Clinic scramble
Obamacare to bring floods of patients to clinics and health centers

About this project

Clinics in Los Angeles and around the state anticipate hundreds, even thousands, of newly insured patients flooding their centers when Obamacare begins in 2014. With those newly insured comes an increase in demand for services, a need for more staff and more efficiency. They've also started seeing an increase in competition for patients and staff from other clinics and the private sector. Experts say the success of Obamacare hinges on the success of clinics to manage these changes.


Strained Clinics: Will they be ready for patient onslaught?

Los Angeles community clinics and health centers already have waiting rooms brimming with patients.

Community health center emerges as a model clinic

Teresa Recinos, 60, recently limped into the San Fernando Health Center, her right leg aching from sciatica. Dr. Rabin Kheradpour decided she needed an MRI and a bone density test. He also ordered a colonoscopy.


Lauren M. Whaley

Lauren M. Whaley

Lauren M. Whaley is a photographer, radio producer and print reporter specializing in topics related to mental illness, reproductive health care and health disparities. She is also a childbirth photographer.

This year, she is working on a series about how low-income parents access care for perinatal mental illnesses. The project is funded by the Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism.

Whaley was a 2016-17 Knight Science Journalism Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute for Technology.

Her work has been recognized by the Association of Health Care Journalists, the Scripps Howard Foundation and the Public Radio Exchange (PRX) STEM story project. She has contributed radio, video, photography and written stories to KQED Public Radio, Southern California Public Radio, the San Jose Mercury News, the New York Times and other media outlets. For six years, I worked as the Center for Health Reporting's multimedia journalist, based in Los Angeles. She is a past president of the national organization Journalism and Women Symposium (JAWS) and spent her early 20s leading canoe expeditions for young women, including a solo-led 45-trip in the Canadian Arctic. 

Project Partners

© 2019 Center for Health Reporting