Jake Harper

Reporter, WFYI

Jake is a reporter with Side Effects and WFYI in Indianapolis. He decided to pursue radio journalism while volunteering at a community station in Madison, WI, and soon after began an internship with NPR's State of the Re:Union. Jake has received a first place award from the Milwaukee Press Club and he was a finalist in KCRW's 24-Hour Radio Race. In his spare time, he runs and tries to perfect his pizza crust recipe. 

Ways to Connect

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Indiana has one of the nation’s highest smoking rates, but a bill working its way through the legislature aims to change that, in part by raising the cigarette tax by $1.50. The bill cleared the House Committee on Public Health Wednesday.

Nancy Cripe, the coordinator for Tobacco Free Allen County, spent the day before the committee vote at the statehouse to convince lawmakers to vote for the bill, as part of Raise It For Health’s advocacy day. It was easy work.

Wikimedia Commons

In 2015, Indiana expanded its Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act. The Healthy Indiana Plan, or HIP 2.0, extended coverage to about 250,000 low-income Hoosiers who were not previously eligible. Amid the turmoil in Washington over what to do with Obamacare, Indiana has applied to keep the program running for three more years.

Jake Harper/Side Effects

Indiana’s new governor, Eric Holcomb, vowed to tackle the state’s drug addiction epidemic in his first State of the State address on Tuesday. But he has also said he supports Congress’s plans to repeal and replace Obamacare.

Denis Defreyne/Flickr

The state legislature will consider a law to curb Indiana’s smoking rate, which is one of the highest in the nation. The proposed bill would raise the cigarette tax by $1.50 per pack, among other measures.

Bjoertvedt / Wikimedia Commons

Updated January 13, 4:12pm

Congress took steps this week toward repealing the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, by passing a budget resolution that allows Republicans to get rid of the law without the threat of filibuster. This could affect millions of Americans who gained coverage through Medicaid expansion, including about 250,000 Hoosiers.

Jake Harper / Side Effects

If she’s confirmed, Indiana policy consultant Seema Verma will start work as Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. She’ll bring her experience designing Indiana’s unique Medicaid expansion to the national policy conversation.

Courtesy of Seema Verma

President-elect Donald Trump has picked Seema Verma, a healthcare consultant who has helped shape health policy in Indiana, for a key role in the federal government. Verma will head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the part of the Department of Health and Human Services that includes Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.  

Jake Harper / Side Effects

When someone dies unexpectedly outside of a hospital in Marion County, Alfarena Ballew, chief deputy coroner, gets a call.


Indianapolis is ranked America’s least fit big city, according to the American College of Sports Medicine. Nearly a third of its citizens are obese, and fewer than one in four meet aerobic activity guidelines set out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Jake Harper/Side Effects

This piece first aired on NPR's Latino USA

Margarita came to Indianapolis 13 years ago to help her sister, who had been diagnosed with brain cancer. After her sister died, Margarita stayed, but then a few years ago, she began having health problems of her own. When she went to the hospital, she was told that her kidneys didn’t work anymore.

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