December 5, 2012 |
Consumers saved nearly $1.5 billion in 2011 as a result of rules in President Obama's healthcare law that limit what insurance companies can spend on expenses unrelated to medical care, including profit, a new analysis shows. Much of those savings -- an estimated $1.1 billion -- came in rebates to consumers required because insurers had exceeded the required limits. The study by the New York-based Commonwealth Fund also suggests that the Affordable Care Act forced insurers to become more efficient by limiting their administrative expenses, a key goal of the 2010 law. In some cases, insurers passed savings on to consumers in the form of lower premiums and higher spending on medical care, the researchers found.
August 18, 2012 |
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 |
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 |
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 |
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.
January 28, 2012 |
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.