Dialysis dispute targets billing, health

A patient receiving blood dialysis treatment. (Photo: Khajornkiat Limsagul, via Shutterstock)

The Madera patient says he likes his Kaiser doctor and has no desire to switch to publicly funded Medicare, even though he qualifies. But if Senate Bill 1156 is approved, Adames likely wouldn’t get that choice. The bill would require that patients like him receiving third-party assistance would either need to enroll in Medicare or Medi-Cal (for those who are low income), or if they choose to stay on private insurance, they will only receive reimbursement at Medicare or Medi-Cal’s much lower rates.

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Opinion

A deep dive into groundwater, desalination

Marina Beach north of Monterey, near the site of a planned desalination plant. (Photo: Marina Coast Water District)

OPINION: At the height of the recent drought, the legislature passed and Gov. Brown signed legislation, the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), that for the first time required California water agencies to account for groundwater pumping and held them accountable for the development of sustainable plans for the future. Groundwater accounts for approximately 30% of the state’s water supply.

News

Slicing and dicing a three-way split

A road sign in California's Death Valley. (Photo: Melissamn, via Shutterstock)

It has been said, over and over again, that “The Devil is in the Details.” If Californians approve splitting themselves up into three new states this November, and the remaining political obstacles can somehow be overcome, the details will indeed become devilish. The three new states would be “Northern California” “Southern California” and (wait for it) “California.”

Opinion

A power grab by Caltrans?

A California freeway sign provides information for motorists. (Photo: Joseph Sohm)

OPINION: Flashing Amber Alerts, public safety messages and directional traffic alerts – for decades, Californians have agreed this type of information is what belongs on the changeable outdoor message signs along our highways’ public spaces. Common sense and public policy says it is in the best interest of the public to keep this public right-of-way space limited to such content and free of blight.

Opinion

Public health suffers when pharmacists work alone

A pharmacist checks his stock in a California drug store. (Photo: Tyler Olson, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: Drugstore robberies are a symptom of a larger trend in the retail space where pharmacists are forced to work alone for hours on end, juggling telephones, cash registers, and security duties in addition to dispensing medicine.

Opinion

Small business loans in jeopardy

A man runs his bicycle-repair shop business with his laptop computer. (Photo: Mintimages, via Shutterstock).

OPINION: Politicians often praise small business owners for their role in our economy and in our society– and rightly so. After all, small businesses employ nearly half of all Californians, provide vital goods and services, and help create vibrant communities. Right now, our representatives in Sacramento have an opportunity to demonstrate that belief by supporting legislation that will help small business owners across the state.

News

New life sought for right-to-die law

A portrait of the late Brittany Maynard, who advocated for California's right-to-die law, is seen at a 2015 hearing of the Senate Health Committee. A Superior Court judge rejected the law as unconstitutional. (Photo: Rich Pedroncelli/AP)

Deborah Kratter sat in her Half Moon Bay home, explaining her decision to move to Washington state to live, and then die with life-ending medication alongside family members when her terminal pancreatic cancer worsens. “My gosh, when the time comes and you can’t be who you are … I don’t see why you should have to lie in a bed and wait to die,” Kratter said.

Opinion

Helping communities cope with climate change

Skyline of downtown Los Angeles on a smoggy day. (Photo0: EvijaF via Shutterstock)

OPINION: Growing up in New Orleans, summertime brought mixed feelings. It meant the end of the school year and endless snow cones, but also the beginning of hurricane season. Here in California we experience extreme heat in the summer and floods and fires throughout the year, all made worse by climate change. Unless we take action now to prepare our communities, many will suffer, some more than others.

News

The art of the concession speech

Stunned supporters of Hillary Clinton await her Election Night concession speech in November 2016. (Photo: YouTube)

It’s an art form that no one wants to get really, really good at.  Perhaps that’s because no one wants to practice it. It starts with “…a few minutes ago, I telephoned…” You guessed it.  Concession speeches.

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