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NEWS
March 26, 2011 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times
Tuesday marked the passage of one year since President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act, the healthcare reform law that still has Americans arguing: Will reform cure America's medical care woes, or make the system's maladies worse? The anniversary offered health policy experts an excuse to reflect, yet again, on the past, present and future of healthcare in the U.S. Among studies released in the last week:   A report from the Rand Corp. , published in March's American Journal of Managed Care, that showed that families with high-deductible health insurance plans spend less on healthcare -- but are also more likely to forego getting preventive care such as cancer screenings and even immunizations.  That could drive costs back up in the future, said Amelia H. Haviland, a Rand statistician and co-author of the paper, in a statement.
ARTICLES BY DATE
BUSINESS
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.
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NEWS
July 7, 2012 | By Paul Thornton
Each week, The Times' editorial and opinion pages receive a few thousand emails sent to letters@latimes.com, most of which are spam, messages sent as part of letter-writing campaigns and more. After deleting those messages, I'm usually left with 500 to 1,000 usable letters to the editor to consider for six weekly pages. Between 60 and 70 letters end up running in the paper during any given week. Here is a snapshot of this week's mailbag: 529 usable letters were sent to letters@latimes.com between 10 a.m. Friday, June 29, and 10 a.m. this past Friday.
NEWS
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 instead switch to the federal website, admitting both 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 its exchange up and running, it never enrolled a single private insurance customer online.
OPINION
August 24, 2012
Re "Ryan plan may hurt disabled the most," Column, Aug. 21 Without Medicare, those of us who have pre-existing conditions will have difficulty getting health insurance. After we lost coverage because of a layoff, Blue Shield, which was at the time one of the three companies in California's program for high-risk patients, would not insure my husband because he has acid reflux and takes medication for it. I was turned down because I was a six-year cancer survivor. Apparently, Blue Shield forgot it was part of the high-risk program.
NATIONAL
April 8, 2010
Tax hikes related to healthcare The new healthcare law imposes several tax increases, but most do not take effect immediately, and most apply only to upper-income Americans. Revenue estimates are over 10 years, 2010 through 2019. Medicare taxes, effective 2013 ($210.2 billion) Payroll tax increases from 1.45% to 2.35% on wage income over $200,000 for individuals; over $250,000 for couples. For taxpayers in that bracket, a new surtax of 3.8% on investment income.
OPINION
June 1, 2012
Re "Patients save by paying cash," May 27 Let me see if I have this right: People in California pay hundreds of dollars a month in health insurance premiums for the "privilege" of paying up to 10 times the cash cost of a medical procedure or test? With such obviously brilliant talent available, I think I will ask a health insurance company negotiator to come along with me when I buy my next car. David Bowles Rancho Santa Fe ALSO: Letters: Buying a town with a barbecue Letters: Wind farms and birds don't mix Letters: Where deportees can go for help
OPINION
February 25, 2014
Re "A costly pain in the neck," Out Here, Feb. 21 Critiques of American healthcare often focus on the high prices of itemized charges in a hospital bill. We all know that the cost of a hamburger in a restaurant far exceeds the cost of what one would pay for the meat and bun and other ingredients in a supermarket, but even an astute observer like Jon Healey - who was in a car accident and must wear a pricey neck brace that doctors selected for him - may overlook this when paying out of his own pocket.
OPINION
November 30, 2013
Re "Stories you won't hear from GOP," Column, Nov. 27 Michael Hiltzik cites a number of cases that appear to show the benefits of Obamacare. What he fails to address are two very important factors: access to and quality of care. The questions are these: Will the less-expensive insurance plans offer patients the ability to see their new doctors in a timely fashion? And will the quality of their care be as good as they had from their former providers? Given the millions of newly insured people and the number of physicians who will either retire or refuse to accept patients covered by Obamacare, some people may find their newly acquired insurance is not as good as Hiltzik reports.
NATIONAL
August 5, 2009 | Mike Dorning
When President Obama says he has the best healthcare in the world, he isn't kidding. The White House medical unit, with a staff of four doctors plus nurses and physicians' assistants, is steps from his office. Treatment is free for Obama and his family (as well as for the vice president and his family). During the president's travels, a doctor and nurse ride in a limousine in his motorcade. An emergency medical technician comes too, with an ambulance.
NEWS
April 24, 2014 | By Maria L. La Ganga and Maeve Reston
DURHAM, Ore. - Oregon officials are poised to vote Friday on whether to jettison their troubled health insurance exchange and become the first state in the country to switch to the federal version, which had its own rocky start before righting itself. At a Thursday meeting, Cover Oregon's technology advisory committee announced that it had recommended that the agency scrap its local exchange because there was neither the time nor the money available to fix it. The Cover Oregon board will vote Friday.
OPINION
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.
NEWS
April 21, 2014 | By David Lauter
WASHINGTON -- President Obama's job approval ratings have improved, if only slightly, from a low point during the winter, a trend that potentially could help embattled Democrats in key Senate races this fall. The size of the change varies from poll to poll , but they tell the same overall story: Obama's ratings took a slide in the fall as the public saw his HealthCare.gov website flounder. More recently, with the website fixed and the news about the president's healthcare law focusing on millions of people enrolling, his approval numbers have recovered.
OPINION
April 20, 2014
Re "Obamacare enrollments top 8 million," April 18 As a physician devoted to the care of the indigent, I applaud President Obama's initiative to provide healthcare insurance for uninsured Americans. That reporting enrollments in a federal program is considered front-page news underscores the troubled history of this program. Of far deeper concern is that these are just enrollments. In other words, the hard work has not even begun. With the most expensive healthcare system in the world by an order of 10, and one that has many Byzantine contortions to stymie patients and providers alike, providing cost-effective care to those previously considered uninsurable will certainly stress the system in unforeseeable ways.
BUSINESS
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.
OPINION
April 16, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
The first open enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act ended this week with roughly 7.5 million people obtaining policies through the new state insurance exchanges, including more than 1.3 million at Covered California. That's an amazing and welcome result, considering how badly many of the exchanges stumbled when sign-ups began in October. Nevertheless, it's far too early to judge the success or failure of the healthcare law, given that key tests of the program's sustainability have yet to be passed.
NEWS
March 29, 2012 | By Art Kellermann
Art Kellermann, a doctor and a vice president at Rand Health, a division of the Rand Corp., responds to Christopher J. Conover of Duke University's Center for Health Policy and Inequalities Research and the American Enterprise Institute, on the issue of how much is too much money for the nation to pay for healthcare. Conover's Op Ed, " Healthcare wasn't broken ," was published March 15. If you would like to write a full-length response to a recent Times article, editorial or Op-Ed, here are our FAQs and submission policy.
OPINION
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.
NEWS
April 15, 2014 | By Sara Lessley, guest blogger
I'm looking for my root. My what? Apparently, I should “find my root” and envision “pushing it to the floor.” Or at least I think that's what the soothing instructor is saying; in my confusion, I can't really decipher the commands. It's my first yoga class, ever. I'm not big on exercise classes; I stumbled poorly through Beginner Boot Camp, and I was bounced out of Jane Fonda-style aerobics many years back - and it's looking like Gentle Yoga and I aren't communing. But it's meant to be. The signs are all around; it's my duty - to me and my country.
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