April 7, 2013 |
American employers are asking more from workers as they try to cut costs and become more productive to compete in a globalized world, as described in a Los Angeles Times Sunday story . But they're also giving them much less. Everything from the company picnic to professional development opportunities are shrinking; employers are less likely to pay for education, train their employees and help them find an apartment or adopt a child. “We've seen for well over a decade a shift towards where employees are just having to pay more,” said Laura Sejen, a practice leader at Towers Watson, a human resources consulting firm.
April 4, 2013
Re "On the front lines of firearms debate," March 29 The National Rifle Assn. and others on the right may criticize New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg as the "nanny in chief," but he is on to something. Look around you: Most people are overweight or obese. They may watch sports, but they never participate and get the exercise they so badly need. They eat the wrong foods, especially in restaurants, and they never seem to move. We have an unhealthy nation, a major reason why healthcare costs are so high.
April 2, 2013
Re "A bump for the healthcare law," Editorial, and "Health costs to rise 30% for some," March 29 The rise in insurance premiums is one of many "bumps" Californians will need to endure as provisions of President Obama's Affordable Care Act are put in place. Enacting complex laws is a mainstay of lobby groups designed to confuse Americans (exemplified by healthcare reform) and does not lead to a "more rational and efficient system," as the editorial puts it. This law continues to allow for-profit private insurance companies to have a stranglehold on the American healthcare system, while prospering countries around the world have devised efficient systems statistically proven to provide better care at lower cost.
March 29, 2013 |
One figure in a new report neatly summarizes the potential pitfalls for Obamacare: 30.1%. That's how much premiums could rise next year, on average, for the roughly 1.3 million moderate- and upper-income Californians who buy individual health insurance policies. Most of that increase is attributable to the insurance reforms in the 2010 law, also known as the Affordable Care Act. The bill's title is not ironic - its provisions will slow the growth of healthcare costs and lead over time to a more rational and efficient system.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 26, 2013 |
Saying it had no choice in the face of persistent budget deficits, the Los Angeles City Council agreed Tuesday to examine a package of controversial cost-cutting proposals that one councilman likened to a “declaration of war” on city workers and business. The action, suggested by Councilman Bernard C. Parks, directs City Administrator Miguel Santana to prepare reports on a number of areas where the city could reduce costs, including doing away with a shortened work week for police officers, deferring or eliminating proposed employee raises and abandoning efforts to reduce the business tax. The city currently faces a budget shortfall of $150 million to $160 million, according to Santana.
March 2, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Fired up as once-unimaginable spending cuts start to slice the federal budget, Republicans are launching a new phase in their austerity campaign - resurrecting the party's cost-cutting plan to turn Medicare into a voucher-like system for future seniors. Despite public uncertainty Saturday about the $85 billion in so-called sequester cuts, Republicans now believe they have momentum to ask Americans to make tough choices on Medicare, as rising healthcare costs combine with an aging population to form a growing part of future deficits.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 22, 2013 |
First the good news: The state controller says the cost of providing healthcare to retired public employees did not rise as fast as expected. Now the bad news: Over the next three decades, the bill is expected to be $63.84 billion more than Sacramento has set aside to pay for it, and state officials don't have a clear plan to cover those costs. The updated figures were released Thursday by state Controller John Chiang. "The current pay-as-we-go model of funding retiree health benefits is shortsighted and a recipe for undermining the fiscal health of future generations of Californians," Chiang said in a statement.
February 21, 2013 |
In the span of 15 years, the number of bariatric surgeries performed in the United States has grown more than 16-fold to roughly 220,000 per year, gaining cachet as a near-panacea for obesity. Despite the daunting price tag, mounting research has boosted hopes that the stomach-stapling operations could reduce the nation's healthcare bill by weaning patients off the costly drugs and frequent doctor visits that come with chronic obesity-related diseases like diabetes and arthritis.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 9, 2013 |
When Claire Gordon arrived at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, nurses knew she needed extra attention. She was 96, had heart disease and a history of falls. Now she had pneumonia and the flu. A team of Cedars specialists converged on her case to ensure that a bad situation did not turn worse and that she didn't end up with a lengthy, costly hospital stay. Frail seniors like Gordon account for a disproportionate share of healthcare expenditures because they are frequently hospitalized and often land in intensive care units or are readmitted soon after being released.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 8, 2013 |
The top five candidates for Los Angeles mayor faced an unusually tough grilling Thursday led by Austin Beutner, the former deputy mayor who once stood as a leading contender in the race. While in past debates the candidates have offered a striking lack of specificity about how they would tackle the city's looming $1-billion budget deficit, Beutner -- a retired investment banker who served as Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's first deputy until mid-2011 -- repeatedly pressed them for details at a lively San Fernando Valley forum.