Health insurance premiums to rise an average of nearly 9% in 2019
The Chronicle's CATHERINE HO: "The roughly 2.3 million Californians who buy their health insurance on the individual market — either through the state exchange Covered California, or directly from insurance companies — will see their premiums rise an average of 8.7 percent in 2019, officials announced Thursday."
"It is the fifth straight year that premiums are rising for such health plans. The increase applies to the 1.1 million lower-income Californians who receive federal financial assistance to buy plans on Covered California, as well as the 1.2 million residents who buy plans without subsidies."
"The rate increases will be felt most acutely by those who earn too much to qualify for subsidies. They pay an average of $500 a month in premiums, compared with an average $123 a month paid by people who do qualify for subsidies."
Gavin Newsome calls John Cox 'extreme' for opposing all abortions
The Chronicle's JOE GAROFOLI: "Democrat Gavin Newsom called Republican rival John Cox one of the “most extreme” gubernatorial candidates in decades on the issue of abortion rights as Newsom accepted the endorsement of two pro-choice groups Thursday."
"Pro-choice advocates are trying to make abortion rights an issue in the November election as the Senate prepares to consider President Trump’s nomination of appeals Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Abortion rights groups fear Kavanaugh could create a five-justice bloc that would overturn Roe vs. Wade, the 1973 ruling that legalized abortion."
OP-ED: Loony idea of carving California into 3 states tossed off ballot
The Chronicle's EDITORIAL BOARD: "The nutty notion that chopping up California would make life better is off the ballot, at least for now. The idea of three states instead of one needs more legal prep work, the state Supreme Court ruled unanimously."
"That’s putting it mildly, judges. The loony idea was floated by tech billionaire Tim Draper, most kindly described as eccentric. He poured money into signature-gathering that steered the three-not-one partition toward the November ballot. Alas, no more."
"The next steps aren’t clear. Four years ago, Draper failed to gather enough signatures for a six-state carve-up. After the high court setback on his trifecta idea, he might rethink his approach. How about one state?"
Fleeing war-torn homes for crippling rents -- California housing costs creating harsh reality for refugees
CALmatters' MATT LEVIN: "Khisrow Jan has $800 in the bank. Rent is $1,850, and was due four days ago. He’s late with his payment—again."
"While Jan gets ready for work—driving an Uber in San Francisco for the next 12 hours — his 4-year-old daughter Shukula barricades the front door of their two-bedroom apartment in Antioch, a far-flung Bay Area suburb east of Oakland."
"I need to work. Need to make some money,” Jan, 34, playfully tells his daughter."
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SF Parks commissioners surprised by news of big 2019 bond
The Chronicle's DOMINIC FRACASSA: "Tension rippled through the normally placid Recreation and Park Commission meeting Thursday after some commission members said they felt excluded from discussions around a proposal to put a $545 million park bond before San Francisco voters on the November 2019 ballot."
"Last month, in an effort to give the parks department faster access to money needed for a number of major renovation projects, then-Mayor Mark Farrell directed city officials to create one large bond for voters to consider next year by merging two smaller ones originally planned for 2019 and 2025."
"Farrell and Recreation and Park Director Phil Ginsburg said that the larger, combined bond would allow the city to begin the renovations sooner, before they become more expensive."
Oath Keepers break their promise, bail on planned far-right protest at Maxine Waters' office
LA Times's BENJAMIN ORESKES/SONALI KOHLI: "A group of far-right protesters who planned to demonstrate outside Rep. Maxine Waters’ district office in South Los Angeles on Thursday afternoon failed to show up, but dozens of counterprotesters did."
"The Oath Keepers, a far-right anti-government group that purports to have many veterans as members, had said they would protest outside the Los Angeles Democrat’s office on Thursday afternoon."
The Trump admin wants more than 400k people to leave the US; here's who they are and why
LA Times's MELISSA ETEHAD: "For nearly three decades, the United States has allowed immigrants from certain countries plagued by civil war or natural disasters to live here until conditions in their homelands improved."
"Such immigrants entered the country under what is known as Temporary Protected Status. Every 18 months, Department of Homeland Security officials review whether conditions in countries under TPS have improved to the extent that people can safely return."
Campus sex harassment: Trump admin guidelines challenged
The Chronicle's BOB EGELKO: "Women’s rights advocates challenging the Trump administration’s rollback of federal policies on campus sexual harassment told a San Francisco federal magistrate Thursday that the administration revealed its biased mind-set a year ago when a top education official said 90 percent of the accusations came from women who had gotten drunk, had sex and then regretted it."
"Groups representing accusers in cases of sexual harassment and assault filed a nationwide lawsuit in January after Education Secretary Betsy DeVos issued new guidelines last fall calling for colleges to set a higher standard of proof in those cases and strengthen rights of the alleged harassers, most of them men."
"The administration wants the suit dismissed, saying the guidelines are neither discriminatory nor legally binding. At Thursday’s hearing on the request for dismissal, a central issue was whether the new guidelines are neutral to add safeguards to the system, and thus immune from legal challenge, or an act of discrimination against women."
More student borrowers may be eligible to cancel fed student loans than have applied for relief
EdSource's SOLOMON MOORE: "The large number of California students who attended for-profit colleges at the time of their closure suggests many more may be eligible for student loan debt relief than have applied under the federal government’s current policy, an EdSource analysis shows."
"The process for student borrowers to cancel their federal education loan debts was created amid a series of lawsuits against Corinthian Colleges Inc. that forced the California-based for-profit college chain into bankruptcy and closure in 2015."
"In June, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra negotiated a $67 million deal with one of Corinthian’s loan servicers, Balboa Student Loan Trust, to provide debt relief to nearly 35,000 former students."
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Trump invites Putin to Washington, rejects his request to interrogate former Ambassador Michael McFaul
LA Times's ELI STOKOLS: "President Trump unexpectedly invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to visit Washington this fall, the White House announced Thursday, just after he belatedly rejected Putin’s unprecedented request to interrogate a former U.S. ambassador to Moscow and other Americans."
"The announcement of the invitation came just three days after Trump’s much-criticized summit with Putin in Helsinki, Finland, and as Trump's director of national intelligence, Dan Coats, was describing in an interview televised live on the major cable news networks the "undeniable" threat of Russian cyberattacks and his fear of a “cyber 9/11."
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