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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Stories (297 archives)
Some new laws and regulations taking effect in 2012 affect health care in the Golden State. Insurers who offer individual and small group coverage must spend at least 80 percent of premiums on actual medical care. And legislators will continue laying the groundwork for the health insurance marketplace mandated by federal health care reform.
This week, a few hundred nurses are fanning out the state to assess who will qualify for a scaled-down adult day health care program. The state had planned to dismantle the network of more than 300 care centers to cut costs, but a legal settlement with advocates for the elderly and disabled has saved part of the program.
There are legal moves to block some of the trigger cuts from happening. The reduction to in-home care for the disabled and the elderly has already been put on hold by a federal judge, and the state's effort to trim payments to doctors who care for Medi-Cal recipients is on its way to the Supreme Court.
Californians could soon lose a major source of information on the safety of their hospitals. The California Hospital Association is pulling out of a long-running effort that makes hospital safety data available to the public.
Keeping your health coverage during a recession is tough. No job means no insurance. But part of implementing the Affordable Care Act calls for the creation of state exchanges for health insurance plans that are portable and not tied to work. In California, that exchange will look a lot like the public insurance plan that died in Congress last year.