Saturday, December 20, 2014. Last Update: Fri 5:42 PM EST

The Second Opinion

Untangling Obamacare

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Reporters shouldn’t overlook this aspect of Obamacare

Six tips for reporters looking to clarify subsidy reconciliation

As healthcare reporters begin to focus on Obamacare open enrollment, one major, but overlooked issue comes to mind. That's the... More

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6 ways reporters can cover Obamacare open enrollment

Journalists need to make sure people understand how to use the law and to point out where it falls short

As we head into the second Obamacare open enrollment season, the media have a chance to redeem themselves from last... More

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Michigan’s Medicaid program is going to be great, say Michigan, Medicaid officials

Those claims deserve a closer look

A good piece from Kaiser Health News and USA Today this week about Michigan’s Medicaid expansion plan offers some pointers... More

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What’s health insurance really going to cost?

That’s the big question reporters must tackle, even as this year’s game of spin the rates takes off

Let the game begin! The game of spin the rates, that is. It's a game that pulled the media in... More

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Sorry, Congressman: Obamacare hasn’t made more people uninsured

A factcheck from Washington makes its way into the Kansas media

A little press tale that blew out of the Kansas plains a couple weeks ago shows the value that media... More

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Forget the spin of eight million sign-ups

The consumer and business story angles Obamacare reporters should turn to now

With the announcement late last week that eight million people had signed up for Obamacare, it seemed for a while... More

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The Atlanta Journal-Constitution does the Medicaid story we’ve been looking for

Taking a close look at what life is like in the “coverage gap”

Not long ago, we faulted press coverage of the Medicaid expansion debate for overlooking the personal experiences and struggles of... More

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The AP downplays its Obamacare scoop

Repeal on deductible caps marks another step in The Great Cost Shift

Earlier this week, David Espo of The Associated Press broke the news that an unlikely alliance of Democrats and Republicans... More

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Obamacare open enrollment ends. Time for a checkup?

What reporters are asking now and where they should focus in the weeks and months ahead

Midnight Monday brought the end of Obamacare's first open enrollment period, a deadline marked the next day by President Obama's... More

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A family left out of Obamacare

The Man in the Middle has “affordable” coverage; the ACA’s “family glitch” snags his wife and kids

Next week when the administration adds up Obamacare's first-year achievements--six to seven million Americans signed up for insurance on the... More

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AIDS patients in limbo, Latino sign-ups lag, and other ACA shout-outs

Our healthcare expert shines a light on some strong recent coverage

From time to time this space will offer a roundup of interesting, well-done, and useful stories about healthcare and health... More

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Obamacare? I wasn’t aware…

A takeaway for reporters from the latest Kaiser poll numbers: don’t forget who the law is for

When it comes to summarizing the key findings of the latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll, this Washington Post headline neatly... More

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Fox News, so confused?

Fox & Friends does nothing to clarify one woman’s confusing Obamacare trials, but still gets its message across

By now, we're accustomed to tales from the Obamacare trenches--good, bad, and ugly--spun in the media. There was Deborah Cavallaro,... More

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How to measure Obamacare success

It’s too soon to pass judgment. But reporters can keep the debate honest and focused on the law’s core goal

A woman I'll call Gina, a 58-year-old hairdresser and Manhattan resident, is one of more than 587,000 New Yorkers who... More

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Wonkblog on the ACA cost-control feature that might make you change your doctor

Sarah Kliff explores why wonks love “narrow networks,” and why consumers might hate them

Score one for Sarah Kliff's Health Reform Watch column this week. Her Monday Q-and-A at WaPo's Wonkblog offered a clear,... More

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Warning: This anecdote may be harmful to your story’s health

Six questions to ask before using an Obamacare tale

Healthcare-related media criticism doesn't often go viral, or even semi-viral, but the writer Maggie Mahar scored big earlier this month... More

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The Great Cost Shift comes into focus

It’s time for the press to lead a conversation about who bears healthcare costs

As the tumultuous year of the Affordable Care Act comes to an end, one of the central storylines of health... More

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Brill is back, and other ACA shout-outs

Kudos to good work in Time and The New York Times

From time to time this space will offer a roundup of interesting, well-done, and useful stories about healthcare and health... More

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What is an Obamacare consumer story, anyway?

The bar is set too low—a real guide should help readers become smarter shoppers

A Twitter conversation last weekend between MSNBC's Timothy Noah and some Washington Post reporters revealed a lot about how the... More

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Advancing the healthcare story with consumer coverage

Two Midwestern dailies offer good models for local reporting

The Obamacare story is getting a bit ripe about now--we all know about the botched federal website, we've been through... More

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Beyond cancelled policies, website glitches

Some fresh stories enter the healthcare mix—with money as a common theme

In case we've forgotten, there is other health news to report besides more cancelled insurance policies, website screw ups, and... More

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Tales from Obamacare’s trenches

A Pennsylvania woman goes shopping and finds the experience a consumer’s nightmare

In the July issue of CJR and on CJR.org, we introduced readers to a woman we called Carol, who had... More

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Grill the messenger

Reuters wrote about the Obamacare “messaging war,” but didn’t vet the messages

Late last week, Reuters published a story on "the messaging war over Obamacare" in which it featured two personal anecdotes--one... More

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The Big Boys: Are insurers stoking the fires of consumer discontent?

