Posts Tagged ‘health care’

“Covered California,” California’s Marketplace for Health Care Coverage, is Open for Business Today – All the Deets

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

Enjoy!

“Covered California Is Open For Business - Historic Day for Millions of Californians Who Will Have Access to Quality, Affordable Health Care Coverage at CoveredCA.com

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Oct. 1, 2013 — Covered California(TM), California’s marketplace for health care coverage, opened for business today, providing Californians and small businesses access to quality, affordable health care coverage from major health insurance carriers.

“As of Oct. 1, Covered California is officially open for business — our phone lines are humming, our website is live, and we stand with thousands of Californians across the state as we kick off our effort to help educate and enroll millions of currently uninsured Californians,” said Covered California Executive Director Peter V. Lee.

Today’s announcement kicks off a six-month open-enrollment period and includes:

–  The formal launch of the new features of CoveredCA.com. They will enable
consumers to determine their eligibility for premium assistance and
no-cost or low-cost Medi-Cal and to shop for, compare and enroll in
coverage that takes effect Jan. 1, 2014.
–  The statewide rollout of outreach efforts and marketing that will
educate consumers about their options and how to enroll.
–  Forecasts and backgrounds of who Covered California is seeking to
enroll. It is estimated that during this initial six-month
open-enrollment period (ending March 31, 2014), Covered California will
enroll 500,000 to 700,000 Californians who are eligible for premium
assistance to make their care more affordable.
–  The opening of Covered California’s Small Business Health Options
Program (SHOP) that will allow employers to start shopping for
small-group coverage that can start in January. This program is not
subject to the six-month open-enrollment period.

Diana S. Dooley, Secretary of California’s Health and Human Services Agency and chair of the Covered California Board, applauded the launch of Covered California and said, “From Eureka to San Diego, from the Central Valley to the Central Coast, we want Californians to know we are open for business. Californians can now get quality, affordable health care by enrolling in one of the many plans offered under Covered California.” She added, “The Brown administration is proud to be a part of this historic change to make coverage affordable for all Californians.”

By the end of 2014, Covered California aims to have insured approximately 1,050,000 Californians newly enrolled in Medi-Cal and between 840,000 and 1.2 million who qualify for premium assistance to help them pay for a health insurance plan.

Toby Douglas, Director of the California Department of Health Care Services, said, “Today marks the beginning of a reform of California’s health care system, in which many of our most vulnerable and needy residents will have the opportunity to enroll in Medi-Cal. We are excited to be an important part of this historic day, and we are ready to enroll the thousands of newly eligible Californians in partnership with county offices around the state.”

Dr. Robert Ross, President and CEO of The California Endowment and a Covered California Board member, pointed out that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act promises more than just affordable coverage. “When we open the doors today in California — and the doors of health care marketplaces open throughout the country — we will be moving away from the political arena and into the implementation of a new program that will literally change the lives, and the health, of millions of Americans. I’m thrilled to be part of history.”

“Here, and in every state in the nation, health care marketplaces are ushering in a new era in U.S. history, one that will provide its citizens with the health care they need, when they need it, through high-quality, affordable insurance. This is truly a historic day,” said Lee. “Health care is no longer a privilege, but a right, and is now within reach for millions of Americans.”

The official launch of Covered California started in Rancho Cordova, where the Service Center kicked off the opening day. That was followed by other events that “covered” the state: a news conference in San Francisco, overlooking the Bay Bridge; an event in the Central Valley at California State University, Fresno, to announce the open-enrollment opportunity to students; an event at a beach in San Diego; and a grand celebration at Los Angeles’ Union Station.

Dooley added, “Our goals are bold, and we won’t get there overnight. Over time, this new state of health will improve health care quality, lower costs of health care, reduce the dramatic health disparities in the state and offer choice and value to Californians. Today is the starting line. By the end of the six-month open-enrollment period, we forecast having more than 1 million Californians enrolled in health coverage with support from premium assistance or Medi-Cal.”

Lee concluded, “The drive toward making health care a right and not a privilege has been a long time in coming. The Affordable Care Act delivers on a long-unmet promise of the American dream. It has survived naysayers, Supreme Court challenges and a great deal of political pressure, but today we put all that behind us. Covered California is open for business, and our success does not depend on what happens in Washington or Sacramento. As we go forward, our success will depend on what happens in communities across California where millions of Californians have been waiting for this day to come, to call, visit CoveredCA.com, ask for help and enroll. Today is the day to ‘get covered.’”

