health care

California Stands Out In New Obamacare Numbers

Nov 14, 2013

Both California and the federal government have released numbers about people applying for health coverage next year. As Health Care Reporter Pauline Bartolone in Sacramento reports, California stands out from the rest of the states. The federal government’s numbers show more than 35,000 Californians have picked a health plan through the state-run exchange as of November 2 nd . But Peter Lee of Covered California says the total is almost twice that if you count the latest numbers. “Let me...

Initiative Would Raise Cap on Medical Malpractice Damages

Nov 11, 2013
Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

California’s high-stakes battle over medical malpractice damages could move to the ballot box next year. As Ben Adler reports from Sacramento, the initiative campaign seeking to increase the cap on “pain and suffering” awards will pit trial lawyers against doctors. California’s $250,000 cap on “noneconomic” medical malpractice damages hasn’t gone up since a governor named Jerry Brown signed it into law in 1975. Backers of an initiative that would more than quadruple that cap are now gathering...

Health Insurer Says Individual Plans Will Have Fewer Doctors Next Year

Nov 11, 2013
Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

California health insurers say people buying coverage for themselves next year should expect a different set of doctors and hospitals than are available this year. Health Care Reporter Pauline Bartolone has more. Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of California are the largest issuers of individual health insurance policies in the state. Jeff Smith of Blue Shield said in order to keep its plans affordable next year, it negotiated with doctors and hospitals. “What we did was look for what price...

California Health Insurers: "Some People Will Pay More, Some People Will Pay Less"

Oct 31, 2013

California health insurers say the wave of individual policy cancelations across the country is part of an “evening out” of health care rules under the Affordable Care Act. Pauline Bartolone has more from Sacramento. At least 350,000 Californians who currently purchase health insurance will have that coverage canceled this year. Health insurers say they have to comply with new rules that guarantee broad coverage. Some will pay more, some will pay less. “These are whole new policies, with...

Can The Free Market Curb Asthma in Fresno?

Oct 31, 2013
Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Is there a profit to be found in reducing children’s asthma attacks? A diverse team of public health advocates, asthma care providers, financiers, and foundations has set up a pilot program with the goal of making money for investors while solving a deeply entrenched health crisis in and around Fresno, California. The idea is to create incentives to reduce costly visits to the emergency room caused by asthma attacks. In Fresno, families and insurers spend approximately $35 million a year on...

How Will Covered California Verify Incomes?

Oct 21, 2013

The final spending deal that ended the federal shutdown includes a provision that adds a layer of scrutiny for income verification in the new health insurance marketplaces. Health Care Reporter Pauline Bartolone in Sacramento reports on what it means for California. The agreement hashed out by Congress calls for federal reports to be submitted about how marketplaces confirm income. But if you’re enrolling in California’s exchange it’s not going to make any difference. “It will have virtually...

Covered California Says More Than 28,000 People Have Joined Exchange

Oct 8, 2013

The Covered California health insurance exchange reported today that, during its first week of operation, more than 28,000 people became eligible for coverage. Max Pringle reports from Sacramento. Covered California says the level of interest so far shows how eager Californians are for affordable health insurance. A million people in week one researching and finding out whats right for them is huge, says Peter Lee, Director of Covered California. He says early confusion about the level of...

California's Health Marketplace Opening Through the Eyes of One Uninsured Woman

Oct 2, 2013
Edge Hill University, Learning Services Learning Technology Development / Creative Commons License /

Covered California opened for business Tuesday. By mid-afternoon, seventeen thousand phone inquiries had been made to the state exchange call centers. Health Care Reporter Pauline Bartolone in Sacramento has the story of one uninsured woman who went shopping for new coverage online. Even before the Covered California call center in Rancho Cordova opened, there were floating balloons and words of congratulations. Health leaders participated in a kick off celebration. Before the end of the...


On Tuesday, California launched its version of Obamacare , with the official debut of the states insurance exchange Covered California. Despite the shutdown of the federal government, the exchange is moving ahead, according to California Health and Human Services Secretary Diana Dooley, who spoke to Valley Public Radio Tuesday morning, prior to a launch event at Fresno State. Dooley, who is a Hanford native, and was for many years an administrator at Childrens Hospital Central California in...

How Does The Obamacare Launch Compare With Medicare's Debut?

Oct 1, 2013
LBJ Presidential Library / YouTube / Public Domain

Open enrollment for health coverage under the federal health law began Tuesday. Millions of people who may have had trouble getting insurance now have new options. Health Care Reporter Pauline Bartolone reports on how the roll out of the Affordable Care Act compares to the last time the federal government made coverage available to millions. Ever since the Affordable Care Act passed, health policy makers have been comparing it to another moment in history. OBAMA: Is this, the most important...