Editor's Note 

Welcome to Be Healthy Boise

It used to be that "health care" was something most people thought about in vague terms of cholesterol ("I should cut down on my butter intake), cigarettes ("Quit, definitely) and exercise ("Get more of it"). Those days are long gone; now, health care is the story dominating news coverage, as well as coffee shop and kitchen table conversations across the country.

Boise Weekly has not failed to notice this, and is happy to launch this first edition of Be Healthy Boise--a special publication dedicated to exploring a range of topics related to health care in general, and health care in Boise, specifically.

We're planning to publish this special section once a year to start. In the 2014 installment, you'll find an in-depth examination of the beating heart of the current health care conversation: the Affordable Care Act.

As the ACA rolls out, questions abound: What kind of coverage is available? How much will cost? How do I even sign up? BW News Editor George Prentice tackled these questions head-on, spending time with the folks who are manning the phones at the Idaho Health Exchange and seeking answers straight from the source.

Beyond the nitty-gritty of changing health care policies, the inaugural Be Healthy Boise also explores topics like complementary care--specifically, services like chiropractic for children and pregnant women--and how to manage the frontline of your health: diet.

In keeping with that central health care question ("How do I pay for this?"), we also check in with a local practitioner who has gone his own way in the face of the national insurance mandate: only accepting cash for services at his practice. Finally, we all know the Shriners from their unique red fez headgear and, in Boise, the organization has enjoyed a higher profile in recent years because of its gracious offer of the El Korah Shrine as a venue at the Treefort Music Fest. Less known, however, is the not-for-profit organization's mission to help children receive care for everything from injuries to congenital ailments like club foot.

There are countless facets to our health care--as unique as ourselves--and we hope you enjoy exploring them with us in this, and future, installments of Be Healthy Boise.

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