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California sends out about three billion dollars a year to the disabled and elderly so they can buy food and afford housing. But in the second part of our series, Senior Insecurity, Capital Public Radio found there's little oversight of this program.

Even though Supplemental Security Income - or SSI - is California's second most expensive health and human services program, the state doesn't track whether it's enough to live on or how people spend their money.

 

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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 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

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It’s safe to say that most health writers pay attention when Tracy Weber and Charlie Ornstein publish something.

They have been called the Woodward and Bernstein of health reporting. The comparison fits because these two have few peers in their ability to dig for documents, cajole sources into talking and embarrass powerful public figures.

Picture of Shuka Kalantari

As Congress considers a major overhaul of the U.S. health care system, Health Dialogues examines how the new state budget will affect health care closer to home. Will kids in low income families be able to get basic services? What about drug treatment programs mandated by Proposition 36? And how may where you live affect the care you'll get?

Healthy Families Long-Term Stability in Question: Find out what it's like to be a 15 year-old girl without health insurance, as Health Dialogues hears from one of nearly 80,000 children on the Healthy Families waiting list backlog.

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Howard I read your article "MSM fact-checking of Sarah Palin." Let's be honest about this entire exercise of 'Examining' Sarah Palin, and that is what many in the MSM are attempting to do here. If Sarah Palin had written the words "Complete Lives System" on her Facebook page in place of the "Death Panels", Sarah Palin would not be part of the healthcare debate. If the MSM didn't think they had a "GOTCHA" story on her they would not have acted, to my knowledge, in a unprecedented manner reaching out to a Facebook page to make National News.

Picture of Natalie Walsh

We continue our 5-part series on the high cost of health care in America.

Picture of Barbara Feder Ostrov

Here's a quick roundup of recent articles localizing the potential impact of federal health reform and California's health budget cuts (see Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's additional $656 million in line-item vetoes here and the full California budget document here).

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Announcements

More than 100 anti-transgender rights bills were introduced in state legislatures this year. Many focus on children and teens. Join us for our next Health Matters webinar, where we'll explore the health and well-being of transgender youth as states such as Arkansas and Tennessee seek to limit their rights. Our expert panel will share the latest research, seed story ideas and offer reporting advice. Sign-up here!

Are you passionate about helping journalists understand and illuminate the social factors that contribute to health and health disparities at a time when COVID-19 has highlighted the costs of such inequities? Looking to play a big role in shaping journalism today in the United States?  Apply now for one of our positions. 

The best journalism these days wraps compelling narratives around scrupulous data analysis. Apply now for our 2021 Data Fellowship to learn the skills necessary to use big data to inform your reporting on health and social welfare issues. Learn more in this webinar on Aug. 3.

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