Doctors’ drug tests: a divisive issue

A surgical team works on a patient. (Photo: AUSaid)

On Oct. 23, 2013, San Diego physician Dr. Scott D. Greer submitted urine and hair samples to an investigator for the Medical Board of California, which oversees physician licensing and discipline. Laboratory tests found the samples to be positive for opiates and oxycodone, but not for alcohol. Nearly one year later, on Sept. 8, Greer was placed on probation for seven years by the board. His license was suspended for 30 days, effective Oct. 24

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News

Calpers: Average service, high costs

Calpensions: A new comparison with four other large public pension funds found that CalPERS, while scoring average on service, had high pension administration costs — $213 per member a year, nearly twice the average of $108 per member.

Letters

Letter to the Editor: Public meetings

In recent years many of us have spent far more time than necessary at various public meetings awaiting our three minutes to speak during “Public Comment,” an item often placed dead last on the agenda. By that time, most of the attendees have long departed.

News

San Jose vote may derail pension ‘rights’ ruling

A freeway approach to the San Jose city limit. (Photo: Visions of America)

Calpensions: An appeal of a San Jose pension reform ruling that could cause the state Supreme Court to revisit “vested rights” may be halted by a settlement with unions, if candidates aligned with the policies of Mayor Chuck Reed are defeated next month. Labor unions opposed to the pension reform are backing a candidate for mayor to replace Reed and three candidates for open city council seats, more than enough to shift the power balance.

Opinions

Prop. 46 foes finance misleading campaign

OPINION: Health care industry-funded ads sounding the Prop 46 privacy alarm flunk the straight face test. The ads allege Prop 46 sets up a secret medical record database that will be vulnerable to hacking. Not only is this absolutely false, it’s galling when you consider that the hospitals and insurance companies funding the ads have exposed millions of their own patient records through their negligence.

Opinions

Unfair to blame visitors, families for prisons’ woes

An inmate gestures with his hands through the cell bars. (Photo: Sakhorn, Shutterstock)

OPINION: In all the justifications for the new measures going in under Beard’s watch, the Corrections Secretary never mentions the well-known, privately acknowledged fact that while visitors may bring in small amounts of drugs, the importation of trafficable amounts of drugs comes in not through visitors, but through staff at the prisons, including custody staff.

News

Prop. 45: Dems split over regulating health care rates

Two aspects of health care: A claim form and money,. (Photo: Zimmytws via Shutterstock)

A high-stakes ballot measure going before voters Nov. 4 has divided California Democrats, with the state party and some of its most prominent politicians on opposite sides. The initiative, Proposition 45, would empower the state’s elected insurance commissioner to approve health insurance rates.

News

Reporter’s Notebook: Looking back at Gary Webb

Gary Webb. (Photo: Fairness and Accuracy in Media)

I rarely dwell on the past – a good thing, too – but I can’t help thinking now about Gary Webb, the journalist who killed himself in Sacramento 10 years ago in the aftermath of a story on the CIA and crack cocaine trafficking that brought him fame, and then humiliation, on a national scale. But surely my memories of Gary are as valid as anything contained in “Kill The Messenger,” Hollywood’s version of his life and work.

Opinions

Eye surgery: Training not a matter of politics, public opinion

OPINION: The Legislature had a critical opportunity to help increase access to medical services and reduce the wait times for patients who need ocular services. SB 492 would have allowed doctors of optometry to perform limited laser and minor procedures around the eye and freed up ophthalmologists to perform the complex surgical procedures only they are trained and educated to perform.

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