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Health policy

Picture of Georges Benjamin

Decades ago we made our criminal justice policies tougher, but in a way that turned out to be neither just nor equitable. As the prison population has soared, we've come to realize our justice system is also terrible for your health. And the forces driving lockups and bad health are often the same.

Picture of Kellie  Schmitt

There’s no question that prescription drug prices are skyrocketing in the United States, and consumers aren’t happy about it. What’s more complicated, though, is understanding the complexities of the issue and reporting on what those soaring prices mean for consumers.

Picture of Ryan White

Programs that offer public health coverage to kids are crucial to boosting the number of insured kids, but they're often not enough. Research suggests that parents' insurance status is a really strong predictor of whether their kids are covered. Policy wonks call it the "welcome mat effect."

Picture of William Heisel

A recent White House report noted that there is no evidence that state-by-state licensing improves quality or safety. And yet we have a 50-state system for doctors and for most other health care professionals. Is broad reform possible?

Picture of Michael  Hochman

Obamacare has strongly encouraged the creation of accountable care organizations, which focus on coordinating patient care so that, in theory, wasteful practices are eliminated and money is saved. But the early results have been mixed.

Picture of Ryan White

Are high schoolers who use e-cigarettes more likely to turn into smokers? New research published this week strongly suggests that's the case, but the study can't prove one causes the other. Meanwhile, laws preventing the sale of such devices to minors haven't done much to curb their spread.

Picture of Monya De

A troubled California database that allows doctors to check which patients are already receiving potentially addictive prescriptions is currently being relaunched. But one doctor argues that the state needs to do far more to stem prescription drug deaths than simply revamp CURES.

Picture of Kellie  Schmitt

The headlines have recently been dominated by talk of health insurers merging, but it's really part of a broader consolidation trend taking place in health care. Health policy expert Paul Ginsburg explains what's at stake when hospitals and physician groups combine, and how California is different.

Picture of Soumya Karlamangla

When LA Times reporter Soumya Karlamangla started looking into health care policies affecting immigrants, she had no idea how fast the California policy landscape was about to change. Reflecting on her reporting journey over the past year, Karlamangla offers key tips for staying ahead of the story.

Picture of Dan  Gorenstein

For three months this year, I spent time with some of the sickest, most expensive patients in America — the so-called "super-utilizers." During that time, I’ve learned about the great promise of programs to help such patients, and why innovations that both improve health and save money are so rare.

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