Youth Radio: When I Get Health Insurance . . .

March 29, 2010 · Filed Under health, health care · Comments Off on Youth Radio: When I Get Health Insurance . . . 

050211_5303_0593_Youth Radio compiled thoughts on health care overhaul from young people who have been living without health insurance. The question: what’s the first malady you will treat once you have insurance? The answers: surprising.

To read the full story visit

Teens Talk About Their Health

February 19, 2010 · Filed Under Bay Area, education, family, health, health care, LGBTQ · Comments Off on Teens Talk About Their Health 

Last night’s Health Dialogues focused on teen health. The on-air pieces included a round table discussion with students from Burton High School in San Francisco, a look at an anti-bullying program in Lake County, and a visit to a group in Fresno that focuses on healthy decision making. Personally, I’m thrilled to see a show about teenagers that actually included teens themselves.  And you can be part of the conversation too. Visit the Health Dialogues site, listen to what other teens had to say, and then tell us what you have to say. Come on. You know you want a chance to vent.

Should Abstinence Education Be Part of Health Care Reform?

December 28, 2009 · Filed Under education, health care, politics · Comments Off on Should Abstinence Education Be Part of Health Care Reform? 

condoms photoThe national dialogue on health care incorporates many issues that have long divided our country: abortion, immigration, end-of-life care, and now it seems that sex education has joined the list.

The Washington Post reported yesterday that Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) sponsored and successfully included legislation that designates $50 million for abstinence education programs in the Senate version of the health care overhaul bill.

The reform bill passed by the House of Representatives in Nov. doesn’t specifcy any funding for abstinance education but does include $50 million for comprehensive sex education programs, which often include discussions of so-called “safer sex” techniques such as using condoms. The Senate bill also includes $75 million for comprehensive sex education programs.

Sex education funding will probably be only a minor part of the discussions to reconcile the House and Senate versions of the health care bill.

To learn more about the funding of abstinence programs, read the full article at The Washington Post.

And if you need to refresh your memory of how a bill becomes a law, nothing beats School House Rock’s classic “I’m Just a Bill.” Check out the video on YouTube.

To learn more about health care reform visit:

An Oldie But A Goodie: Age Rating

November 3, 2009 · Filed Under health care · Comments Off on An Oldie But A Goodie: Age Rating 

Our apologies readers. KQED’s Sarah Varney covered a topic of great importance to you last week and we failed to post the story. Shame, shame. So without further ado, here is The California Report’s piece on age rating. Age rating is when health insurance companies charge people different amounts based on their age.

PS: We had to look up apopletic, too. In this story it means angry or excited.

Tales from the Edit Booth: Final Chapter

October 29, 2009 · Filed Under Digital Natives process, health care, journalism, Tales from the Edit Booth · Comments Off on Tales from the Edit Booth: Final Chapter 

By Nate Hadden

When I was initially told at Youth Radio that I was going to be partnering up with someone from KQED to create a video on health care that the average young person would want to watch, and do this, by re-telling several stories that KQED had already reported, I was very skeptical about the outcome of the project. The subject of health care is so vast and vague that it’s very hard to understand and relay to someone else who’s also uninformed. Even most people who have health care don’t understand why, what, and how their health care and the current health care system works. I felt the process would be like trying to teach a blind person colors or a deaf person what sound an elephant makes. Basically, it would be a very hard thing to accomplish.

When I met Amanda Stupi from KQED, I related my concerns to her, as she did to me, and we found a middle ground. We listened to many KQED shows concerning health care and then we used the facts stated in the KQED pieces in the video. While listening to the KQED shows for information, I found that I had accidently fallen asleep a few times. Also, when I was awake, sometimes I would go into a trance where I could hear someone talking, but I wasn’t actually listening to them — it was kind of like the sound the teacher from Charlie Brown makes when she speaks in class.

At that point, I told Amanda that young people are not going to sit through this video if there’s nothing entertaining for them to watch along with the facts. So I thought to myself, what is all health care related to? Answer: people getting sick or hurt and wanting to get well. What are the most watched videos on You Tube that young people love and watch religiously? Answer: music-related videos, and clips that are funny or show people getting hurt. I told Amanda that information and eventually, we both decided the roles each of us would be responsible for to create this video. Amanda’s role was to make sure all the facts are informative and accurate and my role was to make sure the video was entertaining.
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Review of Rock the Vote Health Forum

October 22, 2009 · Filed Under health, health care · Comments Off on Review of Rock the Vote Health Forum 

doctor-and-computerBy Jessica Lipsky held a web conference titled “ Health Care Reform, Uncovered” and made a nationwide call to action, urging young adults to become more involved in the health care debate. The hour and a half interactive info session featured the Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement Tina Tchen, Rock the Vote’s Heather Smith, and Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was scheduled to appear but was called away to Senate negotiations. Viewers submitted questions on everything from how to afford health care as a college student to the effects of a public option – questions were shown on a sidebar and streamed live.

I missed the first 20 minutes or so of the forum because of difficulty logging in. Finally, after trying with three different log-ins, I was granted access.

