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June 4, 1989
Surgeon General C. Everett Koop said that the U.S. health care system is unfair to millions of Americans, and he called for the appointment of a presidential commission to draft a plan for change. In a commencement address to graduates of the University of Massachusetts in Boston, Koop catalogued the ills of the medical delivery and insurance system, laying particular emphasis on inequities. "Our current system of health care is not fair, it's not just and it's not the morally strong system this country deserves," he said.
April 27, 2014 | By Lisa Zamosky
Arlette Lozano came to this country 18 years ago from Mexico at age 8 when her mother sent her and her 3-year-old brother across the border with the help of a coyote - someone paid to smuggle people across the border. There wasn't enough money for their mother to travel with them, so the children came alone to meet an aunt living in East Los Angeles. "It was very scary," Lozano recalls. "I remember my mom telling me not to fall asleep because they can kidnap us. " Lozano, now a 26-year-old student at UCLA with a double major in global studies and anthropology, grew up in Fullerton with her brother and mother, who eventually made her way to the U.S. Despite distant memories of the dangerous trek she and her brother took years ago, she says she knows no other life than the one she's lived here in America.
Secure Horizons, the nation's largest Medicare HMO, said Thursday it will freeze membership next year in 41 counties nationwide, most of them in California. The announcement that new members will not be accepted in 24 California counties, among them Riverside, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara, Kern, Alameda and Contra Costa, came as Secure Horizons' parent company reported disappointing results for the third quarter, though they beat estimates. Santa Ana-based PacifiCare Health Systems Inc.
April 25, 2014 | By Maria L. La Ganga
DURHAM, Ore. - Oregon officials voted unanimously Friday to jettison the state's disastrous health insurance exchange and switch to the federal system, admitting disappointment and defeat in an arena where the state had been a trailblazer. With its 7-0 vote, the board of directors for Cover Oregon acknowledged that the state exchange was too expensive and too troubled to fix. Although the state has spent an estimated $248 million to get the operation up and running, it never enrolled a single private insurance customer online.
Through the squalls and storms of the past few months, no one has been more doggedly upbeat about President Clinton's ambitious plan for national health care reform than senior adviser Ira Magaziner and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton. Magaziner, chief architect of Clinton's health care plan, took great delight in calling attention to his office bookshelves.
March 14, 2010
Re: Michael Hiltzik's business column "What do we need health insurers for?," Feb. 28: WellPoint's 39% premium rate hike is pure extortion from people who can't afford to give up health insurance. Seniors on Medicare don't live with 39% rate hikes because Medicare is not designed to enrich stockholders. If private insurers keep gouging policyholders, don't be surprised if you start having "town hall meetings" with people requesting Medicare or the public option. George Bruce Wells Seal Beach : : As a for-profit company, WellPoint and its ilk have priorities that are not compatible with what is best for the populace.
February 1, 2012 | By Marc Lifsher
  A high-stakes ballot measure to give state regulators the power to approve health insurance rates in California has landed a heavyweight supporter: U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein. One of California's most respected politicians, Feinstein has come forward as the chief spokeswoman and No. 1 booster of a proposed initiative to regulate hikes in health premiums. "I am proud to tell you that I was the first person to sign a new ballot initiative petition that will reform the health insurance industry in California," Feinstein, a San Francisco Democrat, wrote in an email sent to about 2 million registered voters.
March 18, 2012 | By Scott J. Wilson, Los Angeles Times
If you're self-employed, unemployed or work for a company that doesn't offer medical coverage, you may have to find your own insurance. Some tips to get you started: • U.S. Uninsured Help Line: This service by the nonprofit Foundation for Health Coverage Education helps people determine their insurance options. Be prepared to answer questions about how many family members need coverage, household income and preexisting medical conditions. Call (800) 234-1317 or go to . • COBRA: If you recently left a job where you had health insurance, you can continue your coverage, at your expense, under the federal COBRA program for 18 months.
March 30, 2011 | By Julie Appleby, Kaiser Health News
It seems like a simple idea: create new marketplaces, called "exchanges," where consumers can comparison shop for health insurance, sort of like shopping online for a hotel room or airline ticket. But, like almost everything else connected with the health overhaul law, state-based insurance "exchanges" are embroiled in politics. Some Republican governors are threatening to refuse to set up exchanges unless they get more flexibility over Medicaid, the state-federal health program for the poor.
