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This story is Part 14 of a 15-part series that examines health care needs in Gary, Ind.

When Shantray Hooks, of Gary, lost her job as a restaurant cook in August, she didn’t know how she would pay for doctor visits.

“I had no health insurance and I couldn’t afford to pay a doctor,” said Hooks, 29, who was diagnosed with diabetes several years ago.

A doctor referred her to the Community Health Net of Gary, a federally qualified community health center that provides comprehensive primary care health services and charges on a sliding fee scale for services.

Picture of Alison Knezevich

West Virginia children with autism would have a much easier time getting treatment under legislation passed Thursday by the House of Delegates. 

Picture of Annette Fuentes

A Commonwealth Fund survey compares the states on childrens' health care access and treatment, and California ranks in the bottom quartile.

Picture of Sarah Arnquist

Despite being for-profit institutions, Sierra Vista and Twin Cities Community Hospital lead the way in providing care to those less fortunate in the region.

Picture of Danielle Ivory

Health reform will greatly expand the existing Medicaid program to provide health care to millions more Americans below the poverty line. It seems like a good idea on its face, but under the current system, patients covered by Medicaid generally are the unhealthiest people in the country. It's a case where having insurance coverage does not necessarily mean that you have access to good care.

It begs the question: If we add more people to an already overloaded system, will this exacerbate existing problems?

Picture of Angilee Shah

Health care reform, and the ideological, political and public health battles that surrounded it, reached a fever pitch in the media by the time the legislation reached the House of Representatives in March. Many members of ReportingonHealth were watching and chronicling these events closely. Here, a cross-section of reporters discusses their experience working on these complex stories.

Picture of R. Jan Gurley

Are you confused, angry and, frankly, pissed off as you watch sumo-sized egos battle out the mammogram issue? How will it affect you and your loved ones? What actually is the thinking behind the new United States Preventative Services Task Force recommendation to NOT screen women in their forties for breast cancer? Is it as nonsensical as it sounds? Doc Gurley gives you a common sense, plain-language explanation of the ins and outs of this complex issue. She's a practicing board-certified internist who's also published cost-effectiveness research.

Picture of Stan Dorn

Before describing a few stories that have not received much play in the media, I'd like to mention a few publications by my Urban Institute colleagues that provide useful state and local information. One report shows, by Congressional district, the proportion of residents with various types of health coverage (uninsured, privately insured, or covered by Medicaid or other public programs).

Picture of Casey Selix

If Congress and President Barack Obama decide the responsibility for health insurance falls on the shoulders of individual Americans, all of us might want to pay more attention to what's going on now in the individual insurance market and to what's promised in the legislation. If having no insurance is considered rock-bottom, having individual insurance is the next floor up. Some call it "house insurance," thinking that by having it they won't lose their homes to pay for a catastrophic illness.

Picture of Barbara Feder Ostrov

Sheila Himmel, an award-winning food writer and restaurant reviewer for the San Jose Mercury News, loved to eat. Then her daughter became anorexic, forever changing Himmel's relationship with food and her identity as a journalist. In Hungry: A Mother and Daughter Fight Anorexia, Himmel and her daughter Lisa examine how their family coped with Lisa's serious eating disorder.

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