Nonpartisan Briefings by the Alliance for Health Reform

Dates of Project: September 2012 through December 2013

Description: The Washington-based Alliance for Health Reform has provided nonpartisan briefings and publications on health care policy for congressional staff, reporters, and health-related organizations since 1991.

In this project, the alliance continued its work to support informed health care policy and highlight local efforts to improve health systems and public health amid the rollout of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

“Health care policy has two major challenges for those of us trying to ensure rational decision-making,” noted Edward F. Howard, JD, project director. “One is the utter complexity of the health care system and the Affordable Care Act. The other is high turnover among congressional staff and members of the press.”

Key Results

  • The project team:

    • Held four briefings on Capitol Hill for congressional staff, all aired by C-SPAN
    • Held two off-the-record press briefings by Republican and Democratic staff members from congressional health care committees on challenges ranging from the cost of Medicare and Medicaid to implementing the ACA
    • With the Association of Health Care Journalists, held press briefings in seven states on implementing the ACA at the state level
    • Held two webinars for opinion leaders and journalists outside Washington
    • Met one-on-one with 12 Washington-based reporters to discuss ideas for stories on health policy
    • Produced seven videos of interviews with experts on health policy
    • Updated Covering Health Issues: A Sourcebook for Journalists
    • Produced six toolkits on timely health care topics.