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Using the Affordable Care Act to close the health gap

January 18, 2013
Using the Affordable Care Act to close the health gap

By Leah Bartos

Amid the turmoil of the nationwide financial woes, health-care advocates in California are urging their lawmakers not to lose sight of what they see as a rare opportunity to help close the gap on the state’s health disparities.

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Feds grant California $673 million for health marketplace

January 17, 2013

The US Department of Health and Human Services has awarded California a $673 million grant to build and run the online health insurance marketplace to be known as Covered California.

The money — nearly half the $1.5 billion awarded by the department nationwide Thursday — will go toward refining, testing and bringing the system online, establishing a paralell system for small employers and their workers, marketing and public education to inform the public about the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, enrolling customers into the system and evaluating the the effectiveness of the program.

The latest grant brings to nearly $1 billion the total amount from the federal government to California just to build and run the online marketplace — not counting hundreds of millions of dollars that the state has received to expand coverage to low-income residents as a bridge to the full implementation of the federal reforms next year.

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Kids’ dental care at risk

January 17, 2013

California’s Medi-Cal program will soon be responsible for the dental care of half the state’s children. But advocates say the program is not prepared for the big increase in demand that will come with the closure of the Healthy Families insurance program and the implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act. This report from the Children’s Partnership explains the problem and offers some recommendations for ensuring that kids get the care they need.

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Electronic health records improve care, but don’t save money

January 16, 2013

By Callie Shanafelt

Four years later, providers say electronic health records aren’t the time and money saver they hoped for — but, they added, electronic records do improve the quality of care.

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Losing Babies

January 14, 2013
Losing Babies

By Heather Tirado Gilligan

African-American babies are more than twice as likely to die before their first birthday as white babies. Are current prevention efforts enough to close the health gap?

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Fullerton Center a How-To Guide for Successful Aging

January 9, 2013
Fullerton Center a How-To Guide for Successful Aging

A haven for aging enthusiasts, the Center for Successful Aging at California State University, Fullerton has adopted a holistic approach to growing old that embraces the full spectrum of human experience: mind, body and spirit.

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Taxing questions on the ballot

October 29, 2012

As Californians head to the polls, taxes will be the biggest issue on the state ballot—again. Here’s a brief primer on state taxes and spending and what’s at stake Nov. 6. Daniel Weintraub’s weekly essay.

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Prison reform one year later

October 22, 2012

By Heather Tirado Gilligan

Critics of prison realignment say that the law has caused a spike in crime. But experts caution that it is far too early to understand the effects of the law.

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California voters declaring their independence

October 21, 2012

It’s conventional wisdom in political circles that California, like the rest of the country, has become more polarized in recent years. Just watch any election campaign or session of the Legislature and it seems clear that we are a hopelessly divided people.

But is that really true?

It might not be.

There is good reason to believe that our politics and government are far more sharply divided than our people, that our representatives are not a very good representation of ourselves.

And, at least in California, there is a counter-intuitive reason for that trend. Daniel Weintraub’s weekly essay.

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California unemployment declines to 10.2 percent

October 19, 2012

California’s unemployment rate decreased to 10.2 percent in September as employers added 8,500 jobs during the month, according to numbers released Friday by the state Employment Development Department. The unemployment rate was 10.6 percent in August and 11.7 percent in September 2011.

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