Jordan Rau’s stories have been published in The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Philadelphia Inquirer, Politico, and on npr.org and nbcnews.com, among other media outlets. He came to KHN when it was started in 2009 from the Los Angeles Times, where he covered California government and health care politics in Sacramento. He previously reported for Newsday in New York, the Concord Monitor in New Hampshire and two newspapers in Vermont. | Contact: JordanR@kff.org
Dennis Rivera is spearheading the Service Employees International Union's political campaign to influence the health care debate. He discusses what the country’s largest health care union, with 1.1 million members, is trying to accomplish.
House Democratic leaders are preparing to unveil a sweeping health overhaul plan that will set the stage for a fight over the most contentious issues. The bill embraces liberal principles even as moderates and conservatives in both parties argue for changes in areas such as taxation and the role of the government in providing insurance.
The result of an unusual collaboration between a prominent liberal group and the prescription drug industry, today's ad uses heart-rending vignettes of "real people" to press for affordable, comprehensive health insurance. Yet some of the people profiled in the ads might not get much relief under the main proposals pending in Congress.
While lawmakers are targeting rising costs and growing numbers of uninsured, a new crop of health care-focused documentaries offer a darker, more conspiratorial view: Powerful vested interests lusting for profits are responsible for the country’s medical malaise.
Wal-Mart made big news when it announced Tuesday that it was joining forces with the Service Employees Internation Union and a liberal think tank, the Center for American Progress, to support a requirement that employers make some financial contribution toward their workers' health care. KHN's Jordan Rau talked with Wal-Mart's David Tovar about the decision.
"Ad Audit" is KHN's new feature examining advertising campaigns designed to influence the health reform debate. In this campaign, called "What If?", Health Care for America Now, an advocacy group funded by unions and other organizations favoring major health care changes, pushes one of the most controversial elements of the Democratic-backed legislation: a new government-run insurance plan that would compete with private insurers.
As Congress searches for funds to pay for health legislation, flexible spending accounts, which allow consumers to use pre-tax dollars to pay for medical bills, emerge as a possible source. The result is a renewed debate over whether the accounts are a legitimate way to help people cover costs or are a tax shelter for the affluent.
Labor leaders are worried as congressional Democrats weigh various health care overhaul proposals. Unions oppose taxation of employee benefits and want a strong public insurance plan to compete with private insurers, but some Democrats say they're open to compromises on both issues to attract Republicans and fiscal conservatives in their own party. Unions have pledged to spend $80 million in their campaign to influence legislation.
A battle over whether to build a new hospital in northeastern New Jersey illustrates the formidable obstacles confronting President Obama and Congress as they try to mine savings from the $2.5 trillion health care system.