Sarah Varney reports on the implementation of the federal health law in the states and the effect of state budget woes on public programs, county governments and vulnerable populations including children and the elderly. Most recently, Sarah was the health reporter for KQED's statewide news program The California Report. She began reporting for KQED in 2002 and covered a range of subjects: from the ethics, politics and science of stem cell research to the religious and legal challenges over gay marriage to a story that debunked "toxin-sucking" foot pads. Sarah reports regularly for NPR's Morning Edition and All Things Considered and for KHN's print partners. | Contact: SarahV@kff.org
Health providers and patients in Brownsville make do with one of the nation’s highest uninsured rates. With billions in federal funding on the line, Texas counties along the border with Mexico plead their case to Gov. Rick Perry.
One in five households in the United States has only a tenuous relationship with a traditional bank, and many of these people are also uninsured. It's still an open question how the unbanked will buy insurance on the exchanges.
Arizona occupies an unusual place in the national landscape: as a model for how a generously-funded, tightly regulated government program can aid vulnerable, low-income patients.
Can for-profit health insurance companies be trusted to take care of the vulnerable, expensive patients who qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid? In Arizona, a state that has been known to resist federal health programs, private companies have been doing just that for many years.
President Obama's actions and proposals on reducing gun violence include efforts to address the nation’s fragmented and porous mental health system. Mental health advocates are buoyed by the attention given to an issue they say has been ignored for far too long.
The storefront doctor's offices serve a vast number of uninsured Latino residents, in a kind of parallel, cash-only health system. But officials have little information on the quality of health care the clinicas provide, and whether they might be able to help fill persistent and profound gaps in Los Angeles’ strained safety net.
An effort in California to move Medicaid patients into managed care has national significance as federal officials roll out a similar but larger program for as many as 2 million people who qualify for both Medicaid and Medicare.
The Reagan Democrats of the 1980s are older and and many are on Medicare, a program that the GOP wants to alter dramatically. Do they still hold true to the Gipper’s smaller government ethos, even if it might mean big changes to the program for seniors and the disabled?
Every day, at least 10,000 people turn 65 and most become eligible for Medicare. That can raise lots of questions: for those still working, should they enroll or keep their company’s health plan? If they retire, how does that affect spouses and children?
A recent town hall shows how explosive the Medicare debate can get in the hottest races in the country.