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Remaking Health Care

This column explores how health reform is changing the ways in which we pay for and deliver health care in the U.S. It also highlights the ways in which our current system is falling short on measures of coverage, access and affordability. On any given week, that could mean a look at how Republican plans to repeal Obamacare could reshape the individual insurance market, how the safety net system is adapting to new financial pressures, or how the trend of doctors and hospitals merging into ever-larger entities is driving up costs. We also explore health care costs and whether the Affordable Care Act or its successor plans can live up to the promise to rein them in. Throughout, we keep watch on how the goals of health reform intersect with the shaping power of markets and human behavior. Contributors include veteran health journalist Trudy Lieberman and independent health journalist Kellie Schmitt, with occasional contributions from independent journalists such as Susan Abram and Sara Stewart.

Picture of Kellie  Schmitt
NYT's Katie Thomas shares how she finds and vets stories of real people stung by ever-rising drug prices, and expert panelists provide key context for rounding out coverage.
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What to do when history supersedes the thrust of your project?
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Critics fear a two-tier health system where the rich take priority over the rest. They argue concierge care will rob the system of needed physicians and hurt access to care for poorer patients.
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“What is unique at this time is that the difference between what the private sector is paying and what the public sector is paying for health care is starting to diverge,” says John Hopkins' Gerard Anderson.
Picture of Kellie  Schmitt
Looking for story leads on the underlying factors driving health in your community? The 2018 County Health Rankings offer a wealth of datapoints on what influences a community’s health.
Picture of Tracie Potts
A tour of four communities across America revealed a common theme when it comes to the health reform: "Over and over we heard the same thing: people feel forgotten. They feel Washington is not listening."
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Proponents of Medicaid work requirements think it would flush freeloaders out of the system. And yet the reality is that most people on Medicaid already work.
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Growth in health care employment will fluctuate but the long-range trend is decidedly upward, as these seven signs suggest.
Picture of Kellie  Schmitt
While ACA repeal efforts have stalled, the individual mandate is gone and Medicaid work requirements are proliferating. Two expert observers weigh in on states' growing role in shaping health policy.
Picture of Leoneda Inge
One of the busiest free clinics in the state of North Carolina closed its doors in 2016. A reporter decided to find out what that meant for the health of the county's disproportionately poor residents.

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