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.
September 15, 2011 |
Reporting from Washington -- For more than a year, as conservative states have battled President Obama's sweeping healthcare law, California was supposed to be a model that showed the law's promise. But the state is emerging as one of the biggest headaches for the White House in its bid to help states bring millions of Americans into the healthcare system starting in 2014. Though still outpacing much of the nation, cash-strapped California is cutting its healthcare safety net more aggressively than almost any other state, despite billions of dollars in special aid from Washington.
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.
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.
July 16, 2010 |
North Korea's healthcare system is unable to provide sterilized needles, clean water, food and medicine, and patients are forced to undergo agonizing surgery without anesthesia, Amnesty International reported. North Korea's healthcare system is unable to provide sterilized needles, clean water, food and medicine, and patients are forced to undergo agonizing surgery without anesthesia, Amnesty International reported Thursday. The human rights group, citing World Health Organization statistics, found that North Korea spent under $1 per capita on healthcare, the lowest in the world.
March 31, 2013 |
"In Scotland, death is considered imminent; in Canada, it's considered inevitable. In California, death is considered optional. " Ian Morrison, a Scottish-born futurist and healthcare consultant, was joking when he said those words. But not entirely. Substantial data support his point. Medicare statistics, for example, reveal that Los Angeles leads the nation in the amount of medical services provided during the last six months of a person's life. Healthy seniors here are also big consumers of healthcare, getting about 65% more MRI studies and utilizing ambulances three times as often as seniors elsewhere.
July 27, 2012
Re "Worries grow as health jobs go offshore," July 25 The outsourcing of nursing-related healthcare jobs is appalling. Though still in its early stages, it's easy to imagine corporate decision-makers chomping at the bit to transform the human body into a commodity subject to the same market forces as a common household object - a blender, for instance. My guess is that someday the idea of healthcare will no longer exist; instead, it will simply be considered an extended warranty.
July 31, 2012 |
Mitt Romney established universal health coverage in Massachusetts with an individual mandate to buy insurance. But he says he'll overturn an identical system at the federal level. He also has dismissed the idea of a Medicare-for-all insurance system in the United States. Yet the presumptive Republican nominee-to-be is hailing Israel's healthcare system as a model of efficiency and effectiveness. And what do you know - Israel has something like a Medicare-for-all system. Romney praised Israel for spending just 8% of its gross domestic product on healthcare while still remaining a "pretty healthy nation.
May 12, 2013
Re "Medical rates range off the chart," May 9 Our political leaders regularly lament the notion that ever-rising healthcare costs will eventually bankrupt our country. The question is why they treat this problem as if it were an act of God, totally beyond their power to do anything about it. In most businesses the price is based on actual costs plus overhead, profit and other items. In healthcare, the price is whatever ridiculously inflated number someone has the gall to put on the bill.