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Trudy Lieberman

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Trudy Lieberman, a journalist for more than 40 years, is a contributing editor to the Columbia Journalism Review where she blogs about health care and retirement at Her blogposts are at She is also a fellow at the Center for Advancing Health where she blogs about health at   Her blog posts are at   Lieberman has had a long career at Consumer Reports specializing in insurance, health care and health care financing.   She was also the director of the Center for Consumer Health Choices at Consumers Union.   She is a contributor to The Nation, and has written a column about health and the marketplace for the Los Angeles Times.   Lieberman began her career as a consumer writer for the Detroit Free Press where her reporting became a model for consumer writers across the country.

She has won 26 national and regional reporting awards and other honors, including two National Magazine Awards, 10 National Press Club Awards, five Society of Professional Journalists Deadline Club Awards, a John J. McCloy Fellowship to study health care in Germany, a Joan Shorenstein Fellowship from Harvard University to study media coverage of medical technology, an honorary doctorate of humane letters from the University of Nebraska, and two Fulbright Fellowships---a senior scholar award to study health care in Japan and a senior specialist award to participate in training conferences in the United Kingdom for European health journalists.   She is the author of five books including Slanting the Story the Forces That Shape the News and the Consumer Reports Guide to Health Services for Seniors, which was named by Library Journal as one of the best consumer health books for 2000.

Lieberman is an adjunct associate professor of public health at City University of New York where she teaches courses on the media's influence on public health.   She was director of the health and medical reporting program at the Graduate School of Journalism, City University of New York, has taught media ethics in the Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program at New York University, and has been an adjunct professor of journalism at Columbia University.   In 2006, she was a Beamer-Schneider SAGES Fellow at Case Western Reserve University where she taught courses on media ethics and the ethics of health care delivery.   In 2007, she was appointed the James H. Ottaway visiting journalism professor at SUNY New Paltz where she taught a course on the media and the marketplace.   In 2011, Lieberman was named the Soderlund Visiting Professor in the College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Nebraska where she taught public affairs reporting.

Lieberman served five years as the president of the Association of Health Care Journalists, a professional organization of over 1300 journalists who cover health and medicine, and continues to serve on the board of directors as immediate past president.   She is currently a national advisory council member of the California Health Benefits Review Program.   She has served on the board of directors for the National Committee for Quality Assurance, the Medicare Rights Center, and Village Care of New York.   Lieberman appears on many panels and lectures widely on health care in the U.S.   She holds a B.S. with distinction from the University of Nebraska and earned a certificate in business and economics journalism from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism where she was a Knight-Bagehot Fellow in 1976-77.

She can be reached at and can be followed on Twitter at trudy_lieberman.

