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This story attempts to bust through the stereotypes about uninsured people in Minnesota, which has one of the lowest uninsured rates in the nation.

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Often following a major journalistic investigation a governor or a senator or a president even will call for hearings or declare the creation of a blue ribbon panel to assess the situation and decide how to proceed.

Years can go by before a report, usually thick with euphemism and buck passing, lands on someone's desk, often a different governor or senator or president than the one who called for the assessment. Processes are "streamlined." Efficiencies are realized. Nothing really changes.

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Andrew Schneider is one of the country's most accomplished investigative journalists. His work has won not just one, but two Pulitzer Prizes, and countless other awards. I had the privilege of meeting him when both of us were finalists for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting at Harvard. My team lost. So did his.

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Just when you thought it was safe to make that triple-decker peanut butter and banana sandwich, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has slapped another big peanut processor with a warning letter.

I wrote about the salmonella outbreak at a Peanut Corporation of America plant in March and offered some advice on how to investigate our national food safety system.

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After California voters soundly rejected several proposals to mitigate the state's staggering $21 billion budget deficit, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is suggesting unheard-of cutbacks in health and social programs. This time, the discussion isn't just about cutting money from the Healthy Families subsidized health insurance program, it's about scrapping it altogether.

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California journalists, you know how the state's special election is going to turn out. Late on election night, all of the budget-related propositions - save for the one regarding lawmaker pay raises - are failing miserably. Even Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger skipped town.

So, now that ticked-off voters are turning down the stopgap budget fix proposed by Schwarzenegger, the question in the coming days will be: what happens to health care?

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Journalist. Santa Monica City Councilman. Music Producer. Entrepreneur. Bobby Shriver has worn a lot of hats, some of them simultaneously. Now, while working as a councilman, he runs (RED), a company he created with Bono to fund the purchase and distribution of medications to fight HIV and AIDS in Africa. I reached him at his office in Santa Monica.

Here is a recap of our conversation. It has been edited for space and clarity.

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If you're covering the swine flu outbreak, you should make time for a free online class offered by the Centers for Disease Control on Thursday from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. EST.

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Initiative 1000, the so-called "Death with Dignity Act," took effect in Washington state on March 5, after being approved by voters in November. And it has put hospitals in a strange position. Hospitals are considered the place where doctors and staff do everything in their power to keep a person alive. Now hospitals are being asked to allow their patients to kill themselves.

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Sandra Shewry is president and CEO of the Center for Connected Health Policy. She took a leave of absence from June to December 2010 to serve as a consultant to the state of California on implementing health care reform. Previously, she served as director of the California Department of Health Services, having been appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in March 2004. Prior to its reorganization, the California Department of Health Services was one of the largest departments within state government with a budget of $36 billion and 6,000 employees.

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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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