review of several years can show patterns of medication errors, nursing lapses, or may highlight a horrific case.

Picture of Judy  Silber

As the media takes stock of the ACA on its five-year anniversary this week, the White House on Wednesday announced a new network of more than 2,800 health care leaders tasked with leading the nation towards a more efficient, less costly model of paying for care.

Picture of Ryan White

The old system of paying for health care may be broken, but is the future finally knocking on the door? And if so, what kinds of health care innovations will lead us forward to the promised land of lower costs and quality care? Our recent webinar took up these questions and more.

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