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MEDICARE, From ImagesAttr
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, April 9, 2015
What reporters forgot to tell you about the 'doc fix' bill and changes to Medicare There are key questions reporters ought to tackle whenever the House or Senate passes a bill. Coverage of the "doc fix" bill passed by the House last week, unfortunately, did not adequately address critical points. This is a bill that--in addition to reauthorizing the Childrens' Health Plan (CHIP) for two years and permanently fixing the way doctors are reimbursed for Medicare patients, both of
Expensive drugs, From ImagesAttr
(3 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Friday, July 11, 2014
Push Back Against Expensive Medicines Many Americans have begun to realize they're paying too much for prescription drugs. The introduction last year of Sovaldi, along with its hefty price tag -- $84,000 for a three-month regimen -- has sparked a conversation. Insurers have begun factoring the price they are paying for the drug into the premiums all of us will pay for health insurance.
Mddicare Truth Checking, From ImagesAttr
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, July 10, 2014
Medicare "Truth Checking" Falls Short What is it about Medicare's oversight of the nation's doctors that allows these outliers to continue business as usual despite a sanction now and then? The US healthcare system has evolved from a cottage industry to a profit-driven marketplace--what is it, politically, that has made this transition possible and allowed these doctors to continue flourishing?
Medicare Cave, From ImagesAttr
(10 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Sunday, June 29, 2014
Six times Medicare caved Reporters don't often cover the rule-making process that goes on at government agencies. If they do, they typically borrow from a press release announcing the agency has proposed this or that new regulation, and then the story dies a quiet death. Rarely is there any follow-up when regulated industries howl, or when successful lobbying results in the agency cancelling its proposed regulations.
From ImagesAttr
(2 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Friday, June 27, 2014
Investigating a $150 billion Medicare 'black box' An investigation of Medicare Advantage plans has exposed government hypocrisy and stonewalling, regulatory neglect, insurance company greed, and corporate exploitation of a program hailed as the fiscal savior for Medicare. It underscores the acute need for more accountability and oversight not only from the Obama administration but also from the press, which has all but abandoned reporting much of anything about Medicare.
Health Care.  How much?, From ImagesAttr
(8 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, June 19, 2014
What's health insurance really going to cost? It's that time of year again, when insurance companies propose the rates they'd like to charge for the policies they'll sell on the exchanges from November through February. These numbers are preliminary, subject to state and sometimes federal review and approval, but you wouldn't necessarily know that by the certainty and simplicity with which stakeholders spin them and reporters cover them.
Will Seniors Have To Pay?, From ImagesAttr
(3 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, February 6, 2014
The Medicare "Doctor Fix" - Will Seniors Have to Pick Up The Tab? If Medicare beneficiaries take a hit that resulst in benefit reductions, the backlash will be a noisy one. But beyond the political fall-out from reducing benefits and making seniors pay more out of pocket, those depending on the program for medical care need to know what’s going on. If the press doesn’t tell them, who will?
U.S. and Canadian Healthcare Share Common Challenges, Many Differences, From ImagesAttr
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, February 1, 2014
U.S., Canadian health care systems share some challenges Both countries are historically and practically relatively expensive. In 2011, the U.S. won the dubious honor of having the most expensive system in the world, spending about $8,500 per capita. Canada spent about $4,500, making it the third most expensive country among a group of OECD-developed nations. When I explained the high out-of-pocket expenses to Canadians, that notion simply did not compute.
Canadian flag, From ImagesAttr
(8 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, January 30, 2014
Comparing U.S., Canadian health care systems One thing Americans and Canadians can agree on is that we don’t want each other’s health care systems. In truth, most Americans don’t know how Canada’s system works and Canadians don’t know much about the U.S. system.
Obama Selling ObamacaRE, From ImagesAttr
(9 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, January 28, 2014
How to measure Obamacare success What would Obamacare success look like, and what metrics should we use to measure it? And since it will likely still be years before we can render an informed judgment on the program’s efficacy at meeting its goals, and there are lots of incremental stories to write in the meantime, how do we cover those stories without passing on the agendas of one side or another in the Obamacare message war?
From ImagesAttr
(2 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Exchange Watch: The Media Passes Along White House Spin When the administration released rates last Tuesday showing premiums in states where the federal government will run the exchanges, the announcement, Politico reported, came with "one big catch: the report doesn't actually reveal very much about what most people will pay."
From ImagesAttr
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, August 20, 2013
The press finds another Obamacare delay The New York Times reported last week that the Obama administration is delaying yet another provision of the Affordable Care Act--this time, an important one that will affect household pocketbooks in short order. The article disclosed that a much-touted provision will be delayed for a year, postponing out-of-pocket spending limits on consumers with insurance to no more than $6,350, or no more than $12,700 for families.
From ImagesAttr
SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, August 1, 2013
An Obamacare scorecard: Part 2 - The hits, misses, and mixed reviews In Part 1 we examined what parts of the original law have been implemented, what parts are on hold, and what parts are gone. In this, Part 2, we assess the law as it stands so far--its hits and its misses, as well as the parts that get mixed reviews.
From ImagesAttr
(3 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, July 30, 2013
An Obamacare scorecard Part 1: What's gone, what's on hold, and what's still in place For all the controversy about the Affordable Care Act, confusion and lack of knowledge among the public is still widespread. Meanwhile, it keeps changing, as portions are altered, fixed, or dropped. After all those changes, what is Obamacare, exactly? What is out, what is on hold, and what is still standing in this large and controversial law? What are Obamacare's plusses and minuses so far? Part 1 of a two-part scorecard.
From ImagesAttr
(8 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Sunday, July 28, 2013
Cost Curve: Hospitals Are Raising the National Healthcare Bill Hospitals account for about one-third of US health expenditures, but their bottom lines are being squeezed, and they are raising prices for services to make up for the shortfall. Doctors and hospitals hold the keys healthcare cost-control, but recent news reports suggest they may not be using them any time soon.
From ImagesAttr
SHARE More Sharing        Monday, July 22, 2013
Exchange Watch: Vermont Vermont's Green Mountain Care Board recently announced rates that will be charged by insurers selling through Vermont Exchanges in the Fall. The rates will reportedly be "comparable" to what they would be if the exchange did not exist. Not reported by the media was that this is the scenario likely to be replicated in other states when the new rules take effect in January.
From ImagesAttr
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Friday, July 19, 2013
Exchange Watch: Are New Yorkers getting a bargain? A closer look is in order Hallelujah! New York's insurance exchange, long kept under wraps by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, has finally brought forth some information about the rates that health insurers will charge New Yorkers next year via an apparent leak to the New York Times which ran the news with a dramatic headline: "Health Plan Cost for New Yorkers Set to Fall 50%." But a closer look is in order.
From ImagesAttr
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, July 16, 2013
The Obamacare ad wars begin An opening salvo from conservatives scores low on honesty. This week, Americans for Prosperity, a group that espouses small government and is funded by the Koch Brothers, aimed directly at something near and dear to many Americans: the ability to choose their own doctors. The commercial fails. It is clever. It does contain a kernel of truth but overall it's misleading and deceptive.
From ImagesAttr
SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Implementing Obamacare: The Fine Print (Carol's Story Sidebar) Who's eligible?; Is your employer coverage is inadequate?; What if what you have to pay for employer coverage is out of your price range?; what are the penalties if I fail to purchase insurance?; Will some people find it cheaper to take the penalty then buy insurance? The jargon: Deductible, Copayment, Coinsurance Tradeoffs: Risk versus coverage; Premiums versus coinsurance, copays, and deductibles The essential benefits
From ImagesAttr
(2 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Carol's story: One woman tries to navigate the Obamacare insurance jungle The full implementation of Obamacare calls for old-fashioned consumer reporting. Many features of the Affordable Care Act are already in place, but now comes its central pillar: the requirement for most Americans to carry health insurance, starting January 1, or face tax penalties. Readers will be forever grateful if journalists help them find their way through the confusion of the liftoff.

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