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Smoking cessation benefits can save lives, money

August 17, 2010
Quitting smoking today is the number one thing that Californians can do to improve their health. Not a moment goes by without a citizen of our country and the State of California suffering from the hazards of tobacco use. Tobacco use has far reaching ramifications that encompass not only health issues, but widespread economic issues. But many people lack access to the programs that will help them quit. We can and should give them that access.

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High-risk insurance pool to start coverage in September

August 5, 2010
California's newly expanded program for people who can't get insurance because of pre-existing medical conditions is about to open for business. The program, one of the first pieces of federal health reform to be implemented here, is already accepting requests for applications, which will be available later this month. Coverage will begin in September.

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Feds give consumers right to independent appeal

July 22, 2010
The Obama Administration has rolled out new rules giving consumers the right to an independent appeal when a health insurance company denies their claim, a system similar to one that has been in place in California for many years.

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Private health plans push back against governor’s proposal

July 12, 2010
The managed health care industry is pushing back against Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's proposal for more transparency and state oversight -- but not regulation -- of the premiums insurance companies charge their customers.

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Schwarzenegger proposes insurance rate review, but not regulation

July 7, 2010
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has opposed regulating the rates charged by health insurance companies, has submitted a proposal to the federal government for a state program to review and publicize rate increases before they go into effect.

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Santa Clara proposes new tax for Healthy Kids program

July 6, 2010
Santa Clara County leaders are proposing a $29 parcel tax to save a model program that has helped the county provide insurance to nearly every child who was without coverage.

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Fiorina on health reform: repeal, then replace

July 1, 2010
The Republican nominee for the US Senate says she favors importation of drugs from Canada, a government-run high-risk pool for the uninsured, and more funding for community clinics to serve the poor. She would also like to see health insurance premiums tied to consumer behavior.

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Single payer plan advances in Assembly

June 30, 2010
The California Legislature is moving on two fronts when it comes to health care reform. On a bipartisan basis, lawmakers have passed a bill to create a high-risk pool to expand access to health insurance for people who have been denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions. At the same time, though, the Democrats who control the Legislature are pushing forward with doomed legislation that would create a Canadian-style single payer health plan.

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Senate passes bills to create high-risk pool

June 28, 2010
The state Senate has passed legislation to create a high-risk insurance pool for people who have been denied private coverage because of previous medical conditions. The pool, to be financed with $760 million in federal money, is the first tangible impact from the passage of federal health reform earlier this year.

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Anthem admits privacy breach, offers customers credit monitoring

June 24, 2010
Anthem Blue Cross has notified 230,000 California customers that personal data they submitted to the insurance company via the Internet may have been improperly viewed by others. The data breach occurred when the firm was upgrading the software that customers use to track their online applications for insurance coverage.

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