KQED's Healthy Ideas for Washington, D.C.

Published on
June 8, 2009

During our first California Broadcast Journalism Fellowship we listened to Julie Rovner, National Public Radio's correspondent on the Health Policy and Science Desk, talk on a panel about health care reform. But at NPR, "health care reform" is a banned phrase on the air. Reform, Rovner said, is not a neutral term so she opts instead for "health care overhaul." Whatever you call it, it's a huge and timely issue. KQED's radio program Health Dialogues is revisiting health reform for its June episode, which will be posted to the web site www.healthdialogues.org on June 19.

Rovner has kindly agreed to join us for a segment, to give our listeners an update on the latest developments in the health care reform (or overhaul) process, as well as the political situation in D.C. After one of the sessions at the Fellowship this past weekend, I mentioned to her that we wanted to do a "truth-squadding" segment, to try and sort out some of the political rhetoric that has started to appear around health care reform. Our conversation led me to the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania and then to Brooks Jackson of FactCheck.org. He'll be joining our discussion during the hour as well.

Health Dialogues compared the health reform plans of then presidential candidates Obama and McCain for the October 2008 edition of the program. We anticipated that the debate would be heating up in D.C. around June and we have not been disappointed! Back in March, we decided to create a blog project that invited leading California thinkers on health policy to help us think about four areas: the uninsured, eliminating disparities, slowing costs and health care quality and access. We asked these invited, primary authors to post at least once a week to a site called Healthy Ideas. The site went live on May 1 and the plan is to keep it live for two weeks past the hour-long radio broadcast with Rovner and Jackson, which will air for five days around California, between June 18 and 23. We then plan to take both the radio program and the Healthy Ideas blog to Washington as community input.

Here's a bit more about Healthy Ideas and how you can get involved.