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Cost Control

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NEWS
February 14, 1993 | From Times staff and wire reports
President Clinton's health care advisers are preparing a list of reform options that include various forms of short-term cost controls, including a possible extension of Medicare rate regulations to the private sector, according to a report in today's Washington Post. The imposition of mandatory controls, a step not taken since the Richard M. Nixon Administration froze wages and prices in the early 1970s, is among a range of options cited in White House documents obtained by the Post.
ARTICLES BY DATE
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 16, 2013 | Anthony York
Gov. Jerry Brown has a history of tangling with California's public universities, which pride themselves on their independence. As governor decades ago, he shook up the UC Regents with such unconventional board appointments as music mogul David Geffen, a local YMCA director and a Zen Buddhist porpoise expert. He said faculty pay should be reduced because professors derive "psychic income" from their job. Now he is challenging the UC and Cal State systems again -- minus the eccentricity.
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OPINION
October 25, 1987
The Health Care Finance Administration in Washington, responsible for administering both Medicare and Medicaid, is moving ahead with new strategies to try to get better control over Medicare expenditures for physicians. So it should. Part B Medicare premiums, covering medical care, will increase from $17.90 to $24.80 a month in January--the largest increase in the history of the program.
BUSINESS
December 23, 2012 | By Scott J. Wilson, Los Angeles Times
For parents, the costs of youth sports can add up. There are fees for leagues and competitions, plus expenses for equipment, training and uniforms. How can you keep the spending under control? Mark Hyman, the author of "The Most Expensive Game in Town," has some advice: • Start an equipment exchange. Hyman has used this himself in youth leagues. "Families bring us their used, outgrown, no-longer-needed baseball pants, lacrosse sticks, soccer shoes, etcetera," he explained. "We then make them available to others at no charge.
NEWS
January 15, 2001 | MARLA DICKERSON and STUART SILVERSTEIN, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
Winter has always meant fat paychecks for Juan Carlos Gonzales. That's the height of masa season at his local food processing job, where line workers can expect plenty of overtime preparing the rich, corn-based dough used in holiday tamales. No longer. Saddled with rising costs and slowing sales, Gonzales' employer, Industry-based El Burrito Mexican Food Products Inc., hired temporary employees to work the extra hours this season.
BUSINESS
July 17, 1994 | ROBERT A. ROSENBLATT, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Once a darling of the health care reform movement, Southern California Edison is chucking its carefully assembled network of 7,000 doctors and 91 hospitals and starting over again in its crusade to control medical spending. On Jan. 1, the giant utility will abandon its 5-year-old HealthFlex system, in which Edison had directly recruited doctors, hospitals and pharmacists to care for its workers and their families.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 28, 1992 | FREDERICK M. MUIR, TIMES STAFF WRITER
In a continuing crackdown on entertainment expenses at the Los Angeles Harbor Department, City Controller Rick Tuttle said Thursday he has rejected "excessive" meal and travel charges and is questioning the legitimacy of thousands of dollars in hotel and refreshment bills. In a letter to Harbor Executive Director Ezunial Burts, Tuttle said that expenses for meals, limousines and liquor "violate the 'reasonable person' standard" he uses in weighing the legitimacy of expense claims.
NEWS
August 11, 1994 | KAREN TUMULTY, TIMES STAFF WRITER
As the Senate launched its long-awaited health care debate this week, Majority Leader George J. Mitchell (D-Me.) declared that the American health care system is mired in "a crisis of affordability and price." Yet, ironically, the issue of containing health care costs has receded into the background of the discussion, almost drowned out by the far louder argument over universal coverage.
NEWS
July 8, 1990 | from Associated Press
The government overpaid as much as $1 million in bonuses to two Hubble Space Telescope contractors for their cost-control efforts on the device, whose flaws have become a major problem for NASA, a magazine reported Saturday. Congressional Quarterly reported in its Saturday edition that the overpayments occurred at the same time costs for the expensive telescope were rising dramatically. The original cost estimate for the Hubble was $678 million, but its final price tag was more than $1.
NEWS
May 7, 1993 | ROBERT A. ROSENBLATT, TIMES STAFF WRITER
It's 8:30 a.m. in Operating Room No. 1 and Dr. Alan Aker, peering through a microscope, delicately cuts a quarter-inch incision into the surface of Blanche Klein's right eye. He carves open the layer of cloudy material that has made Klein feel as if she's been squinting through a dirty milk bottle. Using an instrument that works like a tiny jackhammer, he pulverizes the cataract with hissing sound waves pulsing at 40,000 times a second as a hollow needle vacuums away the particles.
