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April 24, 2010 | By Duke Helfand, Los Angeles Times
Tom Taylor learned a lesson about healthcare finances when he had both his knees replaced a couple of months apart at separate hospitals in Northern California. The tab at the first hospital was $95,000, but the second cost $55,000. The same doctor performed identical surgeries on both knees, and Taylor says he can't detect any differences between the two. "Nobody knows what it costs," said Taylor, 53, a former health insurance sales executive. "There is a complete lack of transparency in the healthcare system."
March 11, 2014 | By Broderick Turner
Blake Griffin sat in his chair in the Clippers interview room after their victory over the Phoenix Suns on Monday night with his lips pursed and jaw tight. Griffin was still ticked about the takedown by Suns forward P.J. Tucker in the fourth quarter that left the two of them wrestling to get free of each other while down on the Staples Center court. It was yet another game in which an opponent had taken a shot at Griffin, but he maintained his composure instead of fighting back.
January 16, 2002 | From the Wire
Lumpy sauces have been the bane of cooks for centuries. Now they're bedeviling bureaucrats as well. Make that Euro-crats. As reported in the Times of London, there is a heated debate going on in Brussels over just how lumpy a sauce can be before it must be classified as a vegetable. The idea of European Union functionaries sitting around arguing about this may seem like something out of "Yes, Minister," but for food manufacturers, the potential consequences are enormous.
December 23, 2013 | By Shan Li
Ray Irani, once the highest paid executive in the oil industry, is getting a $14-million lump sum as part of a $26-million settlement after being ousted as chairman of Occidental Petroleum Corp. Irani, who joined the Los Angeles oil company in 1983 and was pushed out as chairman in May, also will continue receiving lifetime security and financial planning services estimated at as much as $1.3 million a year, Occidental said Monday in a securities regulatory filing. The 78-year-old former executive has been paid an average of $90 million a year in total compensation since 2002, according to data compiled by The Los Angeles Times.
January 22, 1995 | from Associated Press
A little-noticed provision in the law implementing American participation in a world trade pact could significantly reduce the size of your pension nest egg. The provision, part of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, is intended to raise money to help offset losses in tariff revenues. According to Robert Pennington, an academic associate at the College for Financial Planning, a division of the nonprofit National Endowment for Financial Education, the provision could affect future retirees in one of two ways: Adjustments to the maximum amount that employees and employers can put into defined-contribution plans, such as 401(k)
May 20, 2003
This morning I read with surprise and alarm "Mammograms Endorsed as Top Tool in Detecting Breast Cancer" (May 16), reporting that the American Cancer Society now recommends that women do not need to do breast self-exams because a mammogram is the best diagnostic tool for detecting breast cancer. My own case was only one out of close to 200,000 diagnosed in 1998. I detected a lump three months after my mammogram was reported to be normal. Though breast self-exams may not improve survival rates overall, I am an example of one woman who has survived perhaps because I discovered the lump and got treatment early.
May 2, 1993
Good grief, I think Pauli Carnes took "The Bridges of Madison County" much too seriously. I think it was meant to be a rather light romance with "soapy" intent--a diversion from the seriousness of today's world. I enjoyed it from start to finish, and had a lump in my throat when the "hero" had only his dog for company for years and years while the "heroine" had her farm, children and husband. PAULINE N. COWLE, PACIFIC PALISADES
March 13, 1994
"Sisters in Arms" (Three on the Town, by Wanda Coleman, Feb. 6) puts a racial edge on a universal medical problem. Doctors, especially surgeons, are not sensitive enough to women. I found a lump. My general practitioner, a surgeon and a mammogram all said it was nothing. Six weeks later, I went back to the surgeon ready to fight. "I want you to either biopsy this lump or aspirate it, and do it now," I said. When he aspirated the lump, I saw a cloud pass across the eyes of the nurse, and the doctor scheduled a biopsy.
December 15, 1990
Sen. Inouye says the Keating Five were just trying to help their constituents. Sen. Dennis DeConcini (D-Ariz.) had a lump in his throat and tears in his eyes from this statement. That's not bad; what's bad is the people who lost all their money will have nothing but lumps this Christmas season. The tears were a nice touch. But if you want to shed a tear, shed them for the thousands who lost their life savings and for the citizens who will have to pay the tab. IRA J. HOEN, Culver City
December 12, 2008 | from times wire reports
A California appeals court says Farmers Insurance Co. broke the law by failing to disclose a $5 service charge -- but the company won't have to pay back the more than $115 million it collected. The 4th District Court of Appeals in Santa Ana ruled that Farmers had violated a state code by failing to disclose the $5 it adds to monthly premiums to cover billing costs. The fee isn't charged to customers who pay the premium in a lump sum.
