California Focus: Daniel Weintraub

ACA repeal could be big blow to working poor

By Daniel Weintraub California probably gained more than any other state from the Affordable Care Act, the federal health reform better known as Obamacare. Now, with the program facing almost certain demise, the state and its low-income residents have the most to lose. President-elect Donald Trump and his Republican allies in Congress have pledged to repeal Obamacare and then replace it with something better. No

Why transit advocates are optimistic about the Trump era

By Daniel Weintraub In the days following Donald Trump’s election as president, progressive activists on a number of issues – from health care to education and the environment – said they were preparing to fight against an expected attempt to roll back everything they’d worked so hard to achieve during the Obama Administration. But at a post-election gathering in Sacramento of transportation policy experts from

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

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

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

Why California health outcomes trail other states

By Daniel Weintraub Californians eat more fruits and vegetables than other Americans, refrain from smoking, keep their blood pressure under control and do a decent amount of physical activity. But our health, overall, is still worse than the residents of 21 other states, according to a recent report. Why? A big reason might be a category in which California ranks at the very bottom of

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