After my coverage of Sr. Simone Campbell a couple weeks ago, I got an unexpected phone call.
An editor with the National Catholic Reporter wanted to know if I would do freelance work for them and retool the story on her speech at Mount Marty College.
Of course, I said, “Yes!”
I never expected to see my byline in the National Catholic Reporter, but I’m not imagining this turn of events. That’s the real thing:
Joshua J. McElwee and the editors at the National Catholic Reporter did a good job of helping me widen the scope of the story to address a much larger geographical audience.
But perhaps even cooler is the fact that the story I wrote was tied into an editorial the newspaper published called “Affordable Care Act Needs A Strong Defense” (Yay for synergy!):
On Oct. 1, the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, crosses an important benchmark, as the state health insurance exchanges begin operating. These state insurance exchanges will function as open marketplaces where individuals can buy private health insurance under the act. The exchanges will centralize purchasing: Once a person fills out an application, he or she can see all of the plans available in that state as well as any subsidies or government programs for which they might qualify.
The Affordable Care Act is a complex law, to be sure. But three factors have made this important stage in the rollout of Obamacare especially treacherous…
You can read the whole thing here.
Considering my work for the past decade as an advocate for homeless individuals in Yankton and a critic of the widening economic gap in this country, I support the editorial’s optimistic conclusion:
Certainly religious and civic groups should step up to the plate and help educate the public, especially the poor and working poor, about how the Affordable Care Act can work to improve their lives. Catholics in particular must put aside the issue of contraception and stump for this valuable social policy. Once people realize that their premiums really are not going up as fast as they were, once individuals previously unable to afford insurance can find it, and once the working poor receive just subsidies to purchase what is a basic human right, the implementation will go smoothly.
I’m glad I got to be involved with something outside the normal realm of my daily life. I have Mount Marty College, Sr. Campbell and the National Catholic Reporter to thank for that.