About Covered California
Covered California is the state’s marketplace for the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Covered California was charged with creating a new health insurance marketplace in which individuals and small businesses can get access to affordable health insurance plans. With coverage starting in 2014, Covered California will help individuals determine whether they are eligible for premium assistance that will be available on a sliding-scale basis to reduce insurance costs or whether they are eligible for low-cost or no-cost Medi-Cal. Consumers can then compare health insurance plans and choose the plan that works best for their health needs and budget. Small businesses will be able to purchase competitively priced health insurance plans and offer their employees the ability to choose from an array of plans and may qualify for federal tax credits.

Covered California is an independent part of the state government whose job is to make the new market work for California’s consumers. It is overseen by a five-member board appointed by the Governor and the Legislature. For more information on Covered California, please visit www.CoveredCA.com.

SOURCE  Covered California

Covered California

CONTACT: dana.howard@covered.ca.gov(916) 205-8403

Web Site: http://www.CoveredCA.com

Strategist Nate Ballard Takes a Victory Lap in the New York Times over Jeff Adachi’s Proposition B Going Down in Flames

Friday, November 5th, 2010

San Francisco’s Nate Ballard is being celebrated today in the New York Times. Check it:

“’Like it or not, unions are still the most potent political force in California,’” said Nathan Ballard, a Democratic strategist and former Gavin Newsom aide who once worked for the California Labor Federation. Meg Whitman, the Republican candidate for governor, ‘persistently demonized the unions,’ Mr. Ballard said. ‘It was a miscalculation on her part. She greatly underestimated their influence.’”

So it would seem. A few months back, I certainly thought that Prop B would do a lot better than it did.

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Proposition B‘s lopsided defeat will make people think twice before creating other initiatives that affect organized labor in the 415, it would seem.

The Biggest Mobilization Yet Against Prop B – “Bad Medicine” in GGP – “How Would Prop. B Change Health Costs?”

Saturday, October 16th, 2010

Read below to get the deets on today’s big anti-Prop B mobilization at the east end of the Golden Gate Park Panhandle.

So maybe somebody will give you a novelty pill bottle today – this is the reason why.

Now, the Bay Citizen‘s Elizabeth Lesly Stevens and Tasneem Raja have been all over the Prop B recently. Check out their recent efforts along with lively commentary from readers:

How much more would city employees pay for health care under Prop. B?

Bay Citizen Analysis: How Would Prop. B Change Health Costs?

And, from the pro-B people, here’s something they put together that didn’t cost a dime:

San Francisco City Workers are Overpaid

(Actually, I didn’t know that these free text-to-computer voice characters could be made to dance.)

(Or maybe the Prop B people spent $20k on it – I can’t really tell.)

O.K., back to today’s event.

This is a big deal covering many supervisorial districts. See?

Click to expand

Thank Gaia the Hawaiian Surfers Union was there as well:

And here are your Prop B props:

All the deets:

“Hundreds Of Anti-Prop B Volunteers To Mobilize Saturday After Panhandle Gathering, “Pill Bottle” Giveaway In S.F. Neighborhoods

Massive mobilization of hundreds of volunteers against Proposition B, which will double the cost of children’s health care. Throughout the day, volunteers will be tabling in neighborhoods with “pill bottle” giveaways to symbolize that Prop B is “bad medicine.” Other volunteers will spread out around the city and knock on doors to educate voters about the bad effects of Prop B.”

San Francisco Rallies Against the Stupak Pitts Amendment to the Health Care Reform Bill

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

A crowd of a hundred-something showed up on the steps of City Hall yesterday to protest against the Stupak Pitts proposal (aka the Stupak–Ellsworth–Pitts–Kaptur–Dahlkemper–Lipinski–Smith Amendment, srsly) regarding health plans covering abortions.

Moms and daughters were there…

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…plus San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera and Supervisor Bevan Dufty

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And here’s a shot from the ACLU of Northern California of  UCSF med students for choice:

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Are we heading for a filibuster?

All the deets here.

Noe Valley Whole Foods Showdown – Andrew S. Ross Reveals the Order of Battle

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

[UPDATE: Whoops, apparently the Chronicle has two Andrew Rosses covering similar beats? Oh noes! Well, all the better. Speaking of mistakes, what are the odds that I'll see a lit up snowflake on Market Street tonight? About 100%, based on the past two weeks' observation. Oh well. Good thing those snowflakes don't use petroleum-based electricity, huh?]

