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BUSINESS
September 8, 2011 | By Noam N. Levey, Los Angeles Times
U.S. workers whose wages stagnated over the last decade also saw their health insurance degrade, even as medical costs gobbled up a growing share of their income, two new studies show. An estimated 29 million adults who had health insurance lacked adequate coverage in 2010, leaving them exposed to medical expenses such as high deductibles that they couldn't afford, according to a survey by the nonprofit Commonwealth Fund. That is up from 16 million underinsured people in 2003, the survey found, underscoring the rising burden that insurance plans are placing on consumers as the industry raises required co-pays and deductibles.
ARTICLES BY DATE
NATIONAL
April 4, 2014 | By Noam N. Levey
HONOLULU - When the giant kapok and nawa trees that tower over the Queen's Medical Center in downtown Honolulu were planted more than a century ago, Hawaii faced a health crisis. Many on the islands, including the queen who founded the hospital in 1859, feared that native Hawaiians, devastated by smallpox, measles and other illnesses brought by foreigners, were in danger of dying off completely. Today, the people who walk under these trees are some of the healthiest in America.
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BUSINESS
July 5, 2013 | By Lisa Zamosky
Brian Davis is no stranger to surgery. Born with clubfeet, the 35-year-old Playa del Rey resident has endured multiple reconstructive foot surgeries over the years. With an endless stream of medical procedures, doctor visits, hospital stays, rehabilitation and a lifelong physical disability that has made steady work a challenge, Davis - a former financial advisor - has also become very familiar with big medical bills. He spent years struggling with debt that, at its peak, reached roughly $400,000.
NEWS
November 4, 2013 | By Jon Healey
The journalism hive mind has turned its focus in recent days to the backstory of the disastrous launch of HealthCare.gov, the website for the federal insurance-buying exchange. A survey released Monday by the Commonwealth Fund, however, suggests that the site's problems haven't had much of an impact ... yet. The spate of stories exploring the why's and who's behind the botched launch include an exhaustive piece in the Washington Post about how political concerns trumped technical ones in the years after the Affordable Care Act was enacted, as well as an L.A. Times article about President Obama's shortcomings as a manager . (Red meat sample: "Although unpredictable crises often upend presidents' second terms, some of Obama's worst problems seem self-inflicted.
BUSINESS
September 17, 2013 | By Noam N. Levey
WASHINGTON - Access to affordable, quality healthcare for poor Americans varies dramatically among the states, according to a new study that found a wide disparity in measures of health between states with the best healthcare systems and those with the worst. In the highest-performing states, low-income, less educated residents are more likely to be covered by health insurance, to have a regular source of medical care and to get recommended preventive care, such as cancer screenings.
NEWS
April 19, 2012 | By Noam N. Levey
WASHINGTON -- With the future of the healthcare law emerging as a major campaign issue this fall, a new survey has found that more than a quarter of adults ages 19 to 64 in the United States lacked health insurance for at least some time in 2011. And the vast majority of those people - nearly 70 percent - had been without coverage for more than a year, according to the study by the nonprofit Commonwealth Fund, a leading authority on health policy. The holes in health insurance were a driving force in President Obama's push for the controversial healthcare overhaul he signed in 2010.
NATIONAL
April 4, 2014 | By Noam N. Levey
HONOLULU - When the giant kapok and nawa trees that tower over the Queen's Medical Center in downtown Honolulu were planted more than a century ago, Hawaii faced a health crisis. Many on the islands, including the queen who founded the hospital in 1859, feared that native Hawaiians, devastated by smallpox, measles and other illnesses brought by foreigners, were in danger of dying off completely. Today, the people who walk under these trees are some of the healthiest in America.
NEWS
December 3, 2010 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times
Health-insurance premiums of the employer-based kind have skyrocketed in the last few years -- more than 40%, in fact, according to a new report. And when it comes to where one's salary goes, those increases in health insurance premiums add up. This report released Thursday by the nonprofit Commonwealth Fund says that from 2003 to 2009, employer and employee premiums jumped 41% and that per-person deductibles rose 77% across the nation....
NEWS
September 4, 2013 | By Maeve Reston, This post has been corrected. See note at the bottom for details.
Opening a new phase of the White House campaign to sell the public on the nation's new healthcare program, former President Clinton sought to clear up confusion about it Wednesday and called on the law's opponents to help smooth its implementation for the good of their constituents. “We've got to do this,” Clinton said in a speech to several hundred healthcare professionals and doctors in Little Rock, Ark. “The studies show that we are No. 1 by a country mile in the percentage of our income that we devote to healthcare costs, and rank no better than 25th to 33rd in the healthcare outcomes we get. This is the country that pioneered innovation in every other area of our national life; you cannot make me believe that we have to tolerate this from now until the end of eternity.”   At a crucial juncture a few weeks before the Oct. 1 opening of the law's health insurance marketplaces across the country, Clinton scolded Republicans who have voted to repeal the law more than 40 times, arguing that they have not offered “real alternatives.”  “The benefits of reform can't be fully realized, and the problems certainly can't be solved unless both the supporters and the opponents of the original legislation work together to implement it and address the issues that arise whenever you change a system this complex,” he said during Wednesday's address at the Clinton Presidential Library.
NEWS
November 4, 2013 | By Jon Healey
The journalism hive mind has turned its focus in recent days to the backstory of the disastrous launch of HealthCare.gov, the website for the federal insurance-buying exchange. A survey released Monday by the Commonwealth Fund, however, suggests that the site's problems haven't had much of an impact ... yet. The spate of stories exploring the why's and who's behind the botched launch include an exhaustive piece in the Washington Post about how political concerns trumped technical ones in the years after the Affordable Care Act was enacted, as well as an L.A. Times article about President Obama's shortcomings as a manager . (Red meat sample: "Although unpredictable crises often upend presidents' second terms, some of Obama's worst problems seem self-inflicted.
