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Babies in rural counties hospitalized less

November 30, 2012

In a result that might surprise some observers, researchers have found that babies born in rural California counties are hospitalized far less than their urban counterparts.

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Statewide outreach continues focus on SIDS prevention

November 29, 2012

Statewide outreach continues focus on SIDS prevention

By Melissa Flores

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome hits some communities harder than others. Preventative programs offer all parents simple tips for safe sleep for their children, but recent efforts have stepped up outreach to high-risk groups and emphasize culturally appropriate advice.

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Salinas safety nets catch immigrants dropped by ACA

November 28, 2012

Salinas safety nets catch immigrants dropped by ACA

The Affordable Care Act excludes undocumented immigrants from buying health insurance on state health benefit exchanges. But healthcare providers in the Salinas Valley are weaving safety nets of their own for medically vulnerable farm and migrant workers who are essential to the country’s food production.

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As End Nears, Cancer Patient Struggles With Cost of Long Term Care

November 27, 2012

The long and hard-fought battle Eileen Hadidian has been waging against bone cancer for more than 10 years seems to be drawing to a close. Doctors earlier this month said she is probably just a few days, or maybe even just a few hours, away from death. When that happens, the 64-year-old Lebanese American woman will become just another statistic in a health care system that fails to provide frail seniors and people with disabilities like her the long-term care they need – a situation that is sending many families into bankruptcy.

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Casa Dominguez turns concept of housing project on its head

November 27, 2012

Casa Dominguez turns concept of housing project on its head

By Robert Fulton

Casa Dominguez includes a childcare facility, after-school programs, college prep courses, career counseling, computer training and ESL classes, all orchestrated by a services coordinator. But what sets Casa Dominguez apart starts with a health clinic on the community’s grounds operated by St. John’s Well Child and Family Center.

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String of deficits might finally end

November 25, 2012

For as long as many Californians can remember, it seems, the state government has been struggling with budget deficits. Year after year, lawmakers and governors adopt a budget that is supposedly balanced, only to discover – shocking – that the assumptions behind the spending plan were fanciful, or conditions changed, and the red ink overflowed. Amazingly, this sad history might be coming to an end. An improving economy, voter-approved tax increases and, yes, spending restraint in Sacramento are combining to give revenues a chance to catch up to spending in the years ahead. Soon the debate in the Capitol might not be about what to cut, but about how to spend a surplus. Daniel Weintraub’s essay

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Planting an urban forest in Richmond

November 20, 2012

Planting an urban forest in Richmond

By Daniel McGlynn

Since Richmond Trees formed a year ago they have canvassed, educated, fundraised and physically planted more than 150 trees.

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Finding high-risk coverage while waiting for Obamacare

November 19, 2012

Ah, health insurance. It can be aggravating when you have it, and it sure can be aggravating when you don’t. And the wizards behind the curtains at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the state Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board and a private company whose motto is “Helping Government Serve the People” aren’t making it easier as the start date for “Obamacare” grows closer.

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Health is about more than health care

November 18, 2012

Barack Obama’s re-election appears to have settled the future of the Affordable Care Act, the president’s health reform law. The law will evolve in the years ahead, perhaps in ways that no one now anticipates, but it will not likely be repealed any time soon. As a result, several million Californians who do not now have insurance coverage will get it, either through the government directly or by buying it with subsidies at a new online marketplace to be known as the California Health Benefit Exchange. But for all the hype and controversy over the Affordable Care Act, the law is really more about insurance than health. Insurance coverage is a good thing. But by itself it is not likely to make Californians much healthier. Chronic disease, which can often be prevented and can almost always be managed, accounts for 75 percent of all deaths in California and a similar percentage of health care costs. And here is the most striking fact: the worst of these diseases – obesity, diabetes, and heart disease – are all correlated with geography, and by extension, with income. Where you live tells us much about how healthy you will be and, ultimately, how long you will live. Daniel Weintraub’s essay.

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California adds 45,800 jobs

November 16, 2012

California employers added a net of 45,000 jobs in October, more than a fourth of all new jobs in the United States that month.

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