Author: Joshua Emerson Smith

California moves forward with insurance Exchange

Despite a potentially disruptive U.S. Supreme Court decision expected this summer, California officials are moving forward with the creation of a new, online health insurance market that is expected to be the centerpiece of the federal health reform approved wto years ago by Congress and President Obama.

Lack of local services limits prison mom release program

Thousands of mothers currently incarcerated in the State prison system are now eligible to serve out the end of their sentences at home or in local facilities. To qualify for the program, women must be “primary caregivers” convicted of non-violent, non-serious, non-sexual offenses with remaining prison sentences of less than two years. Roughly, half of the 9,543 women currently incarcerated in State prison fall into this category. But prison administrators estimate that department case managers will approve only about 500 inmates for early release.

Plan to expand benefits draws opposition

A network of doctors, community hospitals and public health plans is proposing a new, low-cost health plan for some of California’s low-income residents. But a state agency created to implement the federal health reform law is opposing the idea, saying the low-cost plan would undercut efforts to create a new insurance exchange from which millions of Californians will begin buying their coverage in 2014.

Youth offenders serving life sentences could make parole under new bill

Legislation pending in California would give prison inmates sentences to life without possibility of parole for crimes they committed while a minor a chance at resentencing and parole. Supporters say inmates who committed crimes as minors should eventually have a chance to redeem themselves. Opponents say the measure would be an unfair burden on crime victims.

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