You see, normally the San Francisco Chronicle‘s Andrew S. Ross is lumped together with PhilMatier, thusly:

Mad_Max_lordhumungus-wez copy

But sometimes they let him run wild and unchained, all by his lonesome, thusly:

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As here, where Andrew Ross gives his take on the order of battle of this morning’s Whole Foods Showdown: Six Flags Over Noe Valley, Don’t Mess With Texas. See what Andrew did there? He fleshed things out, he gave more detail, he added to the story.

Que bueno!

(Now, you give those limited column inches to somebody like C.W. Nevius to check in with 24th Street and what would you get? Well, maybe vitriol and emotion, and maybe that would be it. Oh well.)

Anyway, there’s nothing wrong with M&R together (a quarter mil. we have to pay for horrible, soon-to-be-cancelled Trauma, where the average worker, we’re talking median and mode here, makes rock-bottom minimum wage?), but they should let Andrew out of the bizness ghetto and allow him to run wild over any and all subjects of the day

And that’s the The Bottom Line.

[UPDATE: Whole Foods has started to construct a defensive wall made of pumpkins, but how strong could it be? We'll find out soon enough.]

[UPDATE 2, Electric Boogaloo: War Reporter Andy Wright has extensive coverage from the field of battle]

The Noe Valley Whole Foods Boycott Begins Tomorrow, September 30th at 9:45 AM

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

Oh, it’s going to be on tomorrow morning at the Grand Opening of the new Whole Foods at 3950 24th Street in The Valley. San Francisco’s fifth WF will start the sacred Bread Baking Ceremony at the same time protesters arrive to raise a ruckus about health care reform and CEO John Mackey, mkay?

Everyone is welcome to the store and the protest – highly unlike the invite-only events Whole Foods has recently held for the fearsome neighborhood groups. It’s called outreach or something. Whole Foods just ought to put these neighborhood associations on the payroll the way Sutro Tower, Inc. pays money to neighborhood groups around Mount Sutro to shut them up. A little payola (or granola in a huge goodie bag) can go a long way when you’re trying to placate the NIMBYs, of course.

Anywho, be there at 9:45 AM tomorrow to see San Francisco’s upscale version of Harlan County, USA

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And just think, after the boycott, “You’ll feel proud to come in and get food to serve to your family, friends, and neighbors.” Remember how embarrassed you were serving up that slop from the old Bell Market? Those days are over, soon as the boycott ends.

And if you’re not boycotting, sign up for the store tour on Tuesday, October 6th:

Tuesday Tours: A Taste of Whole Foods Market

10-11am Please sign up in advance, but the tour is FREE and limited in size. | Details

Both seasoned shoppers and new customers can benefit from a guided store tour, especially with so many unique choices available! In this tour, we’ll showcase what we mean when we say we offer all-natural, real food, at the best possible price. This is your chance to ask, listen and learn everything you want to know about our market. Please sign up in advance, but the tour is FREE and limited in size.

And here’s the bacchanalia you were excluded from:

“We are eagerly awaiting our opening next week on Wednesday, September 30th ! We have been working hard and are so delighted that we’re almost there! Further, we feel incredibly grateful for the support, well wishes, humor, smiles and hospitality that our new community has shown us! As a very small token of our thanks, we’d like to invite you to join us at our very own “Whole Foods Market Tapas Truck” on Saturday, September 26th from 11a-2p (really it’s a Taco Truck, but we’ll be serving Spanish Tapas—but you can’t miss it in our parking lot.)
Marketing Team Leader
Whole Foods Market, Noe Valley”

This is a special invitation ONLY event for our neighbors in the associations that we have been working with.

Have a look at the attached & either print a copy of this to bring with you or contact me so that I can get you printed copies that I have here at the store.

Any question, please ask—we’ll see you very soon!

Best regards,

Jennifer Dobrowolski”

Choose your side and get on out there!

Dead and wounded on either side/
You know it’s only a matter of time

ABC News, Princess Diana and the Health Care Debate – Point /Counterpoint

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

Here’s the headline and the first sentence from a recent ABC News bit:

Princess Diana’s Death Offers Lessons for Health Care Debate, 12 Years Later. In Britain’s Beloved Royal’s Death, Experts Find Guidance in French Health System”

“The Mercedes 600 carrying Princess Dianaand her companion Dodi Fayed was traveling more than 85 miles per hour when it hit a concrete pillar head-on in the Place D’Alma underpass, crumbling like an accordion.”

