CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 5, 2014 |
Los Angeles City Council members Wednesday approved a new contract with the union representing deputy city attorneys that gives no pay raises through 2016 and requires a bigger contribution toward healthcare costs. Under the three-year pact, approved 10-0, deputy city attorneys will for the first time pay a portion of healthcare premiums, about 10%, and also pay more toward the cost of retiree healthcare. Current employees now pay about 7% toward the cost of retiree health coverage.
February 7, 2014
Re "CVS' halt on tobacco wins praise," Business, Feb. 6 The following sign was posted in a small drugstore: "Dear Customers, As we are in business for your health, we no longer sell cigarettes. " The year was 1964. I was 13 years old and had helped my father, Harry Labinger, hang that sign after the surgeon general reported on the dangers of smoking. My father, a smoker, also quit smoking that day, cold turkey. It was a lesson in health, ethics and courage I have never forgotten.
February 7, 2014 |
In an effort to cut costs, many insurers in the new state health insurance exchanges are offering plans with "narrow networks" that include fewer doctors and hospitals - particularly the costlier ones with famous names, such as Cedars-Sinai. The trade-off has sparked complaints from some policyholders who've had trouble seeing their favorite doctor or, in some cases, any doctor in the right specialty. Although regulators have to address those issues, narrow networks can actually be a good thing for patients if done the right way. Insurers started limiting their customers' choice of providers long before the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010, steering patients to preferred doctors and hospitals through restrictive HMOs or more inclusive - and popular - PPOs.
December 19, 2013 |
With Republicans hoping to make next year's election another referendum on the 2010 healthcare law (better known as Obamacare), the White House issued a report Thursday aimed at those calling for the law to be overturned. "Repeal Would Raise Costs, Strip Protections from Families Across America," the report declares. As usual, though, the administration left out one no-trivial part of the equation: how much those benefits are costing the public. The Times' editorial board has steadfastly supported the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, warts and all, because it makes a credible effort to make a more sustainable healthcare system.
November 26, 2013 |
Healthcare costs for Los Angeles employers climbed 4.5% this year to $11,625 per employee, a new survey shows, and firms expect a bigger increase in 2014. Nationwide, health-benefit costs in the workplace rose just 2.1% in 2013 to $10,779 per worker, which includes employer and employee contributions for medical, dental and other health coverage. The figures come from a survey of employer health plans by Mercer, a benefits consulting firm. Full coverage: Obamacare rolls out Employers nationwide and in Southern California expect their healthcare costs to climb more than 5% next year.
November 9, 2013 |
Californians are more supportive of President Obama's healthcare law than the country at large, but they still worry it will raise healthcare costs and hurt the economy, a new poll of registered voters shows. Statewide, 50% said they backed the Affordable Care Act and 42% opposed it, according to the USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll. That runs counter to national polls that show more people disapprove of Obamacare than support it. Latinos, who make up about half of California's uninsured population, were even more enthusiastic, supporting the healthcare law by a 2-1 margin.