Health Care


Advocacy by Amendment

Anthony-Wright-2008.gifBy Anthony Wright
Executive Director of Health Access California

How can Californians engage in the health reform debate?

I often get the question: Do we support the House/Tri-Committee bill? The HELP/Kennedy bill? The Finance/Baucus bill? But these aren't the right question, or at least, not the most useful ones.

First of all, they are all in draft form, and undergoing changes in real-time. And they are going to change significantly in the weeks ahead. The House bill will go through three committees, and be subjected to various proposed amendments. Senate bills will be considered by two committees, and ultimately merged into one product before heading to the floor.

New Report Shows Devastating Economic Impacts from Proposed HHS Cuts

Anthony-Wright-2008.gifBy Anthony Wright
Executive Director of Health Access California

Health Cuts Are Bad But Could Have Been Far Worse

Anthony-Wright-2008.gifBy Anthony Wright
Executive Director of Health Access California

On Monday, the Budget Conference Committee of the California Legislature revisited some of the proposed cuts that they had delayed making last week during their first look at the Governor's budget proposal. As with last week, the legislators have made severe cuts, but rejected even worse proposals.

The Committee, chaired by Assemblywoman Noreen Evans, made significant cuts but largely rejected full-scale eliminations of Healthy Families and a variety of other programs and services. Significant reductions were made for most of the cuts the Governor has proposed.

Republican Freshman Legislator in Union Crosshairs

knight.jpg

By Dan Aiello
California Progress Report

A coalition of labor organizations representing healthcare workers, teachers, schools, county and municipal workers has launched what its representatives claim is “only the beginning” of a public relations effort to bring constituent awareness and public pressure to bear on legislators with stated opposition to any revenue-generating budget proposals.

The first legislator targeted: Freshman Assemblymember, Steve Knight (R-36th).

The Passing of Two Quiet Heroes

Clint-HeadShot.gifBy Clint Reilly

Recently, I experienced the death of two friends.

One was my next door neighbor, Clay Thompson. Active until the end, he collapsed after stepping off his treadmill at 79 years of age. He seemed much younger and his passing occurred too soon.

He wanted no funeral or formal service, so a group of us sponsored a Saturday afternoon party in his honor. The memorial event was attended by many retired doctors who had worked with him throughout his long career as an anesthesiologist. Friends from decades past also filled the room to help his still grieving wife celebrate his memory.

I met my neighbor when I bought my house more than 20 years ago. He and his wife immediately invited me to dinner and introduced me to other long-time neighbors.

Critical Health Care Bills Still Pending

Anthony-Wright-2008.gifBy Anthony Wright
Executive Director of Health Access California

Last week was the deadline for legislation to pass floor votes, in either the Assembly or the Senate, in order to proceed for the year.

Several key consumer and patient protections were passed in the past few weeks, including regulations limiting the retroactive denial of coverage; the setting of standards so insurers better label their coverage options; prohibitions on gender-based price discrimination; a reform of the state's high-risk pool, and protections to prevent the overcharging of the uninsured in emergency rooms.

Improving the complaint process in State Health Care Boards: Sexual Misconduct

Deborah-Snow.jpg By Deborah Snow

Boundary transgressions and sexual misconduct in the health care profession are offenses that all state health care boards are charged to competently investigate and appropriately discipline. The prohibition between sexual contact between doctor and patient dates back to the Hippocratic Oath of Ancient Greece, “…..I will come for the benefit of the sick, remaining free of all intentional injustice, of mischief and in particular of sexual relationships with both female and male, be they free or slave.”