Roger Smith

Roger Smith

Center for Health Reporting

Roger Smith, editor, joined the Center in 2013 after 35 years as an editor and reporter with the Los Angeles Times. He became national editor of the Times the week after Barack Obama was elected president, and closely supervised coverage of the Affordable Care Act from inception to implementation. For a decade he was editor of the Column One feature on page one, the Timespremier spot for narrative stories. He also directed coverage of two presidential campaigns, and was principal editor on two Pulitzer Prize-winning projects. Before becoming an editor he reported for the papers business and metro sections. He joined the Times from Business Week magazine. He is a graduate of the USC School of Journalism.

Phone: 818-512-5123

Twitter: @rilmots

Email: Rogersmi at


Next goals for health care reform: Controlling costs, assuring quality

Five years after President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act, chalk up a Mission Accomplished for one of the legislation’s three primary goals, access to insurance coverage.

Medicare strategy would reduce health care costs

After my doctor retired, I got an education in the new ways of American medicine. For more than 30 years, I had my annual physical at his office, where he practiced with a small group of colleagues. The physical followed a routine. He would interview me (Smoking? No? Good!); instruct me to put on a backless gown; check my eyes, ears and other body parts; and then escort me down the hall for five separate tests: urine, blood, chest X-ray, EKG and artery ultrasound.

Health Provider Survival Strategy: Get Bigger

Lots of federal money fuels the Affordable Care Act. But along with it comes new imperatives that effectively put local health plans and providers in a Darwinian struggle for solvency. And like many such struggles, getting bigger may be the fastest solution.

Medi-Cal experiment is failing most vulnerable patients: Guest commentary

The Affordable Care Act mandates that Medicare dramatically reduce spending to help pay for federal subsidies in the new health insurance exchanges. One upshot: a massive “demonstration” to see if $248 million can be saved this year in the care of California’s oldest, disabled and poorest residents, including 200,000 in Los Angeles County.
Private Exchanges

The Price of Getting to Choose

Anyone who has health insurance through their work might want to take a look at the Covered California web site. For better or worse, something like it is coming your way.

At last, the legislature funds a state dental director

Dentists in California, and their patients, are on the cusp of a major breakthrough. The legislature has included money in the state budget for a state dental director, a top priority of the California Dental Association.


Viewpoints: New Medical Price Databases may help consumers drive down costs

Health care consumers – and that means all of us – need to get ready for the next reform: transparency. It’s a word with a great positive vibe. It means we might get to understand how hospitals and doctors and labs bill us, and how that compares to similar charges down the block or around the state. It is being promoted through a variety of legislative efforts nationwide, including Assembly Bill 1558 in California, which would create a Health Data Organization within the University of California to gather pricing information and to build a searchable database online that the public could access.

Can 3 million newly insured fit into current system?

California’s resounding success in enrolling residents in Obamacare health insurance policies and expanded Medi-Cal coverage—a total of nearly 3 million people—is bumping up against the next Big Question: can these new enrollees use their insurance cards to find adequate care?

A garden in Pasadena's "food desert" may help battle diabetes

The deck is stacked against many young Californians when it comes to diabetes.

Rick Warren and Bishop Kevin Vann
Mental Illness

Viewpoints: Rick Warren starts church-based campaign against mental illness

Rick Warren and his wife, Kay, founders of the 22,000-member Saddleback Church in Orange County, lost their 27-year-old son Matthew to suicide a year ago. After several months in retreat, they emerged to preach about the power of faith and prayer in helping them deal with their devastation.
Accountable Care

Obamacare May Alter the Doctor-Patient Relationship

If you have health insurance through Medicare or through your employer—as the vast majority of insured Americans do—you have mostly been insulated from the tumult of the Affordable Care Act rollout. But your turn is coming.

Watch Out for the Cliff in the Affordable Care Act

For the 38 million Americans aged 55 to 64, there is much to like about the Affordable Care Act. But there is also a trap door that could cost some of them thousands of dollars.

First, the upside: 

Public Clinics' Future

Will Obamacare replace clinics like this?

The promise, and the limits, of healthcare reform were on full display for four days ending Nov. 3 at the Los Angeles Sports Arena.

© 2019 Center for Health Reporting