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Saturday
May202017

POLITICS/EDUCATION: University of California, state audit, UC regents: "Tensions high as UC regents meet to discuss audit response"; "UC regents defend Napolitano, blame media for 'salacious' coverage of state audit"; "State auditor urges UC regents to boost oversight of budget practices but says audit found nothing 'nefarious'" ....

Saturday
May202017

SACRAMENTO: 2016 election, Proposition 56, tobacco tax increase, Gov. Jerry Brown, Medi-Cal provider rates?: Commentary (George Skelton), "Gov. Brown stiffed doctors, dentists and hospitals by not increasing provider fees with new tobacco money" ....  

***2016 election, Proposition 56, tobacco tax increase, Medi-Cal provider fees, Governor Jerry Brown?

* Los Angeles Times (George Skelton):  "Gov. Brown stiffed doctors, dentists and hospitals by not increasing provider fees with new tobacco money" - From the LAT:

The way Gov. Jerry Brown is proposing to spend — or not spend — the hefty new tobacco tax is an example of why citizens are so cynical about government and politics. In fact, it’s the sort of thing that contributed to the election of President Trump. No, Brown isn’t to blame for this White House misfit. But voters who felt kissed off by the political establishment were Trump’s electoral base.

By a landslide, California voters — roughly 9 million — approved a $2-per-pack increase in the cigarette tax last November. Much of the new revenue was supposed to go toward raising fees for doctors and dentists who treat poor patients on Medi-Cal, the state’s version of federal Medicaid. But Brown has refused to allocate any of the new money for that, despite the glaring need.

During the recession, Sacramento cut the already miserly Medi-Cal provider rates by 10%. And those cuts haven’t been rescinded, even as the economy has recovered and income tax rates have been increased on the wealthy. Consequently, California’s Medi-Cal rates are shamefully about the lowest in the nation, at 48th.

So what? So providers aren’t fools. There’s no law forcing them to treat Medi-Cal patients. And many are refusing to. The only providers required to treat everyone are hospital emergency wards. And that’s where patients who can’t find traditional care wind up, clogging waiting rooms and costing more to treat. Most of us pay the cost through stiffer private insurance premiums .................

Saturday
May202017

AFTERNOON MEMOS: "N.A.A.C.P., Energized by Liberal Activists, Dismisses Its President"; "Garcetti dismisses speculation about a run for higher office -- mostly"; "UC regents defend Napolitano, thank auditor for probe"; commentary (Dan Walters), "Recall of California senator about GOP regaining relevance, not gas tax vote" ....

***Various items relating to the spectrum of politics and/or public policy....

* New York Times:  "N.A.A.C.P, Energized by Liberal Activists, Dismisses Its President"

* Los Angeles Times:  "Garcetti dismisses speculation about a run for higher office -- mostly"

* Sacramento Bee (Dan Walters):  "Recall of California senator about GOP regaining relevance, not gas tax vote"

* San Francisco Chronicle:  "UC regents defend Napolitano, thank auditor for probe"

Saturday
May202017

SACRAMENTO: California Democratic Convention (2017): "California Democrats collide over future of state party"; "Rallies, F-bombs and a raucous start to the California Democratic Party convention"; "Nurses heckle Democratic leader, threaten legislators over health care" ....

Saturday
May202017

POLITICS (National): President Donald Trump, healthcare, Obamacare subsidies?: "Health insurers plan big Obamacare rate hikes -- and they blame Trump"; also, "Trump reportedly wants to kill critical Obamacare subsidies, despite warnings health insurance premiums would spike" .... 

***President Donald Trump, healthcare, Obamacare subsidies?

* Los Angeles Times (Noam Levey):  "Health insurers plan big Obamacare rate hikes -- and they blame Trump" - From the LAT:

Health insurers across the country are making plans to dramatically raise Obamacare premiums or exit marketplaces amid growing exasperation with the Trump administration’s erratic management, inconsistent guidance and seeming lack of understanding of basic healthcare issues. At the same time, state insurance regulators — both Democrat and Republican — have increasingly concluded they cannot count on the Trump administration to help them ensure that consumers will have access to a health plan next year.

The growing frustration with the Trump administration’s management — reflected in letters to state regulators and in interviews with more than two dozen senior industry and government officials nationwide — undercuts a key White House claim that Obamacare insurance marketplaces are collapsing on their own. Instead, according to many officials, it is the Trump administration that is driving much of the current instability by refusing to commit to steps to keep markets running, such as funding aid for low-income consumers or enforcing penalties for people who go without insurance ..............

***ALSO, Related:

* CNBC:  "Trump reportedly wants to kill critical Obamacare subsidies, despite warnings health insurance premiums would spike"