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Grant from nonprofit helps expand health care news coverage

Grant from nonprofit helps expand health care news coverage


JEFFERSON CITY   •   After spending more than 24 years in the Statehouse covering everything from tax credits to dog breeders, I’ll be focusing on one issue for awhile: the rollout of the federal Affordable Care Act.

I’m part of a Post-Dispatch team that will beef up our health care coverage for a new web page. You can find it here, under

The Post-Dispatch was one of five news organizations that received a grant from Kaiser Health News to underwrite some of the costs of the expanded coverage. The other recipients are the Miami Herald, Seattle Times, Philadelphia Inquirer and the Texas Tribune.

If you’ve followed the nuances of the national health care debate, you’ve probably heard of Kaiser.

My in-box has overflowed for several years with daily alerts from the nonprofit news service. (You can read about its founding here and about some of the questions that raised for news organizations here.)

In a nutshell, Kaiser is staffed by veteran journalists who provide in-depth coverage of health care policy. It is an editorially independent offshoot of the Menlo Park, Calif.,-based Kaiser Family Foundation.

The grant won’t affect our editorial independence, either.

We’re hunting for the stories that show how the Affordable Care Act is -- and isn’t -- working. And there are likely to be plenty of kinks this fall, when consumers begin shopping for subsidized plans through the online marketplace.

The upcoming tussles in the Missouri Legislature over revamping – and possibly expanding -- Medicaid also will command plenty of attention on this blog. The mix of carrots and sticks that legislators are weighing could affect hundreds of thousands of Missourians.

To keep from shortchanging our coverage of other subjects during the legislative session, my colleague, Elizabeth Crisp, and I will be joined by an intern in January.

You can be the judge as to whether we’re fairly covering the implementation and impact of Obamacare. You can reach me with questions, suggestions or comments at Or call me at 573-556-6181.

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Virginia Young is the Jefferson City bureau chief for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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