KQED Radio Staff
Health Reporter, The California Report
Sarah Varney covers health policy and public health across California for KQED's statewide news program The California Report. She has reported extensively on the implementation of the federal health law and the effect of the state's budget woes on public programs, county governments and vulnerable populations including children and the elderly. She began reporting for KQED in 2002 and has covered a range of subjects and stories: from the ethics, politics and science of stem cell research to the religious and legal challenges over gay marriage to a story that debunked "toxin-sucking" foot pads.
Sarah reports regularly for National Public Radio's Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Her work has been recognized by the Society for Professional Journalists, the Northern California Radio and Television News Director Association, and the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association. In 2003, Sarah earned a commission from the Third Coast Audio Festival to produce an experimental soundscape presented in Chicago.
Before joining KQED, Sarah was a senior consultant at a San Francisco-based strategy consulting firm, and prior to that led the business development team at a startup market research firm. Sarah grew up in rural New Hampshire and earned her B.A. in political science from Brown University.
Email Sarah: email@example.com
Stories (297 archives)
California was once considered the most aggressive cigarette taxing state. But as other states have raised cigarette taxes in recent years, California has not. Voters have a chance to weigh in on the June 5 ballot with Proposition 29, which would hike the tax to nearly $2 a pack.
A hefty chunk of Governor Jerry Brown's newly proposed $8 billion in cuts may end up coming from state health care programs -- although previous attempts have been stymied by lawsuits or federal agencies.
Kaiser Permanente is often cited as an example of a health maintenenace organization that keeps costs reined in. In fact, portions of the Affordable Care Act were crafted with the Kaiser model in mind. But critics say the price gap between Kaiser and other insurance companies has narrowed, and the reasons are unclear.
The Affordable Care Act is staunchly opposed by a number of groups on the political right including Republicans, Libertarians and Tea Partiers. But there's opposition on the Left, too.
On April 1, adult day health care will be eliminated as a Medi-Cal benefit. A scaled-down version of the program called Community Based Adult Services will take its place. But days ahead of the transition, advocates for the disabled have filed a contempt motion against the state.