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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 20, 2013 | By Chris Megerian
One of the prolonged lawsuits that became emblematic of California's budget crisis is coming to a close. Gov. Jerry Brown has reached an agreement with unions and social service advocates to avoid steep cuts to in-home care for the elderly and disabled. Brown will settle for an 8% cut in service hours instead of the 20% reduction he originally hoped to enact last year. The deal also ends the battle over cuts pushed by Brown's predecessor, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. State officials agreed not to reduce state funding for worker salaries or further restrict who can receive benefits from the program, known as In-Home Supportive Services.
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NATIONAL
January 20, 2014 | By David G. Savage
The Supreme Court will hear a 1st Amendment case this week involving Chicago-area in-home care providers that could end up dealing a major blow to public-sector labor unions. Illinois, California, Maryland, Connecticut and other states have long used Medicaid funds to pay salaries for in-home care workers to assist disabled adults who otherwise might have to be put in state institutions. The jobs were poorly paid and turnover was high. Over the last decade, more than 20,000 of these workers in Illinois voted to organize and won wage increases by joining the Service Employees International Union.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 29, 1999
"Nursing Shortage Hampers Home Care for Disabled" (Dec. 23) did a commendable job of illuminating the necessity of assistance for people with disabilities like myself and also the crisis of a society in which many people who wish to live independently are deterred from this. If the problem ended there it would be unsatisfactory, but it doesn't. Ability to succeed as a parent, as a spouse, as an employee and as a taxpayer is greatly affected by the quantity and quality of assistance available.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 20, 2014 | By Chris Megerian
SACRAMENTO - A union effort to increase salaries for workers caring for the country's elderly and disabled threatens to backfire in California, where Gov. Jerry Brown wants to limit their hours. A change in federal rules set for next year entitles nearly 2 million home aides nationwide to overtime pay. But Brown, in an effort to keep a lid on costs, has proposed a cap on the time they work in the state's taxpayer-funded home care program for low-income Californians. The proposal, part of the governor's latest budget plan, could particularly affect disabled people who receive more than 40 hours of assistance a week.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 26, 2013 | By Chris Megerian, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO - Arnold Arbiso, a quadriplegic living near Los Angeles, wanted to support the workers who bathe, dress and cook for him and other disabled Californians. So when they mobilized to join unions more than a decade ago, he used the knuckle on his little finger to dial the offices of state lawmakers and express his approval. The 60-year-old is now having misgivings, fearing that union demands could harm the very people the workers are hired to help. He is caught in the middle of a pay dispute that has divided labor leaders and advocates for the disabled, who have long been allies in promoting California's enormous and controversial home care program.
HOME & GARDEN
July 15, 2011 | By Rosemary McClure, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Megan Cowles' friends envy her good luck. "Everyone wants my job," she says. This summer, her employer is taking her to Paris, where she'll see the Eiffel Tower, stroll along the Seine and eat buttery, melt-in-your-mouth croissants for breakfast. Her wonder job? She's a home-care worker. Her employer, a 76-year-old Orange County woman, is so grateful for her help that she's taking her to Paris on a vacation. Part 1: How to choose a caregiver "She's very excited about it," Cowles said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 11, 2012 | By Chris Megerian, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
Personal data for more than 700,000 people who provide or receive home care for the elderly and disabled may have been compromised when a shipment of payroll data went missing on Wednesday, according to an internal government email obtained by the Los Angeles Times. The state learned of the breach on Wednesday, the email said. Hewlett Packard, which handles the payroll information for workers in California's In-Home Supportive Services program, told officials that the data disappeared when it was being shipped in the mail to a state office in Riverside.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 8, 1999
The cost of caring for America's disabled elderly is soaring as their numbers grow and expensive new treatments multiply. Nursing home expenditures have quintupled since 1980, rising faster than hospital costs. Part of the increase in expenses is due to skewed government priorities: The federal aid system rewards hospitals for expensive care and denies government aid to family members who try to keep their relatives out of nursing homes. It's a fat target for reform.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 22, 2000
Last week, members of Congress identified long-term health care as "the sleeping giant of all U.S. social priorities." Gov. Gray Davis woke that giant in California in his State of the State speech in January, outlining his "Aging With Dignity" initiative, intended to "provide the services older Californians need to remain in their own homes, instead of nursing homes." Last week, in his budget for the coming fiscal year, he detailed plans to begin paying for the cornerstone of that initiative.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 23, 2001
