Akilah Johnson

Reporter

Akilah Johnson is a narrative health care reporter for ProPublica. Previously she covered the intersection of race, politics, youth, and immigration for The Boston Globe. She shared a Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and was Pulitzer finalist as a member of the Globe's Spotlight Team investigation into racism in Boston. Her reporting has won a number of other national awards including NABJ Salute to Excellence Awards, ONA's Knight Award for Public Service, and a National Headliner Award for Journalistic Innovation. Before her time at the Globe, Akilah covered education and public safety for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale. She is a graduate of the University of Miami and alum of the John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships at Stanford University.

COVID-19 Took Black Lives First. It Didn’t Have To.

In Chicago, 70 of the city’s 100 first recorded victims of COVID-19 were black. Their lives were rich, and their deaths cannot be dismissed as inevitable. Immediate factors could — and should — have been addressed.

Early Data Shows African Americans Have Contracted and Died of Coronavirus at an Alarming Rate

No, the coronavirus is not an “equalizer.” Black people are being infected and dying at higher rates. Here’s what Milwaukee is doing about it — and why governments need to start releasing data on the race of COVID-19 patients.

“Now I Can Afford My Meds.” After Months of Appeals, Retiree’s Medicaid Benefits Are Restored.

South Carolina’s Medicaid agency abruptly and unexpectedly canceled Judith Persutti’s insurance in 2019, but reinstated it following a little-used appeals process.

Medicaid Abruptly Canceled Her Health Insurance. Then Came the Coronavirus.

Months after Judith Persutti appealed the unexpected decision by Medicaid to cancel her health insurance, she still awaits a response. She is one of millions of Americans who face the coronavirus threat with chronic illnesses and no insurance.

How My Mom Followed Her Instincts to Find Her First Coronavirus Patient

Reporter Akilah Johnson’s mom is a pediatrician and internist who tested two patients for coronavirus. One had a mild cold and had recently traveled to China. The other had a toothache — and tested positive.

The $11 Million Dollar Medicare Tool That Gives Seniors the Wrong Insurance Information

The Trump administration redesigned the online Medicare Cost Finder for seniors to compare complex health insurance options. But consumer advocates have identified instances when the tool has malfunctioned and given inaccurate plan and price data.

They’re Retired. They’re Insured. The Government Pays for It. And Trump Loves It.

Trump talks Medicare in a retirement enclave where doctors are a golf-cart ride away.

Medicare-for-All Is Not Medicare, and Not Really for All. So What Does It Actually Mean?

Some candidates use Medicare-for-all to establish themselves as bold progressives or moderate pragmatists. The Trump administration uses it as a point of attack. But voters don’t know what it actually means, and none of the candidates explain it.

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