While there were no questions asked about specific legislature, Tchen insisted that the bills (which ones, she did not clarify while I was watching) would “attack the overall cost of the entire system. . . bend the cost curve.” Health care reform, she said, will cut costs by inducing competition and forcing insurance companies to wrangle with a government-run, not for profit entity. At one point, Ms. Tchen “got real” and said that insurance companies are “making health care for people,” suggesting that the insurance industry, not health needs, determine the type and quality of health care people receive. A bold statement for a White House rep.
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Breaking Down Health Care

October 20, 2009 · Filed Under health, health care, news · Comments Off on Breaking Down Health Care 

Health care has been getting a lot of attention lately and some people have asked us why. With that in mind, In Other Words put together a video that highlights some basic health care facts. We hope the video informs, entertains, and leaves you wanting more. If it does, here are some worthwhile resources:

Rock the Vote will host a panel discussion about health care tomorrow, Oct. 21, at 4p.m. PST.  The panel has some heavy hitters including the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, and Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz. Don’t forget to register and submit a question for the panel.

If you want help deciphering health care jargon, look no further. We’ve broken down some terms to help you remember the difference between a public option and an individual mandate:

10 Health Care Terms You Need to Know

10 More Health Care Terms You Need to Know

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Can’t Spare A Dime for Health Care

October 16, 2009 · Filed Under culture, family, health, health care · 1 Comment 

mollyadams By Molly Adams

“So what do you do?” is a question people ask a lot when you’re fresh out of college. I’m a freelancer, doing all kinds of broadcast production jobs. But that doesn’t cover my rent.

So I’m also a bartender.

None of these jobs come with health insurance.

I was lucky growing up. My parents were always steadily employed, sometimes by the government, so I always had health care. I remember trying to argue my mom out of a wisdom tooth extraction in high school. I said, “I bet it’s really expensive! It can’t be worth it.”

“Honey. It’s $70,” she said back. “We have insurance.”

A few weeks ago, before I was dropped from my parents’ plan, I had an eye exam and a physical. It was like a last meal. I asked way more questions than I ever did before. I’ve started flossing my teeth every day, something I never did when I knew I could go to dentist if I had a problem.

My dad called me a couple of days before my final checkup. He asked what I was going to do. I told him Illinois provides free reproductive health care for women who make less than $1800 a month. But I didn’t have any other ideas.

Then my mom picked up the line. She told me she studied some COBRA information and that I could get a plan for around three hundred dollars.
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Mom and Dad’s Health Insurance May Be Yours

October 15, 2009 · Filed Under health care, news, politics · Comments Off on Mom and Dad’s Health Insurance May Be Yours 

family-medi-graphicBy Youth Radio Editor

This week, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that under a health reform bill in the House of Representatives, young adults could stay insured under their parents’ plans through age 26.

Members of Y.I. Want Change, a coalition of youth organizations formed by the Young Invincibles health reform advocacy group, and their supporters stood with Pelosi when she made the announcement at a press conference. The reform could be an important victory for young people.

“It’s important because as young people graduate from college and are struggling to find jobs in this economy, they need to have coverage and this provides them with an option,” said Chrissy Faessen, vice president of communications and marketing for Rock the Vote. The organization is a member of the Y.I. Want Change coalition.

Right now, about 25 states allow young people to stay on their parents’ plans into their 20s. But in other states, young adults get dropped from their parents’ private health insurance plans, usually between ages 19 and 22. At age 19, most young people no longer qualify for Medicaid, a government health insurance program that provides coverage for very low-income children and parents.
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10 More Health Care Terms You Need to Know

October 7, 2009 · Filed Under health care, news, politics, Uncategorized · Comments Off on 10 More Health Care Terms You Need to Know 

19104616 By Emily Beaver

When it comes to the health care reform debate, the lingo keeps changing. One day, everyone’s talking about the public option and the next day it’s health care co-operatives. With so many different ideas and plans about how to change health care in Congress right now, it’s hard to keep up with up with all of the health care terms in the headlines.  Our original list of health care terms was so popular, we created another one.

Here are ten more health reforms terms you need to know to follow the debate:

1. Baucus Bill

Max Baucus, a Democrat from Montana, has sponsored a health care reform bill that is moving through the Senate. If Congress passes the bill into law, it will determine how the health care system is reformed. Senator Baucus’ bill does not include a public option, or a government-run health insurance plan. Some of the bill’s other features include requiring all Americans to have health insurance and offering a “young invincibles” health insurance plan for Americans under age 25.

2. Single-payer health care system

Under a single-payer health care system, the government is the only party that pays for health care costs. The United States currently has a multiple-payer health care system, which means many sources, including several private insurance companies and the government, pay for Americans’ health care. Advocates of single-payer systems say the system lowers health care costs by cutting down on administrative costs and can help provide health insurance for more people. Although some critics of American health insurance say the country should adopt a single-payer system, most politicians aren’t considering a single-payer system as part of health care reform.

3. Health care cooperative

Health care cooperatives or “co-ops” have been touted as an alternative to the public option, or a government-run health insurance plan. In health care cooperatives, groups of doctors provide health care services to patients who don’t use health insurance to pay for medical care. Co-ops are non-profit organizations owned by patients who pay premiums to belong to the co-op and may vote on a board of directors. The Baucus Bill calls for the government to provide money to help create health care co-ops.

4. Age-rating

Private health insurers often charge older people higher premiums than younger people, a practice called age-rating. Insurers say that older adults should be charged more than younger adults because on average, they have more health problems and spend more on health care. The Baucus bill would limit how much more insurers can charge people for health insurance based on age. Under the bill, insurers could only charge an older person four times as much as a younger person, known as a 4:1 ratio. Some politicians are pushing for a 2:1 ratio.
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