November 7, 2013 | By Christi Parsons and Kathleen Hennessey
WASHINGTON -- President Obama apologized Thursday for the fact that some people are losing their current health insurance plans even though he had told Americans they could keep their plans if they wanted to, saying his administration was working on changes to his healthcare law to address the problem.  "I am sorry that they are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me," the president told NBC News in an ...
April 23, 2014 | By Richard Verrier
No joke: The walkout by editors and assistant editors on the NBC show "Last Comic Standing" is over after less than two days. An official with the Motion Picture Editors Guild said 15 workers returned to work Wednesday morning after the union reached an agreement with NBC to provide a union contract for the employees. "Thanks to the courage and cohesion they demonstrated, and to the overwhelming support showed to them by their Local 700 sisters and brothers and the entire IATSE [International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees]
April 23, 2014 | By David Lazarus
Kathleen says the cost of her health insurance has soared. She wants to know why -- and who she can complain to. Kathleen isn't alone. A lot of people have seen their health-insurance premiums rise in recent months, and there's a reason for this. Obamacare. ASK LAZ: Smart answers to consumer questions That's not to say all such rate hikes are unjustified. In most cases, the costs are rising because the quality of the coverage is improving. The Affordable Care Act requires that all health insurance meets certain standards, and some plans are going up in cost for the simple reason that they're complying with the law. For more, plus who's taking complaints about such things, check out today's Ask Laz video.
April 22, 2014 | By Ruben Vives
Long Beach health officials are warning residents of a sharp increase in whooping cough cases in the city. Health officials say 42 cases have been reported since January. Although officials did not immediately have a breakdown for the cases reported in the same period last year, they said 15 cases were reported for all of 2013. Four cases were reported in 2012.  This year, most of the infected have been school-age children, officials said, adding that no deaths have been reported.
April 22, 2014 | By Karen Kaplan
Among the various provisions of the Affordable Care Act, few are as controversial as the one requiring health insurance providers to include coverage for contraception. A new survey finds that support for this rule is widespread, with 69% of Americans in favor of the mandate. Among 2,124 adults surveyed in November 2013, 1,452 agreed that “health plans in the United States should be required to include coverage” for “birth control medications,” according to a research letter published online Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Assn.
April 22, 2014
Re "Patients lose in insurers' games," Column, April 18 David Lazarus tells of the ordeal a young female patient and her doctors went through to have breast reduction surgery covered by insurance, only to be denied. In the 1980s, I worked in a unit that reviewed appeals of medical claims denied under the group policies issued by my company. Many of the denied claims were for breast reduction. We reviewed these appeals carefully, as we recognized that the term "illness" included physical pain or limitation caused by something other than disease or injury.
April 17, 2014 | David Lazarus
Dr. Theodore Corwin, a plastic surgeon in Thousand Oaks for the last 30 years, has had run-ins with insurers before, but never one so aggravating - and pointless - as this. A 26-year-old woman recently came to his office complaining of back, neck and shoulder pain, as well as numbness in her hands and arms, resulting from her unusually ample bust. She's 5-foot-6, not overweight, Corwin said. She wanted a breast reduction. "There seemed to be no question that her pain and numbness was caused by her carrying this excessive weight," Corwin told me. "It seemed like a straightforward diagnosis.
June 18, 2013 | By Chad Terhune
Aetna Inc. said it would stop selling individual health insurance policies in California next month, and nearly 50,000 existing policyholders will have to find new coverage by January. The company's announcement Monday comes a month after it opted not to participate in California's new state-run insurance market for consumers, a key component of the new federal healthcare law. Aetna was a distant fourth in the state's individual health market with a 5.2% market share in 2011, according to Citigroup data.
March 29, 2010 | By Tammy Worth and Lisa Zamosky, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Most Americans will be affected by the overhaul of the nation's health insurance — some more directly than others. Here is a look at four people — an uninsured woman with a pre-existing condition, a man happy with his current insurance plan, a college student and a self-employed professional — and how the new healthcare legislation will likely affect each of them in both the short and long term. Individual experiences will vary, but some glimpses of the future can be seen already.
April 16, 2014
Re "For working poor, new health premiums can be a burden," April 14 The headline on this article is very misleading. The impression given is that Obamacare places an undue burden on low-income citizens. This story is about someone - 63-year-old Barbara Garnaus - who went for years without any insurance, relying on good health and free clinics. Now she has cancer and has bought insurance under Obamacare. Before healthcare reform, she probably would not have been able to obtain insurance at all after the cancer was diagnosed.
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