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How the reform bills would affect seniors

March 23, 2010
A new policy brief from the University of California provides a great synopsis of how the health reform bills will affect seniors. I covered some of this in my analysis of the bill Sunday night, but this paper goes into more detail focused just on the elderly population and Medicare and Medi-Cal.

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Health reform requires chains to post nutrition data

March 23, 2010
California's new law requiring chain restaurants to post nutrition information on their menus and menu boards is going national. The health reform bill passed Sunday requires restaurants with at least 20 locations nationwide to give their customers information on calories, carbs and more.

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Assembly passes ban on smoking at state beaches, parks

March 23, 2010
California's Legislature is one step away from banning smoking at most state beaches and parts of the state's 278 parks. The Assembly passed the ban on Monday and sent it to the state Senate, which is also expected to approve it. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has not said whether he will sign it into law.

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What health reform means to you

March 21, 2010
With Sunday's vote in the House of Representatives, Congress has passed the first piece of an historic overhaul of the nation's health care system. Here is what this reform will mean to you -- as a consumer of insurance, a patient and a California taxpayer.

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TB rate at record low in California

March 19, 2010
The number of tuberculosis cases reported in California last year declined by nearly 9 percent, the biggest drop in nearly a decade. Numbers released this week by the California Department of Public Health showed the number of reported cases dropped from 2,695 in 2008 to 2,472 in 2009. That was the biggest decline since 2000. The rate of 6.4 cases per 100,000 people was the lowest on record for the state.

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Kaiser study: extreme obesity among kids is on the rise

March 18, 2010
Extreme obesity is affecting more children than ever, according to a massive new study of children’s health records from Southern California. The study, published today in the Journal of Pediatrics, examined electronic health records for more than 700,000 children and teens ages 2 to 19 in the Kaiser Permanente Southern California health plan for 2007 and 2008.

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Consumer group: state lags in enforcement of laws on hospital infections, errors

March 17, 2010
California’s Department of Public Health is lagging in its enforcement of state laws requiring hospitals to report infections and medical errors and requiring the state to make that information available to the public, according to a leading consumer group's review of the department's performance.

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The health premium squeeze

March 17, 2010
A smaller percentage of Californians had private health insurance in 2008 compared to 2000, and those who did have still have coverage were paying a lot more for it, according to a new study from the University of Minnesota. The average family with employer sponsored coverage was paying $1,500 more, even after adjusting for inflation, in 2008 than they were in 2000, while the state's median income remained flat.

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What the fight over transit funding is really all about

March 17, 2010
You may be hearing or reading today that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has said he will veto the Democrats' plan to cut public transit funding. If that sounds odd, it's because the real story is the reverse. The governor actually opposes to the bill because it gives too much to transit, in his view, not too little. He is trying to zero out their budgets.

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UCLA: nearly 2 million Californians lost coverage during recession

March 16, 2010
Nearly two million Californians have lost their health insurance during the recession, according to new research from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, bringing to more than 8 million the number of Californians who were without coverage for all or part of 2009. That's about one-quarter of the state's nonelderly population.

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