November 28, 2012 |
California's largest for-profit health insurer, Anthem Blue Cross, is seeking to raise rates an average of 18% for more than 630,000 individual policyholders, drawing scrutiny from regulators and the ire of consumers already struggling with soaring premiums. Some Anthem customers may see rates rise as much as 25% in February under the company's proposal at a time when medical inflation is running at historic lows nationwide. The increases are among several others proposed by California insurers, including Aetna Inc. and Health Net Inc. California insurance regulators will take the next month to review whether these rate increases are warranted, but state officials don't have the authority to reject them for being unreasonable.
November 12, 2012 |
If ever there was a poster child for the law of unintended consequences, it is the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Down through the years, few government programs have enjoyed the almost universal approval of the GI Bill, enacted in 1944 and expanded in 1966. I'm one of its fans: It helped me buy my first home (a bungalow in Hermosa Beach) and sent me to law school. As the U.S. military became all volunteer in the 1970s and America enjoyed more than a quarter-century of peace, the GI Bill seemed less necessary and its benefits dwindled.
July 31, 2012
Several Roman Catholic organizations have challenged Obama administration rules requiring religious colleges and hospitals (but not churches themselves) to offer preventive healthcare, including contraceptive coverage, with no deductibles or co-pays. Even though the Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of most of the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare"), the courts still have to decide whether those institutions are exempt from the contraception requirement under a federal law called the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Our view is that church-affiliated charitable and educational institutions should offer such coverage, even if they are self-insured.
July 30, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - For-profit colleges are failing their students and saddling taxpayers with an enormous bill, a two-year investigation by the Senate education panel's Democratic staff concluded. The harsh report, released Monday by the committee's chairman, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), found that federal taxpayers spent $32 billion on for-profit colleges in 2009-10, while more than half of the students who enrolled in them dropped out without degrees after about four months in 2008-09. "In this report, you will find overwhelming documentation of exorbitant tuition, aggressive recruiting practices, abysmal student outcomes, taxpayer dollars spent on marketing and pocketed as profit, and regulatory evasion and manipulation," Harkin said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 29, 2012 |
In a class catalog, it probably would be listed as "College Promotion 101. " That's what it looks like along U.S. 101 in the western San Fernando Valley, where a proliferation of large directional signs point the way to local colleges and vocational schools. In all, school operators have managed to get 36 of the green signs placed along a seven-mile stretch of the Ventura Freeway in Tarzana and Woodland Hills. It's the largest cluster of college directional signs in the Los Angeles area.
July 6, 2012
In tight financial times, many cities save money by outsourcing municipal services such as clerical work to private companies. But there is no service more central to government and the people it serves than public safety, which should remain the responsibility of public agencies. The case of a fired lifeguard in Florida shows why. Beachgoers brought lifeguard Tomas Lopez's attention to a man floundering in shallow water. He raced to the scene; by then, the man had been pulled to the beach but had water in his lungs.