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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 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.
Picture of Tracie Potts
Susan Moore has colon cancer. She couldn’t afford transportation to dialysis three times a week. Until recently, she wanted to die. Her story struck reporter Tracie Potts especially hard.
Picture of Kellie  Schmitt
After the state expanded Medicaid under the ACA, Washington state health officials noticed that people who were focused on survival were letting their health needs fall by the wayside.
Picture of Rusha Modi
"The reality is that many medical students, residents and trainee physicians are illiterate in the basics of public health and health policy," says Dr. Rusha Modi.
Picture of Erika Klein
 On Jan. 1, Californians in the state's Medicaid dental program will once again have full dental coverage. But the program's low rates mean many dentists won't see them.
Picture of Kellie  Schmitt
The use of crowdfunding to cover medical costs has grown rapidly in recent years. The trend provides insights into gaps in health coverage, but also poses some problems health reporters should keep in mind.
Picture of Kellie  Schmitt
Experts increasingly point to the high cost of care in America — not necessarily the overuse of care — as the chronic illness of the U.S. system. Here's one model for reporting on the story in your local market.
Picture of Louise McCarthy
Community clinics in Los Angeles know they have to find new ways to get at the social factors that ultimately shape health if they're going to make a real difference in their patients' lives.
Picture of David Lansky
From Singapore to England, every country that has more successfully managed health care costs than the U.S. has chosen a path of self-discipline and free-market restraints.
Picture of Kellie  Schmitt
The opioid epidemic has given rise to an illicit gold rush as patient brokers and treatment centers profit off desperate addicts, funneling them to shoddy treatment centers and fraudulent “sober” homes at a profit of thousands per head.

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