How Wealth Drives Health — And What We Can Do About It

Daniel Weintraub
Journalist and Political Blogger at HealthyCal.org

California is a land of health extremes, and to see what that means, you need only travel a few miles from the state Capitol. Placer and Yuba counties border each other about a half hour’s drive north of downtown Sacramento. Both places are largely rural. But the similarities end there. Placer’s residents are, on average, […]

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Historic Prison Reform Raises Fundamental Questions

Daniel Weintraub
Journalist and Political Blogger at HealthyCal.org

California’s historic experiment in prison reform remains a work in progress, raising new questions about the exact combination of law enforcement, prison time and rehabilitation that will achieve the lowest crime rates. It’s an explosive issue, because any change of the magnitude California is attempting is likely to impose short-term costs, and those costs might […]

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California Finances Riding the Roller Coaster, Again

Daniel Weintraub
Journalist and Political Blogger at HealthyCal.org

California’s government finances are riding the roller coaster again. Buoyed by a soaring stock market and rising home prices, personal income tax receipts are flowing into the state treasury at a rate exceeding all expectations. The result: a surplus of $6 billion or more is likely if Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature simply stay […]

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Californians’ Love-Hate Relationship with Direct Democracy

Daniel Weintraub
Journalist and Political Blogger at HealthyCal.org

Californians have a love-hate relationship with direct democracy. We love that we have the ability to set the politicians straight, either by getting a jump on them on the next big issue or reversing course when we think they’ve made a big mistake. But we’re not wild about reading through all those damn initiatives that […]

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ACA Excludes More than a Million California Residents

Daniel Weintraub
Journalist and Political Blogger at HealthyCal.org

The Affordable Care Act promises to bring insurance to millions of Californians who don’t have coverage today. The law will help the poorest of the poor, middle-income families and people who have been denied coverage because of pre-existing health conditions. But Congress explicitly excluded one very large group of US residents: undocumented immigrants. They are […]

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Small Business Owners Ponder ACA’s Benefits, Burdens

Daniel Weintraub
Journalist and Political Blogger at HealthyCal.org

Jerry Schumacher’s Fullerton-based engineering firm seems like the perfect example of what President Obama would like to see from American business when it comes to health care. The company offers coverage to all of its full-time employees, and pays 100 percent of the monthly premium. But Schumacher still lives in fear of the Affordable Care […]

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A Culture of Coverage

Daniel Weintraub
Journalist and Political Blogger at HealthyCal.org

The people who designed the Affordable Care Act employed an “If we build it” strategy reminiscent of the Field of Dreams, the classic 1989 film about an iconic baseball diamond built in an Iowa cornfield. If they built a more accessible health insurance system, the reasoning in Congress went, consumers would come and use it. […]

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Heath Care Industry will be Transformed into Something Resembling a Public Utility

Daniel Weintraub
Journalist and Political Blogger at HealthyCal.org

For millions of Californians who buy health insurance on their own – and even for many who get it through work – the Affordable Care Act will change almost everything about the experience. The federal health reform law completely upends the business model of private insurance companies, changing their incentives and, very likely, the way […]

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Jerry Brown: Disciplinarian

Daniel Weintraub
Journalist and Political Blogger at HealthyCal.org

Jerry Brown was the kid the first time he was governor, nearly 40 years ago. Now he is definitely providing adult supervision in Sacramento. Since retaking the executive suite, Brown has lectured Californians – and the Legislature – about the need to get real on the state budget. His stance is pretty simple: the state […]

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Why Apple Inc. Remains Popular in California

Daniel Weintraub
Journalist and Political Blogger at HealthyCal.org

California’s most valuable company – Apple Inc. – has been taking flak lately from the halls of Congress to the capitals of Europe over reports that the consumer electronics giant manages its business to minimize the corporate income taxes it pays to the U.S. and foreign governments. But you’re not likely to hear too many […]

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