BUSINESS
September 17, 2013 | By Noam N. Levey
WASHINGTON - Access to affordable, quality healthcare for poor Americans varies dramatically among the states, according to a new study that found a wide disparity in measures of health between states with the best healthcare systems and those with the worst. In the highest-performing states, low-income, less educated residents are more likely to be covered by health insurance, to have a regular source of medical care and to get recommended preventive care, such as cancer screenings.
NEWS
September 4, 2013 | By Maeve Reston, This post has been corrected. See note at the bottom for details.
Opening a new phase of the White House campaign to sell the public on the nation's new healthcare program, former President Clinton sought to clear up confusion about it Wednesday and called on the law's opponents to help smooth its implementation for the good of their constituents. “We've got to do this,” Clinton said in a speech to several hundred healthcare professionals and doctors in Little Rock, Ark. “The studies show that we are No. 1 by a country mile in the percentage of our income that we devote to healthcare costs, and rank no better than 25th to 33rd in the healthcare outcomes we get. This is the country that pioneered innovation in every other area of our national life; you cannot make me believe that we have to tolerate this from now until the end of eternity.”   At a crucial juncture a few weeks before the Oct. 1 opening of the law's health insurance marketplaces across the country, Clinton scolded Republicans who have voted to repeal the law more than 40 times, arguing that they have not offered “real alternatives.”  “The benefits of reform can't be fully realized, and the problems certainly can't be solved unless both the supporters and the opponents of the original legislation work together to implement it and address the issues that arise whenever you change a system this complex,” he said during Wednesday's address at the Clinton Presidential Library.
BUSINESS
July 5, 2013 | By Lisa Zamosky
Brian Davis is no stranger to surgery. Born with clubfeet, the 35-year-old Playa del Rey resident has endured multiple reconstructive foot surgeries over the years. With an endless stream of medical procedures, doctor visits, hospital stays, rehabilitation and a lifelong physical disability that has made steady work a challenge, Davis - a former financial advisor - has also become very familiar with big medical bills. He spent years struggling with debt that, at its peak, reached roughly $400,000.
BUSINESS
July 2, 2013 | David Lazarus
The healthcare system, like the government, is easy to criticize until you need it. And then it's indispensable. I've devoted my fair share of ink and digital bits to talking about what's wrong with healthcare in the United States. I wrote last week about yet another example of loony billing practices. Today, let's appreciate some of the things that make our system extraordinary - maybe not the best in the world, as conservatives are fond of gushing, but pretty darn impressive.
NEWS
April 19, 2012 | By Noam N. Levey
WASHINGTON -- With the future of the healthcare law emerging as a major campaign issue this fall, a new survey has found that more than a quarter of adults ages 19 to 64 in the United States lacked health insurance for at least some time in 2011. And the vast majority of those people - nearly 70 percent - had been without coverage for more than a year, according to the study by the nonprofit Commonwealth Fund, a leading authority on health policy. The holes in health insurance were a driving force in President Obama's push for the controversial healthcare overhaul he signed in 2010.
BUSINESS
March 14, 2012 | By Chad Terhune, Los Angeles Times
Orange County and Ventura outpaced Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Bakersfield in a national score card looking at how area hospitals, doctors and insurance companies manage patient care and costs. The Commonwealth Fund, a New York foundation that studies the U.S. healthcare market, ranked 306 communities nationwide on key areas of health system performance, such as whether patients are getting timely preventive care and avoiding unnecessary hospital stays and whether healthcare is affordable.
NATIONAL
September 9, 2009 | James Oliphant and Kim Geiger
As President Obama and his critics prepare for a climactic battle over healthcare, they face a seeming paradox: Millions of Americans say the system they depend on for everything from routine flu shots to life-saving heart surgery is broken and needs fixing. Yet most Americans also say they're pretty satisfied with their healthcare. The explanation for the apparent contradiction -- and a big reason healthcare has turned into such an incendiary fight -- is that it's not one crisis, it's a bundle of crises.
BUSINESS
July 2, 2013 | David Lazarus
The healthcare system, like the government, is easy to criticize until you need it. And then it's indispensable. I've devoted my fair share of ink and digital bits to talking about what's wrong with healthcare in the United States. I wrote last week about yet another example of loony billing practices. Today, let's appreciate some of the things that make our system extraordinary - maybe not the best in the world, as conservatives are fond of gushing, but pretty darn impressive.
BUSINESS
September 8, 2011 | By Noam N. Levey, Los Angeles Times
U.S. workers whose wages stagnated over the last decade also saw their health insurance degrade, even as medical costs gobbled up a growing share of their income, two new studies show. An estimated 29 million adults who had health insurance lacked adequate coverage in 2010, leaving them exposed to medical expenses such as high deductibles that they couldn't afford, according to a survey by the nonprofit Commonwealth Fund. That is up from 16 million underinsured people in 2003, the survey found, underscoring the rising burden that insurance plans are placing on consumers as the industry raises required co-pays and deductibles.
HEALTH
August 22, 2011 | By Lisa Zamosky, Special to the Los Angeles Times
I am curious about all this talk about health insurance. What if you are not employed (permanently disabled) and have Medicare Part A only? I cannot afford the premium for Part B, nor do I qualify for Medi-Cal. I have a 22-year-old son who no longer has any health insurance. His Medi-Cal insurance was canceled when he turned 21. What are people like us supposed to do about this mandatory health insurance law? Without a doubt, the most contentious aspect of the Affordable Care Act is its requirement that most Americans have health insurance coverage.
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