Author: Daniel Weintraub

Healthy communities mean healthier people

By Daniel Weintraub The recent announcement that insurance premiums will be going up for people who buy their health coverage through the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare,” has put the program back in the news, with Republicans from Donald Trump on down calling for its repeal and Democrats saying its problems can be easily fixed. But the issue that neither side ever wants to talk

When Experience is a Liability

By Matt Perry When the New York Times sought a powerful voice to illuminate the dark scourge of ageism in America, they asked Ashton Applewhite, author of March’s This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism, who was profiled earlier this year by the California Health Report. In her recent piece for the Times, Applewhite eviscerates an ageism trend so common that two-thirds of older job

Plunging teen birth numbers reason to celebrate

By Daniel Weintraub Although we live in a culture of negativity that leads many people to believe that things are worse than ever, the data often show otherwise. Crime, for example, has plummeted for a quarter-century, though you’d never know it from watching the local news. Access to higher education has never been greater. And the value of the country’s manufacturing output is near all-time

Making care more affordable, but not less expensive

By Daniel Weintraub The big rate increases announced last week for health insurance policies sold by California’s version of the federal health reform are the latest evidence that the Affordable Care Act, despite its name, cannot do much to tame the rise of health care costs. The government-run health insurance market is facing all the same cost pressures that the private market has confronted for

State Budget Includes $5 Million to Allow Those with Food Stamps to Buy More From Farmers’ Markets

More Californians who receive food stamps will be able to buy double the fruits and vegetables at farmers’ markets after Gov. Jerry Brown approved $5 million in funding for the program as part of the new state budget. The Market Match program increases amount people with CalFresh benefits are able to spend on fruits and vegetables at certain farmers’ markets in the state. There are

Do Central Valley Hospitals Earn Their Nonprofit Tax Breaks?

Major Central Valley hospitals don’t report enough data to determine whether they earn the extensive tax breaks they get for operating as nonprofits, according to a study released Monday. “These hospitals get a whopping tax break because they’re supposed to benefit the community as not-for-profits, but the data they report is so sketchy that we truly don’t know if they earn those tax breaks,” said

Advocates push to ban "surprise" hospital bills

By Daniel Weintraub Major surgery or a stay in the hospital can be stressful enough, even when you have insurance. But Californians with health care coverage who seek treatment at a clinic or hospital that is in their insurance plan’s network must often also deal with the anguish caused by huge unexpected costs. The culprits: physicians who are part of the hospital treatment team but

Trump, Sanders and health care

By Daniel Weintraub In the days before last month’s Iowa caucuses, the Washington Times quoted a stay-at-home mom from Dubuque who wasn’t yet sure how she was going to vote. But the woman had narrowed her choice to a final two: Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Bernie Sanders. How could she be torn between the only billionaire in the race and the man who says,

Fighting diabetes with hip-hop, poetry

By Daniel Weintraub Dr. Dean Schillinger spent much of his life fighting a losing battle against a preventable epidemic that has taken millions of American lives. Now, for the first time, he has hope. The disease is Type 2 Diabetes, an illness driven largely by bad diets and sedentary lifestyles and which has ravaged people in poverty and ethnic minorities in numbers far greater than

Brown's transportation budget celebrates the car

By Daniel Weintraub Weeks after returning from the Paris summit on climate change where he was hailed as a leader in the movement to limit greenhouse gases, Gov. Jerry Brown has proposed a new transportation budget that celebrates the car. In 2016-17, Brown wants to spend $16 billion on transportation, and most of that would go toward making it easier for people to drive. The

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