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Think Tank Releases Health Issues Guide for Journalists

New America Media, News Brief, Paul Kleyman Posted: Feb 27, 2009

The nonpartisan Alliance for Health Reform is publishing chapters of its online Covering Health Issues. The updated version of the guide provides concise and balanced information on leading health matters.

The guide also will be translated into Spanish later this year. However, an earlier Spanish edition, titled La Cobertura Periodstica de Temas de Salud, is accessible online.

The new English and Spanish editions also will be available in versions optimized for viewing on Blackberries, iPhones and other hand-held devices, said Bill Erwin, the spokesman for Alliance.

The 12 chapters provide background and overviews on issues such as healthcare costs, children's medical coverage, Medicare, Medicaid, long-term care, and disparities. Each chapter offers Fast Facts on the topic, background information, a summary of likely policy debates, tips for reporters who cover the topic, story ideas, experts with contact information and helpful websites.

The guidebook, funded by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, also includes special features on covering health issues for TV and radio, finding public opinion polls on health issues, and understanding the congressional budgeting and appropriations process.

To download the new Covering Health Issues or previous editions, visit the Alliance website at www.allhealth.org and click on Resources.

The Alliance is a nonprofit health policy education group. Thats as even-handed a source for basic healthcare policy explanations and discussions as a reporter might find in the nations Capitol.

The organization was founded by Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., in 1991, and he serves as honorary co-chair with Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine. The Alliance neither lobbies nor takes positions on legislation.

At the Alliance home page, there are also recent briefings papers and other information about healtcare. The Find-an-Expert service for reporters(www.allhealth.org/reporter_enroll.asp) has more than 400 authorities on health policy topics, including many of interest to minorities. For more information, e-mail Erwin at berwin@allhealth.org, or call (202) 789-2300.

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