California and the health care bill

Jun 23, 2017

The U.S. Senate GOP's health care bill, negotiated in secret, could have a major impact on California.


From the Chronicle's CATHERINE HO: "Senate Republicans’ health care bill to replace the Affordable Care Act, released Thursday, would lead to millions of Californians losing health coverage, paying more for insurance or seeing their benefits scaled back, according to health policy experts."


"The measure would impose steep cuts in the Medi-Cal insurance program that provides benefits to 14 million Californians — nearly a third of the state’s population. And it would reduce federal subsidies that help 1.5 million residents buy health insurance on the state’s exchange, Covered California."

"Those and other proposed changes could halt or even reverse many of the gains California has made under the Affordable Care Act to get more of its residents insured."


READ MORE on health care: Bill faces objections from several Republicans -- Chronicle's Carolyn Lochhead; Senate health bill could leave millions uninsured, increase costs for sick, seniors -- McClatchy's TONY PUGH/WILLIAM DOUGLAS


The population shifts within the state of California are likely to have a profound effect on our next redistricting.


CAPITOL WEEKLY'S PAUL MITCHELL tells the tale: "As California grows, the shifts of population within the state can have a dramatic impact on the drawing of future political boundaries."


"These shifts can be broken into two different types of population counts: The absolute population counts as defined by the 2020 U.S. Census, and the citizen voting age populations, or CVAP."


"While the Census comes out with a total population count once every decade, the CVAP numbers are part of the ongoing  American Community Survey, or ACS, which is released every year by the Census Bureau. The survey includes estimates for total population, voting age population and the CVAP stats broken into race and other categories."


Could a trendy new housing-style known as tiny homes help offset Sacramento's rise in homelessness?


Sacramento Bee's BOB SHALLIT: "Allen Warren is thinking small when it comes to housing affordability."

"The Sacramento city councilman and residential real estate developer is planning to build a new housing community in his north-area district featuring 50 “tiny homes” – detached dwellings ranging from 240 to 500 square feet with prices starting at just over $100,000."

"This will be one of the most affordable new housing communities in California,” Warren said of the project that he’s tentatively calling Tiny Town."


And a new possible RICO development for Donald Trump: Is he tied to an Italian-American, Russian-American mafia money laundering scheme valued at $40 million? Maybe not, but it makes a good headline.


Bloomberg's TIMOTHY L. O'BRIEN: "The special counsel’s investigation of the White House has come more sharply into focus."

"Robert Mueller is examining whether President Donald Trump obstructed justice when he fired James Comey as director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Washington Post recently reported. As we've heard for months now, there is also a probe of possible collusion between Trump's campaign team and the Kremlin to tilt the 2016 election in the president's favor."

"But the Justice Department inquiry led by Mueller now has added flavors. The Post noted that the investigation also includes "suspicious financial activity" involving "Russian operatives." The New York Times was more specific in its account, saying that Mueller is looking at whether Trump associates laundered financial payoffs from Russian officials by channeling them through offshore accounts."


READ MORE related to Beltway/Kremlingate: OP-ED: Kansas' tax cuts are a spectacular failure. Meanwhile, in California ... -- LA Times' TOM STEYER; Trump says he tweeted about tapes to influence Comey's account of their private conversations -- LA Times' MICHAEL A. MEMOLI


UC Riverside has seen a sharp rise in the graduation rates of its African-American students.


LA Times' TERESA WATANABE: "The graduates wore traditional caps and gowns, but they didn't sit quietly awaiting their diplomas or form a solemn processional to the strains of “Pomp and Circumstance."

"They strutted, showcasing dance moves to a rap beat. They cheered Nigerian and Abyssinian dance troupes. They got to their feet for a rousing spoken word performance. They whooped as speaker after speaker reminded them of what they’d just accomplished."

"The statistics were against you, but you prevailed and I am so, so proud of you,” Sharee Hughes of the school’s African Student Programs told them."


California AG Xavier Becerra has added 4 more states to the state's anti-LGBTQ state travel ban list, bringing the total to 8 states.


The Chronicle's MICHAEL BODLEY: "Decrying a “scourge of discrimination” against LGBT individuals in four states, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Thursday doubled the number of states subject to California’s state-sponsored travel ban."

"Speaking in San Francisco, Becerra increased the number of states that California state employees cannot travel to on official government business from four to eight."

"The four additions — Alabama, Kentucky, South Dakota and Texas — each passed state legislation that took effect starting in March that Becerra alleged discriminates against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their families."


It's no secret that teaching is a time-honored profession necessary for the growth of individuals within a society, but California's teachers are often vastly underappreciated. California lawmakers aim to finally change that.


Sacramento Bee's JIM MILLER: "Should taxpayers underwrite special benefits to attract new teachers, such as affordable housing, expanded maternity leave and tax breaks?"

"California lawmakers have put forward a raft of proposals offering extra perks for teachers this session, prompted by what supporters say is an urgent need to do more to encourage people to get into the profession or stay there."

"Due to the extreme shortage of teachers in the state, many school districts must seek opportunities to attract qualified teachers,” Assemblyman Kevin Mullin, D-South San Francisco, said of his bill meant to increase the supply of affordable housing for teachers."


Worried about your air conditioner giving out in the middle of a heat wave? Don't fret.


Sacramento Bee's DALE KASLER: "You can put away the flashlights and candles for now. California is surviving the worst heat wave in 11 years without any major blackouts, and with megawatts to spare."

"Billions of dollars in new power plants, and an explosion in solar and wind farms, have made the state’s electricity supply network – once a national laughingstock – remarkably robust. Today’s market has far more capacity than it did during the energy crisis of 2001. Back then, supply shortages and rampant market manipulation produced three days of rolling blackouts during winter, when electricity demand was well below this week’s."

"Californians are paying a price for not having to worry about sweltering in the dark. Although their monthly bills are below the U.S. average, the amount Californians pay for each kilowatt hour of electricity is among the highest in the nation. That’s partly because of the mega-dollars that utilities have spent since the energy crisis on new plants, sturdier transmission lines and the like."


The LAPD's "Youth Cadet" officer-in-training program has been hit with scandal after scandal over the past week, and now the local police chief is cutting the program at two precincts. Here's a timeline of events.

Daily News: "LAPD’s police cadet program scandal continued to unfold on Thursday." 

"What some have called a “crisis” began on June 14. Here’s a chronology of what happened" 


READ MORE related to Public SafetyLAPD officer arrested, accused of sex with underage cadet -- Daily News' ANTONIE BOESSENKOOL




Letters to the Editor



For the life of me, a 50-year journalist/editor, I can't understand the overblown rhetoric behind every election story, like it's the bellwether of the next 50 years in politics. It is superfluous hyperbole at best and completely misleading at worst.

"Nowhere, with the exception of the White House, was the news of Republican Karen Handel’s special election victory more welcome than in Orange County, California."

"With four local GOP-held congressional districts considered in play in 2018, it’s arguably the epicenter of the Democratic Party’s effort to win a House majority. But Republicans are glad to point out how similar the local political landscape looks to Georgia’s affluent, suburban 6th District."

"Tuesday’s outcome laid bare the difficulty Democrats face even in a suburban California county where Donald Trump isn’t especially popular — Orange County voted for Hillary Clinton last year, backing a Democrat for the first time since 1936. Republicans still outnumber Democrats in each of the contested suburban districts, and some local political winds appear to be blowing in the GOP’s favor."

 Jeez, get a grip. This is partisan hype that sound more like it was cooked up by marketing strategists than inquiring reporters. Designed to pump up the importance and drive ad sales and push voters. It's everywhere. Please stop.


Jay Gamel 





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