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1. No, the car was not a “Mercedes 600,” (which was called the Dictator’s Mercedes, used since 1963 by the likes of Nicolae Ceauşescu, Josip Broz-Tito, Fidel Castro, Pol Pot, Enver Hoxha, Leonid Brezhnev, Kim Il-sung,  Idi Amin Dada, and Ferdinand Marcos), nor was it the extended wheelbase, armored Mercedes S600 that Diana was using earlier in the day. It was a Mercedes S280 (or S 280, or 280 S, with a W140 body, registration 688LTV75) actually, one that allegedly wasn’t fixed properly after being stolen for parts earlier in the year. In fact, the S600 in question was used as a decoy to try to befuddle the paparazzi.

This is not the writer making a typo, it’s an error that tells you that Diana is merely being used a hook to get a convo going about the issue du jour, health care.

Does the writer (or editor, whomever) understand what she’s talking about? No. Did she negligently copy a mistake made by others before her? Apparently. Institutionally, would it be easy for the writer to fix her mistake at this point? No, she “knows” she’s right, because she’s a professional writer, steeped in the warm bath of the MSM. Do you think she’d poke through her numerous comments looking for new insights, or do you think she’d generally dismiss her commenters as a bunch of “crazies?” (I too might generally consider her commenters crazies as well, but it doesn’t mean they’re not right about any particular issue, of course).  

Of course the S280 didn’t have its identifying badge on the back, so that makes things a little harder  to keep straight. (You see, the Eurotrash, they tend to be sensitive about such matters, matters like not having the best S-Klasse car available.) Anyway, the goal of using a decoy at the Ritz Hotel so long ago was to confuse journalists, and that trick is still fooling them today. Oh well.

 2. Now back in the day you had cars that would get crushed “like an accordian,” but modern vehicles are designed with crumple zones so that the front third of the vehicle gets accordianed leaving the passenger compartment relatively intact. (In Diana’s particular case, she wasn’t wearing her seat belt, but it might not have helped her too much anyway.) The car was crushed exactly not like an accordian, it behaved exactly as it was designed. (Ironically, Mercedes was a pioneer with this type of safety design, with a actual patent to its credit from 1959.) I’d be hard-pressed to think of another car model that would have been better for her to be in, actually.

Which do you prefer, accuracy or a bunch of adjectives and damned similes strung together? Is that a false choice? If the “good writers” (“Oh, she’s such a good writer” or “Oh, you’re style is wonderful!”) of the MSM have their druthers, it’s generally similes first, accuracy second. Oh well.
2.1.This concludes the nitpicky part. Mind you, we just discussed part of the first sentence, complete with flagrant, correctable errors that jump out at you. Not much point in continuing that, except to ask how does the writer know that the car was going not just but “more than 85 MPH”? Sounds  a bit on the high side – I don’t believe there’s a consensus on that score. Again, oh well. If the details aren’t important, why are there in the first place? Decoration? The World Wonders.

3. Scoop and Run vs. Stay and Play. You just can’t tell if the half-assed “Franco-German” approach to emergency doctoring contributed to Diana’s death. Now, of course a homeless person in San Francisco almost certainly would have gotten better treatment in similar circumstances. The SFFD or whomever would have pried open the car’s carcass as if it were a tin can and hustled her over to S.F. General with a quickness.

But you don’t know how it would have gone. At least with Scoop and Run, you know you gave it the old college try. There have been incidents in America similar to that of Natasha Richardson, but they are rare. Why? Lawyers. I beg of you, Monsier, watch yourself. Be on guard. America is place full of lawyers, lawyers everywhere, everywhere.So that’s a drain on society, but fear of lawsuits means that EMTs and first responders tend to try harder in America. They lack the cavalier attitude some French might have. Just saying.

(And the way, “Stay and Play” is a horrible phrase. Supporters of this approach should try to think of a better name. Yish.)

4. So, why did Diana die? A drunk driver, plus a flighty princess who encouraged speeding whether she knew it or not, plus a Parisian tunnel design with exposed pillars that wouldn’t pass muster in poorest part of Alabama, plus Stay and Play (as a possible factor, I mean she certainly had traumatic injuries from a horrific accident, no argument here) – add all that up and there’s your answer. (A conspiracy-free answer, you might note).

And as far as getting rid of the “Anglo-American” emergency response doctrine, well that’s not on the table. Why? Cause the lawyers will tear apart any kind of “well, we used to Scoop and Run but that got too expensive” explanation as to why it took 100 minutes to get the E.R.

So what does Diana’s death have to do with the American health care system? Not all that much, it would seem.

Just saying.