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Picture of William Scanlon

As Congress slugs it out over health-care reform this week, hopeful eyes are on Grand Junction, CO., where low-cost, high-quality near-universal health care is the norm.

You can find my new five-part series on Grand Junction’s health care system here.  

The doctors in Grand Junction, a western Colorado city of 53,000, say their system can become a national model, and there are doctors in dozens of communities ready to replicate the system that uses a non-profit insurance provider but allows doctors to work for profit.

Picture of Zoe Corneli

In California alone, nearly 4 million working people lack health insurance. Many of them are young, educated professionals who freelance or work part time. These are the invisible uninsured, our neighbors and friends. Often, lacking health care is their uncomfortable secret.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll hear some of the stories of this group. Today, KALW’s Zoe Corneli reports on educated young adults who make the choice to live without health insurance.

Picture of Dan Lee

Created by Congress in 1997, the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)  provides coverage for children whose families earn too much to qualify for Medicaid, but too little to afford private insurance. States set their own income eligibility requirements, and the federal government matches a portion of each state's spending each year, up to a capped amount that is not enough to cover all children.

Picture of William Heisel

Unless someone has had a bad experience with an insurance company, most people think of insurers as either benign or positive forces in their lives. It’s the president from “24” telling us in a deep, reassuring voice that we’ll be taken care of.

Picture of William Heisel

I started listing my favorite stories of the past year, in no particular order, on Dec. 21. Here is the rest of the list.

At VA Hospital, A Rogue Cancer Unit,” Walt Bogdanich, The New York Times

Picture of Alan Katz

We have a guest post today from insurance blogger Alan Katz, past president of both the National and the California Associations of Health Underwriters. His blog is well worth your time if you cover health reform or health insurance.

Picture of Josh Goldstein

Follow the money. That simple phrase – though never uttered by Bob Woodward’s most famous source – has propelled countless reporters to dig deeply into all manner of news stories.

And nearly four decades after Woodward and Carl B

Picture of Suzanne Bohan

While reporting for a four-part series on the wide gap in life expectancies and disease rates between people in nearby neighborhoods – due to drastically different conditions and social status – I expected to find that health care reform legislation would do little to address this issue. The reform legislation, after all, is primarily about health care insurance. But I was surprised to find that, for the first time, Congressional legislation contains at least $3.4 billion to focus on improving health disparities.

Picture of Barbara Feder Ostrov

The Senate may be taking a temporary break from health reform, but a journalist’s quest for fresh angles on the topic never wanes. (If you’re looking for some ideas, check out my previous tips here.)

Picture of Wendy Wolfson

Front Groups opposing healthcare reform have gone virtual. You know those games those people with seemingly lots of spare time on their hands play on Facebook? The Silicon Alley Insider reports that astroturf groups are paying gamers in fake currency if they take surveys. The surveys then automatically send a letter opposing healthcare to Congress.

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The USC Center for Health Journalism at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism is seeking two Engagement Editors to serve as thought leaders in one of the most innovative and rewarding arenas in journalism today – “engaged reporting” that puts the community at the center of the reporting process. Learn more about the positions and apply to join our team.

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