Impact of "Midlife Crisis"

“Midlife Crisis: The New Uninsured,” published April 30-May 2 in the Ventura County Star.  This multi-story project focused on a surge in Ventura County baby boomers losing high-paying jobs in the recession, along with the health insurance plans that came with those jobs. The project was pioneering in identifying this baby boomer care crisis, which will have profound impact on the health care system for decades. It identified holes in a safety net that was not designed to accommodate middle class boomers. It documented the emotional toll created by the scenario in which boomers lose their health coverage, just as their health begins the slow decline that comes with middle age. The last day of this three day project  identified Ventura’s Health Care Coverage Initiative Program, one of 10 county-based pilots statewide, as a means to provide coverage to this growing population in need. It evaluated heath care reform’s ability to accommodate this boomer population.

After this story appeared, the California Department of Health Care Services submitted a formal request to the federal government to expand the 10-county Coverage Initiative Program to every county in the state. Locally, the Ventura program reopened enrollment after closing it out of concern that the state was not committed. Individual clinics in Ventura, including the Westminster Free Clinic featured in the series, saw an increase in private contributions to their effort and increased patient referrals for those in need of care who could not receive it elsewhere.

Senior Writer John Gonzales appeared on the Patt Morrison show on Southern California Public Radio, where discussed the findings of the series.

He also answered listener calls in this live format, all of them from middle-class boomers who had lost health coverage. Gonzales also appeared on the Sunday L.A. morning television show on KNBC-TV Los Angeles. Ventura County Star reporter Tom Kisken also hosted a live video chat at the Star with County Health officials and Westiminster Free Clinic Director Lisa Safaeinili.

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Impact of "Midlife Crisis"

“Midlife Crisis: The New Uninsured,” published April 30-May 2 in the Ventura County Star. This multi-story project focused on a surge in Ventura County baby boomers losing high-paying jobs in the recession, along with the health insurance plans...

County programs offer lifeline to uninsured boomers

Richard Corney was driving on a four-lane freeway in Austin, Texas, when his blood sugar went volcanic, temporarily blinding him. Cars and trucks blended into a fog of gray, forcing him to pull over.

County programs offer lifeline to uninsured boomers

Richard Corney was driving on a four-lane freeway in Austin, Texas, when his blood sugar went volcanic, temporarily blinding him. Cars and trucks blended into a fog of gray, forcing him to pull over.
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