FROM Jamie Court
Is California’s Infrastructure Safe? Two years ago, Southern California Gas asked state officials to approve a rate hike . The gas company said it needed to increase rates to conduct safety inspections of existing natural gas wells. Wells in four storage fields were deteriorating -- including its Aliso Canyon facility near Porter Ranch. Of course, we all know what happened there. A massive gas leak led to the evacuation of thousands of residents before it was finally capped last month. The wells weren’t fixed. The gas company is still waiting on that rate increase request. So who’s to blame -- the gas company or the regulators? And which regulators? There is a maze of agencies that oversees our infrastructure, which is deteriorating. Can the public trust that state agencies are doing what they need to to protect Californians?
Health Insurance Rates: Who's The Decider? Prop 45 is on the November ballot, just over 4 weeks away. California’s elected Insurance Commissioner controls what you pay for insurance on your home and your car. Proposition 45 would give him the same power to regulate some health insurance. Yes on Prop 45 commercial No on Prop 45 commercial
Should Obama Order a Freeze on Insurance Rates? In writing healthcare reform , Congress required that Americans buy health insurance by 2014, but declined to empower the government to set a fair price. One consumer calls it “a potential disaster that the president cannot afford to ignore .” Recently, health insurance companies have begun notifying policyholders of premium increases, pointing the finger at federal healthcare reform. We get two perspectives from Jamie Court, President of Consumer Watchdog in California, and Robert Zirkelbach, spokesman for America's Health Insurance Plans .
Is California Ready for National Healthcare Reform? The idea of the federal government providing an alternative to health insurance has been adamantly opposed by Republicans and so-called "Blue Dog" Democrats. One proposed way out is to allow the states to provide "public options" of their own. So what about California? How does this state regulate health insurance now?
Health Care Reform and Individual Mandates In January, Governor Schwarzenegger made national headlines by proposing universal health insurance in California and there was talk of creating a national model. After months of wrangling in Sacramento, he offered a legislative proposal yesterday. It would still require that every Californian buy health insurance. It would change the formulas for employer participation. The big news has to do with the state lottery .
Governor Schwarzenegger's New Health Insurance Policy Governor Schwarzenegger today announced a plan to require all Californians to have health insurance , a proposal to fix what he calls a "broken healthcare system." Those who could not afford insurance would be helped by the state, and insurance companies would not be allowed to reject anyone because of age or medical condition. Today's plan may be ambitious, but it comes just a day after another proposal, which could do harm to some of the same people the medical plan is supposed to help. The Governor wants a rollback of welfare payments, including a cutoff to tens of thousands of children whose parents don't meet certain requirements. We hear more on a plan the Governor says "will make history," and ask if cuts in welfare would take away with one hand what he says he'll give with the other?
Universal Healthcare Bill Faces Likely Veto Democrats in both the Assembly and Senate got big majorities in favor of Senate Bill 840 , a measure pushed for years by Santa Monica Democrat Sheila Kuehl that would replace insurance companies with a plan for the state to pay healthcare costs for all Californians. Supporters were fully aware that Governor Schwarzenegger is unlikely to sign because he says it will do nothing to bring down costs. Should the Governor change his mind?
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.
Venezuela spirals into economic and political chaos Venezuela, a country whose potential for prosperity is unmatched, finds itself on the verge of civil war. What sustains the repressive government? With time running out, guest host León Krauze looks at what the international community can do to pull the country from the edge of collapse.
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.