By Danielle Lanning, ONA intern
Although Obamacare is a national matter, Lisa Bernard-Kuhn of the Cincinnati Enquirer discussed what the new health care plan means for Ohioans and how to report on it during an exclusive ONA member webinar June 19. During the webinar, she highlighted some main dates for journalists to be aware of in the coming months and potential stories surrounding the upcoming open enrollment. There was discussion about the employer mandate to provide health care to employers and what it will mean once started.
Out of the expected number of people to sign up for Medicaid in Ohio, the state has already reached half of the expected total of 336,000 by June 2015, according to Bernard-Kuhn. She suggested looking for the impact of Medicaid and the health system mergers and consolidations among hospitals, patients and providers and how or if the benefits are being used. A main story idea for Ohio journalists included the mental illnesses and addiction aspect of Obamacare and what access to these benefits looks like for Medicaid users, and more specifically addicts in Ohio.
Other discussions included finding reliable resources for data and how to find real people without relying directly on the health care industry to put journalists in contact. Bernard-Kuhn used her recent series at the Enquirer as an example of how to implement social media into the search for sources. Bernard-Kuhn came in contact with her source, Ellen, via Facebook in “Pills couldn’t fix Ellen’s back“.
For upcoming webinars, go to the ONA training calendar here.