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With the upcoming enrollment for California's health exchange expected to be half as long and twice as hard, officials are looking to improve on call wait times, outreach to diverse communities, and persuading the remaining uninsured to sign up.

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In California, Certified Enrollment Counselors fill a role under the Affordable Care Act similar to the one that’s often described as a “navigator” on a national level. But under Covered California, CECs and navigators are not the same thing.

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GOP leaders say opposition to Obamacare is their No. 1 campaign issue for the midterm election. At the same time, a growing number of Republican states now embrace a major provision of the law — expanding Medicaid, government-funded health benefits for the poor.

Picture of Eric Whitney

The White House has set aside more than a quarter of a billion dollars nationally to pay navigators who can give people face-to-face help — in buying coverage and in calculating subsidies to make it more affordable. Colorado has almost $24 per person to spend on outreach.

Picture of Jennifer Haberkorn

About one in four Texans lack health coverage, including one in three Hispanics in the state. If a significant portion of the 6.1 million uninsured here don’t or can’t enroll, national targets could be missed, the new health insurance exchanges could falter and insurance rates could spike.

Announcements

“Racism in medicine is a national emergency.” That’s how journalist Nicholas St. Fleur characterized the crisis facing American health care this spring, as his team at STAT embarked on “Color Code,” an eight-episode series exploring medical mistrust in communities of color across the country. In this webinar, we’ll take inspiration from their work to discuss strategies and examples for telling stories about inequities, disparities and racism in health care systems. Sign-up here!

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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