Talking Points Memo shows that it’s all about market share and the bottom line

Insurance companies are easy for the media to demonize in the abstract. But when it comes to revealing how they... More

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Where, oh where are all those poor people?

“Rate shock victims” aren’t the only ones suffering out there right now. But you wouldn’t know that from the news.

Unless you've been under a rock for the past two weeks, odds are you've heard the unhappy tale of at... More

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A failure to ‘ask the questions’

Why didn’t NBC, Fox News or CBS 2 examine Deborah Cavallaro’s insurance cancellation story before they aired it—like the LA Times did?

Deborah Cavallaro, a real estate agent in suburban Los Angeles, sure became a minor media celeb last week. Cavallaro, a... More

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Too little, too late on ‘You can keep it’

Obama knew millions might be pushed off their health plans. The press should’ve known, too.

I have a question for all the reporters busy asking whether Obama misled Americans with his oft-repeated line that "if... More

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An Obamacare reality check from reporters on the ground

The Bergen Record and Cleveland Plain Dealer serve up some fresh coverage

The deeply troubled state of Healthcare.gov has been the big healthcare story of the month. It's also a lesson in... More

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Reviewing Obamacare coverage: week 3

Time, Reno News & Review and Chicago Tribune deliver solid reporting. Plus: a quibble, a tip, and a story thread to follow

Some highlights and observations from the coverage of week three of Obamacare's rollout: Double shoutout. "The Unfulfilled Promise of Obamacare"... More

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Reviewing Obamacare coverage: Week 2

Stewart-Sebelius is the splashy story, but there’s lot of interesting state and local coverage

The splashy Obamacare media story of the week was Jon Stewart's Daily Show interview with Health and Human Services Secretary... More

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Reviewing Obamacare coverage: Week 1

A look at the good, the not-so-good, the interesting, and the opportunities ahead

It's been overshadowed a little bit by the shutdown in Washington, but this week marked the rollout--at long last--of the... More

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5 threads reporters missed on Obamacare

There are (many, many) opportunities for redemption ahead

On Tuesday, the Affordable Care Act made its official debut, adding another patch to America's patchwork quilt of health insurance.... More

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Untangling Obamacare: The affordability puzzle

Focus on people and pocketbooks, not just the latest study

It's time to move beyond the wonk studies that showed up all summer, which concluded that maybe the much-awaited rate... More

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The Big Boys: Ins. agents protect turf

Who best to advise consumers—newbie navigators or old time brokers?

Thanks to The Center for Public Integrity, we now have a substantial story that tells us about the latest Obamacare... More

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An Obamacare scorecard

Part 1: What’s gone, what’s on hold, and what’s still in place

For all that has been written, spoken, screamed, and whispered about the Affordable Care Act, there is still a... More

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The missing villain in the healthcare drama

When it comes to rising costs, what about hospital consolidation? A shout-out to Eduardo Porter for pointing that out

Eduardo Porter, the New York Times economics columnist, deserves a shout-out for his column last Wednesday challenging a meme... More

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Untangling Obamacare: What’s behind the rate increases?

To report on rising premiums you need to understand them. A primer for reporters

Rate hikes just keep coming. The latest we've heard about come from Blue Cross Blue Shield in North Carolina, which... More

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Untangling Obamacare: Rate shock!?

Understanding the direction of insurance premiums is not easy, let alone explaining it. But…

Covering Obamacare poses big challenges for journalists, from piercing government spin and deciphering GOP rhetoric to unraveling and simplifying... More

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Obamacare and the business angle: innovative coverage

A tip of the hat to Inc. and The New York Times

Inc.'s Adam Bluestein and Julie Weed of The New York Times have come up with an interesting way of covering... More

Hey millionaire tech bros: Have patience with the editorial process - Chris Hughes probably wanted to enable great journalism at first. Then the dust settled and before you know it, he’s shaking everything up again

Serial creators don’t know what will happen to Adnan Syed - New developments in his legal case suggest that the outcome is wide open

Price hike at UC Berkeley’s journalism school - Governing body approves additional fee of $7,500 starting 2016

Will Denver really have a newspaper war? - As a billionaire floats reviving the Rocky Mountain News, The Denver Post might buckle its chin strap

FOIA reform dies while the press looked the other way - RIP Improvement Act of 2014


The traffic lure of outrage (Slate)

“I didn’t become a journalist to peddle indignation on Facebook. But it sells—the page views don’t lie.”

NBC news producer’s sons were in the besieged school in Peshawar (NBCnews.com)

“I remained silent and didn’t know what to say — I know how such attacks on schools usually end”

Hero mom calls into CSPAN to berate her arguing pundit sons (WaPo)

“This was not planned. She called in on the normal line.”

Dick Cheney doesn’t want to call it torture but the media doesn’t have to follow (Vox)

“People deserve to know that the American government (proudly!) did things that in any other context are called torture”

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Greg Marx discusses democracy and news with Tom Rosenstiel of the American Press Institute

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