Dean Olsen

Wikimedia / Damonsacks

Health reporter for The State Journal-Register, Dean Olsen, has been looking at the hurdles in place when it comes to healthcare access, many as a result of the state's budget problems. 

Enrollment projections for Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace
WUIS/Illinois Issues

Heidi Massey hasn’t been to the doctor in several years. At 52 and unable to afford health coverage, the Chicago resident hopes her situation changes when a key feature of the federal health care reform law begins in 2014.

But whether Illinois’ health-insurance exchange, similar to those being set up in other states, reaches its goal of eventually providing 1 million or more people and small businesses a cheaper way of getting good coverage remains to be seen.

Question & Answer: Julie Hamos

Oct 1, 2011

Julie Hamos spent almost 12 years in the Illinois General Assembly representing a diverse House district in Cook County, championing laws to fight domestic violence and dealing with difficult urban issues involving mass transit, housing, the environment and human services.

President Barack Obama embraces Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, left, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi after signing the health insurance reform bill in the White House.
WUIS/Illinois Issues

For Tim Fraas, a heart-transplant patient from Elgin, the prospect of reaching the $2 million cap on lifetime benefits for his health-insurance coverage wasn’t a mere possibility over the next few years. “It was going to happen for sure,” he says. “I was beyond worrying about it.”