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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 www.cjr.org. Her blogposts are at http://www.cjr.org/author/trudy-lieberman-1/
She is also a fellow at the Center for Advancing Health where she blogs about
health at http://www.preparedpatientforum.org/. Her blog posts are at http://blog.preparedpatientforum.org/blog/category/author/trudy-lieberman/ 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.
(1 comments) SHARE 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
(3 comments) SHARE 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.
(1 comments) SHARE 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?
(10 comments) SHARE 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.
(2 comments) SHARE 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.
(8 comments) SHARE 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.
(3 comments) SHARE 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 whatâ€™s going on. If the press doesnâ€™t tell them, who will?
(1 comments) SHARE 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.
(8 comments) SHARE Thursday, January 30, 2014 Comparing U.S., Canadian health care systems
One thing Americans and Canadians can agree on is that we donâ€™t want each otherâ€™s health care systems. In truth, most Americans donâ€™t know how Canadaâ€™s system works and Canadians donâ€™t know much about the U.S. system.
(9 comments) SHARE 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 programâ€™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?
(2 comments) SHARE 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."
(1 comments) SHARE 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.
(3 comments) SHARE 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.
(8 comments) SHARE 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.
SHARE 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.
(1 comments) SHARE 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.
(1 comments) SHARE 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.
SHARE 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
(2 comments) SHARE 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.