Healthcare

Reports, rally, and hearing call for more public benefits from nonprofit hospital chains

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A rally and legislative hearing in Sacramento tomorrow (Wed/15) will highlight how little community benefits and charity care large nonprofit healthcare corporations offer despite their tax-exempt status. At the center of that critical spotlight is Sutter Health, the healthcare behemoth that owns California Pacific Medical Center and is locked in a high-stakes standoff with the city over whether to rebuild St. Read more »

Will Mayor Lee finally get tough with CPMC?

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It's gut check time for Mayor Ed Lee, and time for him to show whether he works for the people of San Francisco or the corporate interests that he's spent most of his time in office catering to.Read more »

Is the Obamacare ruling good news?

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Chief Justice John Robert’s atypical alignment with the left of the bench today led the Supreme Court to uphold most of the Affordable Care Act—a move generally lauded by liberals. But we spoke with a number of progressives who see Obamacare’s victory as solely a victory for the corrupt health insurance industry, and just another step off the path to a successful single-payer solution.Read more »

The problem with Laura's Law

When it comes to embracing laws such as AB 1421, California voters know better

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OPINION Mental health conditions and mental illness are issues that bring passionate people to the table from all sides of the spectrum. Individuals who have lived with the experience of mental-health conditions, clinicians, family members, researchers, and advocates all have a lot to say.Read more »

End the healthcare scam

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OPINION Last year, after receiving data from San Francisco, the Wall Street Journal reported on an investigation into the use of health reimbursement accounts by several local restaurants. It showed a group of employers evading the city's health care law while charging their customers a "Healthy San Francisco" surcharge that is never actually spent on employees' health care.

Rather than providing health coverage to their workers, as customers are led to believe, the restaurants are allocating funds for HRAs — and taking back the funds before they can be used.Read more »

Campaign to regulate health insurance premiums launched in SF

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Representatives from Consumer Watchdog and other groups today launched a ballot measure campaign to regulate health insurance rates in California with an event outside the San Francisco headquarters of Blue Shield of California, which is in the process of substantially increasing health premiums for a second consecutive year despite sitting on billions of dollars in cash reserves.Read more »

CPMC provides little charity care despite huge profits

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A new study has found that the California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC), an affiliate of nonprofit Sutter Health, provides far less charity care per paying patient than other hospitals in San Francisco even as it makes by far the most in profits, highlighting an issue that many city officials have raised as CPMC seeks permission to build a high-end new hospital on Cathedral Hill. Read more »

Lee benefits from vetoing health care reform

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Downtown groups that pressured Mayor Ed Lee to veto legislation that would have prevented businesses from raiding their employees' health savings accounts have been funneling big bucks into independent expenditure campaigns formed to keep Lee in the Mayor's Office.Read more »

Verdict leaves SEIU-NUHW fight unresolved

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By Christopher D. Cook

In a mixed ruling this morning (April 9), a nine-member U.S. District Court jury awarded $1.5 million to the Service Employees International Union in its ongoing campaign to stymie a rival union created by former SEIU staffers, in a mixed ruling that's unlikely to resolve the unions' protracted battle over members and leadership in the labor movement.  Read more »

Drinking the tea, ignoring the facts

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Listening to members of the Tea Party movement on KQED’s Forum this morning, I and many callers to the show were struck by the basic inaccuracy of their core beliefs, these revanchist delusions about what’s in the U.S. Constitution and how this country really operates.

There’s a lot of justifiable anxiety out there over the state of the country, and the Tea Party movement has tapped into that with bumper sticker slogans that are just broad enough to capture alienated Americans from across the political spectrum. One recent poll shows that 41 percent of respondents are sympathize with the movement, stronger support than either major political party now enjoys.

But facts should matter, and they just don’t to many teabaggers or their high priestess, Sarah Palin, who is headlining the current national Tea Party convention in Nashville. For example, the two self-described “patriots” on this morning’s show railed against all the unconstitutional actions of the runaway federal government in ways that reveal an astonishing ignorance about the document they claim to prize so highly.

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