This was one of my favorite pieces to report on this semester. Similar to covering the ACA, I think this sort of feature is so valuable to the public: I want to help people understand what high-level governmental policy can mean for them, down on a community and individual level.
It’s a pretty prominent type of reporting in the age of Trump, I believe, but one that shouldn’t be conditional. Especially, since these policies are so politicized.
Obamacare has been so thoroughly villanized by the right that I think the basic understanding of it as a piece of legislation, let alone something that impacts people’s daily lives, is compromised.
Which is where these explainers come in. Because if it’s hard for me, someone truly interested in this sort of policy, to understand what all the programs are and what it means if they are cut, what will it mean to someone whose 8-5 job doesn’t involve untangling it?
On the reporting front, it was fun to try to piece together all these separate entities who would be affected, then reaching out to each of them to see if they were worth covering. It felt, more than other work I’ve done, like a sort of investigative piece. I really started with very little in the way of a determined end point and very little in the way of information to jump off from. I had to read the document and hunt down the government departments and find the organizations that got funding from them. It was fun to be on the forefront of this information.