Another Extension for California's Healthcare Exchange
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Another Extension for California's Healthcare Exchange

Lost applications, wasted hours on the phone and frustrated consumers are trying to access their new health insurance. Even people not using Obamacare are feeling the ripple effects. Also, how the disappearing sardine is having a big effect off the coast of California. Guest host Madeleine Brand looks at the bureaucratic delays and shifting deadlines of the California healthcare roll-out.

Image-for-WWLA.jpgOn our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, back from its recess, the Senate is considering reinstating federal unemployment benefits for the 1.3 million who have been out of work for more than six months and who lost them over the holidays when the program expired. Guest host Barbara Bogaev looks at the politics, economics and uncertain future of extended federal jobless aid.

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Main Topic

Bureaucratic Delays, Shifting Deadlines: CA Healthcare Rollout ()

The Affordable Care Act, called Covered California here, continues to confuse people who want to sign up. The rush of new applicants has created a backlog of applications in California. The good news is that if you're late on a premium payment, you now have until January 15 to pay for coverage that was scheduled to begin January 1. But the latest fudging of what were concrete deadlines underscores a bigger problem for Covered California: confusing rules for consumers. And they can't get answers from state officials and insurance companies, mainly because people can't get through on the phone.


Reporter's Notebook

West Coast Sardines Vanishing, Threatening Ecosystem ()

Maybe it's time to hoard those unopened sardine cans. The sardine population off the coast of California is disappearing. Last fall, scientists noted the population had dropped 72 percent since its peak seven years ago, and that means trouble up the food chain.  Sea mammals and birds are dying of starvation, and local fishermen are losing a lot of money. Sardines populations have come and gone in the past. Is this just a natural cycle, or is this telling us something about the health of our oceans? Reporter Tony Barboza covers the environment for the Los Angeles Times.



Which Way L.A.? is made possible in part by the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation and the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation.


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