Arts and Culture Health

Journalist Mike King is set to soon release his first book, “A Spirit of Charity: Restoring the Bond Between America and its Public Hospitals.” King’s book tells of the long history of public hospitals in America, including Louisville’s Marine Hospital in Portland.

King, a former reporter with The Courier-Journal, spoke with WFPL’s Bill Burton about his work. Listen to the interview in the audio player above.

On why he wrote the book:

“There’s a sense we’ve finished this discussion now that we’ve gone through all this turmoil of the Affordable Care Act and the litigation has essentially played out — there’s still some lawsuits out there. But we’re still a long way from saying we have anything close to universal coverage in our country. And if we continue that conversation, I think public hospitals need to be at the forefront.”

On the future of public hospitals:

“Well, it’s pretty dicey right now, I think. In those states that have expanded Medicaid there’s a little more financial security connected to it. Because if you can get those Americans who are below the poverty level and just above the poverty level covered by Medicaid, then you help secure the financial base of public hospitals. Kentucky is in that position now. Whether its governor continues to allow it to be in that position is another thing, but that’s where it is now.”

Bill Burton is the Morning Edition host for WFPL News.