January 24, 2013 | By Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
In the new crime thriller "Parker," Jason Statham's high-end heister demands only one thing of mates and marks alike: do exactly what he asks. No questions, no debate, no one gets hurt. He is literal - and lethal - on the subject. One particularly nasty confrontation with mob types who dare to disagree gives you a sense of the tone. I'm pretty sure Parker breaks nearly all of a human's 206 bones. Through he's equally adept with guns and knives, it's the panache Parker brings to the bare-knuckle beatings - fashion-forward suits and starched white shirts - that make women swoon.
December 26, 2012 | By Joseph Serna
The Times' editorial board either needs to put itself on this year's “naughty” list or take off a number of conservatives it put there, a majority of commenters on the Times' website concluded over the holiday. Though none of the more than 30 comments posted under the board's annual “naughty” and “nice” list suggested any additions to the nice category, the second most popular comment was from “tommythek50,” who said that President Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.)
December 25, 2012
Santa's not the only one who makes lists. As we reflect on 2012, we too have thoughts about who should look forward to a cheerful holiday morning and who deserves a lump of coal. Below, The Times' reflections on who's been naughty and who's been nice. Merry Christmas! NICE Duncan Hosie, a gay freshman at Princeton University, was more than nice. He was brave and decent. Hosie offered Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia a lesson in civility when he respectfully questioned the justice about his inflammatory comments comparing homosexuality to bigamy, incest and bestiality.
September 30, 2012 | Liz Weston, Money Talk
Dear Liz: My former employer is offering the one-time opportunity to receive the value of my pension benefit as a lump-sum payment. The other option is to leave the money where it is and get a guaranteed monthly check from a single life annuity when I reach retirement age. I am 40 and single, and I have been investing regularly in a 401(k) since graduating from college. I have minimal debt aside from a car payment. When does it make financial sense to take a lump sum now instead of an annuity check later?
August 2, 2012
Re "Rethinking cancer," Editorial, July 29 Your commentary that "aggressive measures aren't always best" in cancer treatment is based on a study with subjective end points that create more confusion. All studies have a built-in bias or limitations determined by the authors. Medicine is not a true science; it is based on clinical experience. The standard of care is determined by the physician. The Medicare Act of 1965, which promoted sub-specialty care and the development of designer drugs, changed everything.
April 28, 2012 | By Jerry Hirsch, Los Angeles Times
Ford Motor Co. will offer about 90,000 U.S. salaried retirees and former employees vested in its pension plan a lump-sum payment to buy them out of monthly benefits. Ford, which also reported lower first-quarter earnings Friday because of losses in Europe and Asia, said the plan was an innovative strategy to reduce its pension obligations. The automaker won't put up any operating cash but rather will make the one-time payments from existing pension plan assets. "We believe this is the first time a program of this type and magnitude has been done in an ongoing pension plan," said Bob Shanks, Ford's chief financial officer.
December 26, 2005
Re "For the State's Aged, Blind, Disabled, a Lump of Coal for Christmas," column, Dec. 22 Kudos to George Skelton for his eye-opening expose on what Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Legislature have done to aged, blind and disabled Californians while at the same time legislators were given a 12% pay hike of close to $12,000. Why are the most disadvantaged always the first to feel the budget ax? Is it a coincidence that our Scrooge Vice President Dick Cheney cast the tie-breaking vote for spending cuts aimed at student loans, Medicare and Medicaid (Dec.
November 21, 1988
I have recently heard (and read) many stories about how much more Social Security returns over and above what one contributes during his working years and how the excess ought to (at least) be subject to federal income tax. Most disturbing is the notion that if the foregoing is true, it constitutes a massive transfer of wealth from the working young to the retired elderly. I decided to ascertain once and for all my own status in this regard, and so I requested (and received) from the Social Security Administration a copy of my contribution records (1952 to present)
March 27, 2012 | By Andrew Blankstein, Los Angeles Times
Jeffrey Stenroos, the former Los Angeles school police officer who staged his own shooting last year in a bizarre hoax that caused three schools to be locked down and forced the closure of streets across the western San Fernando Valley, will pay the city a lump sum of $309,000 in restitution, authorities said Monday. In exchange for the restitution, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Richard Kirschner agreed to let Stenroos post bail from Los Angeles County jail pending the outcome of an appeal.
February 13, 2012 | By Paul Pringle and Rong-Gong Lin II, Los Angeles Times
Top officials at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum have shown a knack for banking healthy chunks of unused sick leave on the public payroll - in one case, about 35 years' worth. Interim General Manager John Sandbrook, a retired University of California administrator, used the sick leave allotment for most of his university career to boost his annual pension by $655 a month for life, to nearly $183,000, UC figures show. The increase represents 418 days - the quota for all but two of his roughly 37 years within the system, which allows 12 sick days a year.
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