September 30, 2011
State law requires insurers to include coverage for autism in comprehensive healthcare policies. Now, lawmakers want to go a step further, requiring coverage of a particular autism treatment: applied behavioral analysis. Insurers are resisting. They don't question the effectiveness of the therapy; they just say it doesn't fit the definition of "medical" treatment. Their position reflects how crucial parts of the healthcare system are wedded to the status quo, regardless of what's best for patients.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 5, 2009 |
In the top-floor ballroom of a downtown San Francisco hotel, Steve Slepcevic took the podium to share the story of his success. The son of Serbian immigrants, he began working on construction sites at the age of 12. By 17, he had started his own general contracting business. Soon enough, he was chasing natural disasters, looking to help victims rebuild their property and put their lives back together.
August 23, 2013 |
Victoria Barzilai opened her mouth wide so the doctor could look at her sore throat. Not exactly a remarkable event, except that Barzilai was at home and the doctor was hundreds of miles away. Feeling too sick to drag herself to the school health center, the third-year UC Davis student had opted for a cyber-doctor visit, the 21st century version of a house call. A number of websites offer face-to-face consultations of the virtual kind to anyone with a credit card and access to a webcam-equipped computer.
June 30, 2010 |
Seldom has the policy conflict between recovery and reform been presented as starkly as in the last two weeks. On the one hand, there is last week's congressional agreement on a historic reshaping of the financial regulatory system — which brings stronger consumer protections, sharper oversight of mega-banks and risk-oriented behavior, new constraints on mortgage terms and closer scrutiny of credit rating agencies and insurance companies....
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 31, 1990
The supporters of Proposition 103 were foolish to believe that any action short of recalling insurance commissioner Roxani Gillespie would provide relief from rising insurance companies. Her lame-duck actions reveal that the system doesn't have checks and balances, rather it favors the checks that don't bounce and large insurance companies' account balances. J. BRIAN AMSTER, Newport Beach
February 8, 2013 |
In journalism, a “standing hed” is a headline that can be used over and over because the event it describes is recurring. My favorite standing hed is “Pope Prays for Peace,” but the New York Times this week had one that is becoming equally familiar: “Bishops Reject Birth Control Compromise.” The main point of the story was that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops had rejected the Obama administration's latest tinkering with its...
July 13, 1991 |
New York state is investigating auto insurance companies for failing to give required discounts to consumers who have safety and anti-theft devices on their cars, officials said Friday. Attorney General Robert Abrams said car owners have been cheated out of as much as $30 million in New York--and more nationally--by insurance companies that advertise discounts and then don't give them.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 19, 1988
Isn't it time for our government to start an InsureCare program so that, in addition to health care, people can buy automobile, household and other insurance at a reasonable, affordable price? If the government made only half the profit made by the insurance companies, it would go a long way toward paying off the deficit. So let the insurance companies in the private sector move to Siberia! MONROE RUBINGER Beverly Hills
December 2, 2013 |
After a nasty storm ripped through the East Coast on the busiest travel day of the year, you might think that buying travel insurance for holiday travel would be a no-brainer. Not so much. The 114-year-old National Consumers League concluded recently that travel insurance is usually a bad deal because most policies are riddled with exceptions that allow insurance companies to reject claims for payoffs. Most insurance companies won't disclose their track record for paying out claims, making it nearly impossible to judge whether insurance is worth the money, the league points out. "The unfortunate reality is that these protection policies bring in big bucks for the airlines each year but offer very little real value for customers," said Sally Greenberg, executive director of the National Consumers League.
February 9, 2014 |
The recent Congressional Budget Office report on healthcare reform has lots of good news. Insurance premiums are lower than anticipated, the Affordable Care Act will cost $9 billion less than previously estimated and the provision designed to buffer insurance companies from risk will actually raise revenue, not function as any sort of federal government bailout. But the good news has not gotten much attention because the CBO also projected that, within the next several years, healthcare reform may reduce employment and worker hours by the equivalent of about 2 million full-time positions.