NATIONAL
August 18, 2012 | By Paul West, Washington Bureau
THE VILLAGES, Fla. - Diving deeper into the Medicare fight, Republican vice presidential candidate Paul D. Ryan warned seniors Saturday that a key cost-control measure in President Obama's healthcare law would lead to rationing of their medical care. Ryan made the charge during a campaign speech at the largest retirement development in Florida, a state with the biggest proportion of seniors in the country and the most electoral votes of any 2012 battleground. The state is considered a must-win for Mitt Romney, and politicians in both parties say the Medicare debate could sway the outcome.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 13, 2012 | Howard Blume
A tentative agreement to shorten the school year for Los Angeles students -- for the fourth consecutive year -- is almost certain to weaken academic gains, and was driven, critics said, by expediency more than the best interests of students. The deal reached last week between L.A. Unified and its teachers union calls for canceling up to five instructional days from the 2012-13 school year. It also could reduce teacher pay by the equivalent of 10 days overall, about a 5% salary cut. This would bring to 18 the number of school days cut over four years.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 14, 2012 | Ralph Vartabedian
If California starts building a 130-mile segment of high-speed rail late this year as planned, it will enter into a risky race against a deadline set up under federal law. The bullet train track through the Central Valley would cost $6 billion and have to be completed by September 2017, or else potentially lose some of its federal funding. It would mean spending as much as $3.5 million every calendar day, holidays and weekends included -- the fastest rate of transportation construction known in U.S. history, according to industry and academic experts.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 13, 2012 | Chris Megerian and Anthony York
California's projected budget deficit has ballooned to $16 billion, much larger than the $9.2 billion estimated in January, Gov. Jerry Brown said, and he warned of more painful spending cuts. "We will have to go much further, and make cuts far greater, than I asked for at the beginning of the year," Brown said in a video posted Saturday on YouTube. He plans to detail his revised spending plan in the Capitol on Monday. It's a significant setback for Brown, who began his return engagement in Sacramento by promising to get the budget back under control.
NATIONAL
January 28, 2012 | Christi Parsons and Kathleen Hennessey
President Obama embraced the idea of federal action to restrain the rapidly increasing cost of higher education, giving a boost to a long-simmering policy idea that has gained steam amid growing frustration with rising tuition. His proposal that colleges and universities cut costs or risk losing out on some federal aid was part of a larger package of ideas for college affordability unveiled by the president on Friday in a speech at the University of Michigan. Obama wants to increase funds for higher education, mostly through an expansion of federal loan programs.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 9, 2011 | Ruben Vives
The state retirement system has slashed the benefits of scores of top-paid local government officials as part of a review of overly generous public pensions prompted by the Bell scandal. Although the California Public Employees Retirement System has cut the benefits of individuals in the past, this review is its largest systematic effort to examine and possibly adjust high-end pensions. So far, the state retirement board has reviewed 2,250 retirement payments and found that 329 needed to be reduced, mostly because employers incorrectly reported employees' pay. They include a former general manager at the Serrano Water District in Orange County whose pension was reduced because the salary it was based on -- $206,668 -- was too high.
NEWS
June 17, 1990 | DOUGLAS FRANTZ, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Ten years after Congress declared war on toxic waste, the Environmental Protection Agency is allowing the same companies that created the most dangerous problems to determine the scope of contamination and propose how to clean it up.
BUSINESS
June 10, 1998 | LESLIE EARNEST, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Upscale clothier St. John Knits Inc., which takes considerable pride in its "Made in U.S.A." label, said Tuesday it will open a manufacturing plant in Mexico later this month to cut labor costs. Initially, the 50,000-square-foot plant just outside Tijuana will make only hardware such as buckles and buttons for the company's women's clothing, St. John officials said. Later this year, the Irvine-based company plans to begin manufacturing jewelry in Mexico as well.
BUSINESS
May 26, 2011 | By Duke Helfand, Los Angeles Times
For the first time, California's largest nonprofit health insurer has released the salaries of its 10 highest-paid executives in response to a new state law intended to keep healthcare insurance costs under control. The top earner at Blue Shield of California was Chief Executive Bruce Bodaken, who made $4.6 million last year — more than four times the salary of his counterpart at the state's largest for-profit insurer, Anthem Blue Cross. San Francisco-based Blue Shield revealed Bodaken's salary in documents filed with the state's insurance commissioner, who had demanded the information under the law that allows regulators to examine executive salaries and other criteria to determine whether insurance rate increases are "unreasonable.
OPINION
March 12, 2010
Critics of the comprehensive healthcare reform bills pending in Congress have trotted out a number of hyperbolic arguments against the legislation, some of which are easy to refute. It's not a government takeover of American medicine -- the bills retain the current system of private insurance and private-sector doctors and hospitals. And it's not an assault on the elderly -- although Medicare Advantage plans would lose their extra subsidies, prescription drug benefits would increase substantially.
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