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Medicare

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This series took 6 months to prepare. 

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Here are 10 ideas from three journalists talking about how to cover health reform’s rollout at the Association of Health Care Journalists conference in Chicago:

1. Will there be a physician shortage in your area? Start checking in with your local medical school or teaching hospital and the Association of American Medical Colleges and Teaching Hospitals.

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Charles M. Blow documents that President Obama's sales job for the health care reform law has so far resulted in his lowest approval ratings on health care (34%) since taking office. Blow writes that: "This underscores the current fight for the soul of this country. It's not just a tug of war between left and right. It's a struggle between the mind and the heart, between evidence and emotions, between reason and anger, between what we know and what we believe."

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Here's a recap of the latest developments on the health reform front, along with some helpful resources and story ideas for your community.

March 21, 2010, 10 p.m. PST

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One question that’s getting lost in all the chatter after Scott Brown’s historic election and Nancy Pelosi ‘s defeated comments on health reform today is what’s going to happen to the concessions that the insurance and pharmaceutical industries offered last year as serious reform discussions were just getting underway.  The Wall St.

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Safety net hospitals are a crucial part of the country's health care system. A safety net hospital is a hospital that serves substantially more uninsured patients and patients enrolled in Medicaid and Medicare than other hospitals. Often the term is used interchangeably with the term public hospital, an acute care hospital owned by a governmental entity, usually the county in which it's situated.

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On Tuesday, I posted the first half of my “Top 10 list” of noteworthy health journalism. Here’s the second half. It bears repeating: this definitely isn’t a best-of list, and admittedly, it’s print-centric. There’s lots of excellent work out there that I didn’t have a chance to read or view or listen to. But the five stories below are worth reading, and learning from.

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Robert Steinback is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and former Miami Herald columnist who was laid off in 2008. His COBRA health insurance ends in January, and, because he has diabetes, no insurer will offer him an individual policy. Other alternatives, such as a HIPAA policy, are prohibitive

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It sometimes seems like it takes a high-profile case like Terri Schiavo to get people to think about end-of-life issues – or editors to agree to stories on the topic.

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Perplexed by the unusually high rates she was paying for her employer-provided health insurance, NPR member station reporter Sarah Varney set out to better understand the system. She discovered that small companies' rates are dictated by the demographics of their work force — and when the work force is small, it can spell complications, higher prices or both.

Click here to hear the full story on NPR's Morning Edition

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