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News — California

7 California HMOs slapped with $5 million in fines for underpaying providers

California's seven largest HMOs must pay nearly $5 million in fines because of unfair payment practices after an 18-month state investigation revealed widespread underpayments, valued in the tens of millions of dollars, for medical care provided by doctors and hospitals. —The Sacramento Bee, 11/30/10 More »

Nurses union becomes potent political force

Politicians and political strategists looking ahead to the next election cycle are taking notice of an increasingly potent political force on the state and national scene - one that's overwhelmingly female and dressed in scrubs. The Oakland-based California Nurses Association has made its mark by delivering some powerful political punches with a combination of entertaining theater and savvy strategizing. —San Francisco Chronicle, 11/24/10 More »

Nurses’ Union Flexes Political Muscle

One of California's most powerful political players these days is a Bay Area-based nurses' union, which helped torpedo Republican Meg Whitman's efforts to become governor and boosted the prospects of the eventual winning candidate, Democrat Jerry Brown. Now officials of the 85,000-member California Nurses Association say they will keep Gov.-elect Brown's feet to the fire on their agenda of improving conditions for nurses and the state's health-care system. —Wall Street Journal, 11/11/10 More »

Sick Californians may be forgoing care because health deductible is too high, study says

Three million Californians are enrolled in high-deductible health insurance plans because they can't afford to pay high premiums. But the often excessive out-of-pocket costs could be causing some to delay seeking care, while jeopardizing the financial well-being of others, a new report from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research has found. —Los Angeles TImes, 10/28/10 More »

Contra Costa nurse dies; El Cerrito man charged with murder in jail attack

A nurse who was attacked by an inmate at the Contra Costa County Jail died of her injuries today, prompting the promise of new legislation that would protect medical workers in jails and medical facilities. El Sobrante resident Cynthia Barraca Palomata, 55, died this morning, three days after she was struck in the head with a table lamp by an El Cerrito man awaiting processing into the jail, authorities said. —Contra Costa Times, 10/26/10 More »

U.S., California probe Prime Healthcare

A Southern California hospital chain known for aggressive billing practices and cost-cutting is being investigated by state and federal authorities for an unusually high rate of life-threatening infections among its older patients. —Los Angeles TImes, 10/12/10 More »

Concerted effort to silence RNs

Assemblyman Curt Hagman's attack on registered nurses and our professional voice, the California Nurses Association, in a recent point of view (Sept. 23), and the bill he has sponsored to dictate what nurses are able to learn to better advocate for our patients, symbolize what is at stake for California patients and nurses in the November election. —Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, 10/03/10 More »

Aetna gets OK to hike rates on individual health policies in California

The increase will average 19% and will take effect Oct. 1 along with double-digit hikes by Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield of California and Health Net that also had been reviewed by the Department of Insurance. More than 1 million Californians will see their health insurance premiums rise Oct. 1 now that regulators have wrapped up their review of a plan by Aetna Inc. to raise rates an average of 19% for 65,000 individual policyholders. —Los Angeles TImes, 09/17/10 More »

Wall Street sees a reliable partner in Whitman

Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman was leading a triumphant rally at the state GOP convention last month when she announced that New Yorkers were excited about the California governor's race. At a fundraiser she held in New York, Whitman said she met with people who "have suffered the financial reforms that are going to crimp our ability to raise capital, and they want California to turn the corner." —Sacramento Bee, 09/07/10 More »

California regulators seek up to $9.9 billion in fines from PacifiCare

California regulators are seeking fines of up to $9.9 billion from health insurer PacifiCare over allegations that it repeatedly mismanaged medical claims, lost thousands of patient documents, failed to pay doctors what they were owed and ignored calls to fix the problems. —Los Angeles TImes, 09/07/10 More »

Whitman: Nurses’ suffrage rally a ‘distraction’

