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Interview with Dr. David Williams

July 28, 2014

By Daniel Weintraub

Dr. David Williams, an internationally recognized authority on social influences on health, currently teaches at the Harvard School of Public Health. His research has enhanced our understanding of the complex ways in which socioeconomic status, race, stress, and religious involvement can affect physical and mental health.

The Everyday Discrimination scale that he developed is currently one of the most widely used measures to assess perceived discrimination in health studies.

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Pay-for-performance may not boost quality of care

March 28, 2012
A hot new trend in health care -- rewarding hospitals for better performance -- may not be working as intended, according to new research released today.

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Dying behind bars

June 15, 2011
Dying behind bars Longer sentences and three-strikes requirements lead to an aging prison population – many of whom are serving life sentences and likely to die behind bars. These inmates come at great cost to the state – prisoners' medical bills can range as high as $2.5 million, according to a report by a federally appointed receiver who oversees the state's prison health care.

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Will California face a doctor shortage?

July 15, 2010

With an aging population and more people gaining insurance coverage thanks to the federal health reform, California might face a shortage of primary care doctors to serve all those who need care. While the number of doctors in the state has kept pace with population in recent years, the number of graduates from California’s eight medical schools has remained relatively flat over the last 15 years, in spite of the 20 percent growth in population.

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LAO: cutting health, welfare spending

March 28, 2010

Health and social service spending represents nearly a third of the state’s general fund. But facing a $20 billion deficit, the Legislature’s hands are tied by federal mandates, court decisions and voter-approved measures. The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst examines the health and welfare budget and offers proposals for reducing it. See the report here.

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The health costs of air pollution

March 3, 2010

Californians, their health insurers and the government spent nearly $200 million on hospital care for air-pollution-related admissions between 2005 and 2007 that could have been avoided if the state met federal clean air standards, according to a new study from the Rand Institute. Using hospital admissions data and air pollution records, the Rand researchers found an estimated 29,000 emergency room visits and hospital admissions that could have been prevented.

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More illness, less insurance

February 24, 2010

Women between the ages of 50 and 64 are more prone than younger women to a wide range of health conditions, including asthma, diabetes and heart disease, according to a new policy brief from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. Nearly four in 10 women in this age group will be diagnosed with high blood pressure, while nearly six in 10 are either obese or overweight.

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Heart disease linked to pollution

February 14, 2010

A new study suggests that living close to busy freeways is related to your chance of getting heart disease. The study found a statistical correlation between exposure to diesel particulate matter — the exhaust from big trucks — and the thickening of plaque on the arteries, a pre-cursor of heart disease.

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Prisons versus higher ed

January 26, 2010


The Legislative Analyst’s Office gives two thumbs down to the governor’s proposal for a constitutional amendment that would require the state to spend more on universities than prisons. Why? The office says legislators and the governor can switch spending priorities now if they have the will to do so, and it would be unwise to lock more spending formulas — and less flexibility — into the constitution.

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2 million Californians could get insurance under House plan

January 14, 2010

About 2 million Californians who are without insurance now would be eligible for subsidized coverage under the plan being considered in the US House of Representatives, according to UC Berkeley researchers.
[highlight title=”Research”]The UC Berkeley Labor Center examines health care spending for the estimated two million Californians who would qualify for subsidies under the proposed insurance exchanges in the House and Senate health reform bills.

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