Re "Estate Tax Relief Is Aimed at Wrong Group," Commentary, April 15: Robert Kuttner sensibly prescribes relief for the living members of the middle class rather than the death tax repeal urged by the Bush administration. But rather than making it easier for my mother, my children or me to live in nursing homes, we need to ensure that we have a choice. Legislation to allow Medicaid funds to be used for in-home assistance wouldn't be aid only to the wealthy or to the nursing home industry, but to the people.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 17, 2013 | By Chris Megerian
SACRAMENTO - The cost of providing care to elderly and disabled Californians is set to increase in about 15 months because of new federal rules on overtime. The new regulations, announced Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Labor, will require overtime pay for almost 2 million more workers nationwide, including nearly 360,000 caregivers in California's taxpayer-funded home care program. Gov. Jerry Brown's administration estimates that the overtime will cost the state an extra $150 million annually for its In-Home Supportive Services program.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 1, 2013 | By Gale Holland
Vacant beds at the Veterans Administration campus in West Los Angeles will be filled by homeless vets on state waiting lists for nursing home care, authorities said Thursday. The arrangement is part of stepped-up federal assistance, including expanded rental housing vouchers and medical outreach teams, that the Veterans Administration is promising the 6,000 veterans who live on the streets of Los Angeles County. The joint announcement from California's senior senator, Democrat Diane Feinstein; Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Beverly Hills)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 26, 2013 | By Chris Megerian, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO - Arnold Arbiso, a quadriplegic living near Los Angeles, wanted to support the workers who bathe, dress and cook for him and other disabled Californians. So when they mobilized to join unions more than a decade ago, he used the knuckle on his little finger to dial the offices of state lawmakers and express his approval. The 60-year-old is now having misgivings, fearing that union demands could harm the very people the workers are hired to help. He is caught in the middle of a pay dispute that has divided labor leaders and advocates for the disabled, who have long been allies in promoting California's enormous and controversial home care program.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 20, 2013 | By Chris Megerian
One of the prolonged lawsuits that became emblematic of California's budget crisis is coming to a close. Gov. Jerry Brown has reached an agreement with unions and social service advocates to avoid steep cuts to in-home care for the elderly and disabled. Brown will settle for an 8% cut in service hours instead of the 20% reduction he originally hoped to enact last year. The deal also ends the battle over cuts pushed by Brown's predecessor, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. State officials agreed not to reduce state funding for worker salaries or further restrict who can receive benefits from the program, known as In-Home Supportive Services.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 20, 2013 | By Anthony York
SACRAMENTO --It may well be the most sophisticated campaign for land commissioner in American history. George P. Bush, son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and the nephew and grandson of former presidents, is going into the family business, with a run for state land commissioner in Texas. But a new fundraising solicitation making its way around California circles shows this is not your every day local race. The solicitation comes from the desk of some California financial heavyweights who are helping the latest Bush to burst onto the political scene to raise some campaign cash.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 19, 2013 | By Chris Megerian, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO - Gov. Jerry Brown will no longer seek steep cuts in home care for the elderly and the disabled, ending a prolonged court battle spawned by the state's persistent budget crisis. The Brown administration reached an agreement with unions and social service advocates to allow an 8% cut in service hours, less than half the 20% reduction the state tried to enact last year. State funding for workers' salaries will not be reduced, and Sacramento will not further restrict qualifications for receiving the services under the settlement - two changes originally sought by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2009.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 14, 1999
Re "Common Sense for Home Care," editorial, Jan. 8: California is way behind the ball on developing a rational policy for care options for its low-income seniors. Every month, hundreds of seniors receiving in-home supportive service (minimum wage paid to a worker for a certain amount of hours per month, depending on care) make a transition to nursing homes, where the state, under MediCal, pays about $2,500 per month. Many of these seniors with only custodial care needs (i.e. help with dressing, bathing)
BUSINESS
March 15, 2013 | By Lisa Zamosky
For seniors and their families, Alzheimer's disease and its hefty price tag are an increasingly scary prospect. About 5.4 million Americans are affected by Alzheimer's disease, making it the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Because of growing life expectancies and aging baby boomers, that number is expected to triple by 2050. Alayna Tillman's mother and aunt both have Alzheimer's disease and live with Tillman, her husband and two sons in Lake View Terrace. Tillman says Medicare pays for many of the medical costs her mom and aunt incur.
OPINION
February 24, 2013
Re “ CalPERS' long-term care rates to surge ,” Business, Feb. 22 I retired as a college teacher in 2009 and had bought my long-term care policy in the late '90s. I was influenced to get it by two factors: I had watched financial advisor Suze Orman on PBS support long-term care policies as a part of retirement planning, and I had watched my father forced to spend down his modest estate to virtually nothing in order to qualify my dementia-suffering mother to receive nursing home care under Medi-Cal.
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