Hundreds of union members celebrating the 90th anniversary of women's suffrage rallied Thursday at the state capitol, holding signs that said "Women vote for women who vote" an attack on the state's first female Republican nominee for governor. The signs were criticizing the abysmal voting record of former eBay chief executive Meg Whitman, who has acknowledged that she failed to vote for most of her adult life. The rally was organized by the California Nurses Association, a vocal Whitman critic. —Associated Press, 08/27/10 More »

Nurses spotlight women’s right to vote and Whitman’s voting record

On Thursday, the 90th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment that guaranteed women the right to vote, about 2,500 California nurses came to the Capitol to praise Susan B. Anthony and condemn Meg Whitman. The march and rally, featuring scores of women dressed in period costumes from the 1920s, was staged by the largely female California Nurses Association, ostensibly to celebrate the anniversary but, more pointedly, to call attention to the fact that for much of her adult life Whitman has not voted. —Ventura County Star, 08/26/10 More »

Thousands Of California Nurses Dressed As Sufragettes Protest Meg Whitman

More than 3,000 registered nurses -- joined by women's rights and labor activists -- are gathering in Sacramento on Thursday to protest California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman. The two-hour march begins at the Sacramento Convention Center at 4:00 p.m. PT and convenes two hours later at the steps of the state capital. Many of the participants will be wearing period costumes from the early 20th century. —Huffington Post, 08/26/10 More »

Wide Array of Women’s, Labor, Community Groups Join Nurses for Sacramento Suffrage Anniversary Aug

A growing cross section of California women’s, labor, and community groups will be joining thousands of registered nurses in Sacramento, Calif. August 26, to mark the 90th anniversary of women securing the right to vote with a modern day suffrage celebration. Participants will march, many in period costume, from the Sacramento Convention Center to a rally on the West Steps of the State Capitol. —Press Release, 08/16/10 More »

Economists see flaws in Whitman’s policy proposals

Meg Whitman's economic policies are based on a flawed understanding of the challenges California faces, and the Republican gubernatorial nominee's proposals would make the state's troubles worse, according to an open letter to Californians signed by a group of mostly Democratic economists from throughout the state. —Los Angeles TImes, 08/10/10 More »

Whitman - nuance or flip-flop on issues?

Has California Republican Meg Whitman, the former eBay CEO who says she'll bring a fresh approach to state government, become precisely what she insists she is not - a calculating politician who changes positions and straddles the issues depending on the audience? —San Francisco Chronicle, 08/02/10 More »

The nurses versus Queen Meg

Meg Whitman is a household name, at least among households with habitual readers of the business press, especially those who invest in technology stocks. She is the near-legendary manager of the Internet giant eBay. Under her stewardship eBay grew from a kicky startup Web site where people could sell and buy stuff, but which made no income to speak of, into the stellar success it is today. —Haaretz, 07/28/10 More »

Fact check: Whitman capital gains plan questioned

Republican Meg Whitman wants to eliminate the capital gains tax in California if she is elected governor in November, a key part of her plan to boost state employment. Her sales pitch: Cutting taxes for the wealthy will encourage them to create private-sector jobs. —Associated Press, 07/28/10 More »

California Governor’s Race: Meg Whitman vs. the Nurses Union

In her gubernatorial campaign, California billionaire Meg Whitman fancies herself a turnaround artist, not unlike CEOs who take on failing companies and put them in the black. In her analysis of why the nation's most populous state and the world's 12th largest economy has a chronically dysfunctional government, one villain stands out: public-employee unions. —Time, 07/20/10 More »

Nurses rally outside home of GOP nominee Whitman

Hundreds of unionized nurses wearing scrubs held a raucous rally Thursday outside the Silicon Valley home of GOP gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman to protest her proposals for the state, which they say will hurt working people. Dozens of police officers descended on the leafy streets surrounding Whitman's two-story colonial home in Atherton. An estimated 1,100 protesters chanted "We're going to beat back the Whitman attack" as an airplane paid for by the nurses union circled overhead, trailing a banner that read, "Nurses say no to Whitman." —Associated Press, 07/15/10 More »

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