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April 4, 2008 | Robert Lloyd, Times Television Critic
A four-week, seven-part series that begins Sunday night on KCET, "Unnatural Causes" asks the sub-titular question, "Is Inequality Making Us Sick?" It comes at the issue from several angles, but the answer, again and again, is "yes." (It would be a strange waste of time if the answer were "no," although it would be better news.
November 12, 2006 | H.W. Brands, H.W. BRANDS teaches at the University of Texas at Austin. His latest book is "The Money Men: Capitalism, Democracy and the Hundred Years' War Over the American Dollar."
PITY BEN BERNANKE. As chairman of the Federal Reserve, his every utterance (or cough or sneeze) is analyzed for clues as to the future direction of interest rates. The weight of the American economy is laid on his shoulders by pundits and much of the public. And he labors in the shadow of Alan Greenspan, the legendary Fed chief who became the icon of American prosperity during the glory days of the 1990s. It's like following Elvis onstage. But matters could be worse.
January 10, 2006 | Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Times Staff Writer
America's healthcare bill rose to nearly $2 trillion in 2004, or about $6,280 for every man, woman and child, a team of government economists reported today. Healthcare spending grew faster than the output of the economy, siphoning off a disproportionate share of increasing incomes. But the 7.9% rate of increase was a little lower than in 2003, the experts said, because some efforts to control prescription-drug costs were succeeding.
June 20, 2005 | Ronald Brownstein
Like a patient ignoring an ominous lump, Washington has spent years hiding from America's healthcare crisis. Now we'll soon learn whether President Bush and Congress will pay attention even if they are hit, so to speak, by a truck. General Motors Corp. and the United Auto Workers are barreling toward an explosive collision over the company's effort to shift more of its crushing healthcare burden to its unionized workers.
February 13, 2005
Re "Healthcare Costs Take Big Bite From Economy," Feb. 9: The report by the Boston University School of Public Health says: "The U.S. is a nation of incrementalists and tinkerers, not of ideologues." What nonsense! It is only ideology-driven propaganda that prevents us from weighing the merits of universal healthcare coverage. Meanwhile, until we learn to thumb our noses at ideology, I guess we can just go on paying twice the average per person cost of healthcare of such countries as Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Britain -- "countries that guarantee healthcare for all their citizens."
October 8, 2004 | Myron Levin, Times Staff Writer
As U.S. health officials met with British regulators Thursday to learn what caused the loss of half the nation's supply of flu vaccine, attention turned to overhauling a supply pipeline that depends on a dwindling number of producers even as demand is on the rise. The shutdown this week of Chiron Corp.'s factory in Britain because of bacterial contamination exposed the weakness of a system in which only two companies produce flu shots for all of the U.S.
November 15, 2002 | Charles Ornstein, Times Staff Writer
A Los Angeles County jury decided Thursday that Aetna U.S. Healthcare of California unreasonably withheld promised benefits from an HMO member and is legally responsible for the 79-year-old man's death on New Year's Day 2000. But in a victory for Aetna, the Superior Court jury ruled that the health insurer had not acted with malice, fraud or oppression. That means that the survivors of Murray Rosenberg cannot receive punitive damages.
California was forced to relinquish, at least temporarily, about $740 million in federal funds on Monday, because it had been unable to spend the money for children's health care within three years, as required. But, to the relief of state officials, Congress is expected to extend the deadline on spending the money because about three dozen other states are in the same position.
June 8, 2000 | From Associated Press
Leonard Abramson, who made more than $900 million when he sold U.S. Healthcare to Aetna Inc. in 1996, is resigning from Aetna's board amid questions his presence was a conflict of interest. Some Aetna shareholders and corporate governance experts had criticized Abramson for having business dealings with the company while he served on its board.
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