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UnitedHealth pledges to keep some reforms in place

June 11, 2012

For all the angst over the federal health reform that has come to be known as “ObamaCare,” many of its provisions are hardly controversial, and some are quite popular. The idea of federal intervention in health care scares people a lot more than the specifics that are in law. Thus it should not be much of a surprise that UnitedHealth Group — the nation’s largest health insurer — announced today that it will keep several of those provisions in place even if the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down the law later this month. Taking them away from consumers who have them now would be a major public relations headache.

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Childhood trauma hurts health – but what’s the remedy?

June 5, 2012

By Robin Urevich

Decades-old research suggests link between trauma early in life and health, but doctors remain reluctant to probe patients past, says expert who revealed connection.

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Far from cities, children lack specialized care

June 4, 2012
Far from cities, children lack specialized care

By Callie Shanafelt and Heather Gilligan

Roughly 80,000 children with special health care needs ranging from hearing impairment to cancer live in rural areas of California. Many parents arrange their lives around managing health care for their special needs children.

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Distance from specialized care takes toll on parents, too

June 4, 2012
Distance from specialized care takes toll on parents, too

By Callie Shanafelt and Heather Gilligan

Three families offer a look at their lives with a special needs child in rural California.

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State to award computer contract for health insurance marketplace

May 31, 2012

California’s new Health Benefit Exchange – the online consumer portal that will be at the center of federal health reform – took a major step Thursday toward implementing the controversial law that could extend insurance coverage to millions of Californians.

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Dentist shortage leading to more emergencies

May 30, 2012

By Callie Shanafelt

The lack of dentists and specialists in rural Californian counties is leading to high rates of tooth decay and preventable dental emergencies, especially among low-income residents.

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Older Californians Stand Tall, Avoid Falls

May 28, 2012

Falls are the number one cause of injury – and death – for seniors in California and across the nation. They are also the largest single contributor to nursing home admissions – a staggering financial burden for both families and governments who shoulder the high costs of assisted living. Yet a number of experts and programs around the state are helping California become a leader in fall prevention awareness and training. In a state whose over-65 population is expected to be more than 10 million by 2040 – nearly one in five citizens – this is welcome news. Matt Perry has the story.

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How fit is your city?

May 24, 2012

Minneapolis-St. Paul is the nation’s fittest big city, with San Francisco fourth and Sacramento sixth, according to the latest rankings from the American College of Sports Medicine. Los Angeles, despite its well known worship of the tan, fit body, was only 38th of the 50 big cities in the rankings.

The report, known as the American Fitness Index, reflects a composite of “preventive health behaviors, levels of chronic disease conditions, health care access and community resources and policies that support physical activity,” according to the college.

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Is your commute hurting your health?

May 17, 2012

By Mary Flynn

Long commutes to work may be hazardous to your health. Longer daily drives are associated with decreased fitness and increased weight, a new study suggests.

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Extended care for foster kids in peril

May 15, 2012

By Hannah Guzik

Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to make it optional for counties to implement a portion of a new state law that extends foster care to age 21 could leave thousands of young adults without appropriate housing, opponents say.

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