Obamacare repeal dies — for now

U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-Louisiana, at a Senate Finance Committee hearing on his legislation to repeal the ACA. (Photo: Ron Sachs/CNP, via Associated Press)

Even as it entered its apparent death spiral, the latest Republican attempt to do away with Obamacare came in for fiery denunciations from California health care leaders. On the receiving end of all the vilification is a bill before the U. S. Senate that would eliminate key provisions of the Affordable Care Act and replace them with block grants to states. Its chances look grim, and that may be understating it.

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News

CA120: Probing the early primary

Assemblyman Kevin Mullin, who along with Sen. Ricardo Lara authored the early primary legislation, addressing the Assembly in May. (Photo: AP/Rich Pedroncelli)

With just-passed legislation from Sen. Ricardo Lara sitting on Gov. Brown’s desk, the 2020 California Primary looks to be headed to the front of the line. Well, not the very front – the first four spots in the nominating calendar would be reserved for Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina.

News

California’s ‘four-party’ system

Participants at a May 2016 rally for Donald Trump in Anaheim. (Photo: mikeledray, via Shutterstock)

For more than 165 years, political battles in California have played out almost entirely within the framework of a two-party system. There are signs that may be changing. Differing ideologies within each party are competing for money, supporters and attention.  Out of it all, four major, distinct political tribes seem to be emerging.

News

Targeting the closure of nonprofit hospitals

Alta Bates Summit Medical Center. (Photo: Wikipedia)

East Bay lawmakers are pushing a bill to stop Sutter Health from shuttering its Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Berkeley — a measure with major statewide implications. The bill was prompted by issues surrounding Alta Bates, but it would apply to any emergency rooms across California run by nonprofits.

News

Lease-a-dog? You’re kidding, right?

Bubba, a dog who found an owner after a year in a shelter. (Photo: Photography by Adri, via Shutterstock)

Should customers be able to lease dogs and cats in the same way they rent cars, apartments or furniture? California legislators think not. Both houses overwhelmingly approved Assembly Bill 1491, which would outlaw the practice beginning Jan. 1. The bill is now awaiting final action from Gov. Jerry Brown.

Opinion

Affordable, reliable water for California

Water is pumped into an irrigation canal. (Photo: Straight 8 Photography)

OPINION: On the heels of a record-breaking drought and phenomenal water savings by California residents, Gov. Jerry Brown called upon the state to make conservation a permanent way of life.  The administration established a broad stakeholder group comprised of water agencies, business and community groups and environmental organizations to develop a fair, forward looking conservation framework for the state.

News

CA120: An odd tale of prisoners and redistricting

General population prisoners at San Quentin march in a line. (Photo: Eric Risberg/Associated Press)>

Much of redistricting law is arcane and technical. But often what seems like a little detail can become a significant factor in how the lines will be drawn. Take, for example, prisoners. The U.S. Census counts prisoners just like any other part of the overall population. The Census captures people at their “usual residence,” meaning the place where they live and sleep most days.

Opinion

Clean energy crucial for California

Windmills at sunset in the California desert. (Photo: Angie Agostino)

OPINION: Look around lately and it’s hard to ignore evidence of chaos fueled by our changing climate. From the barrage of hurricanes in the Atlantic to the raging wildfires and heat waves throughout the West, climate change is here already and it refuses to be ignored. In the last week, everyone from Miami’s Republican mayor to Pope Francis has affirmed the need for swift action.

News

Water: Setting the sights on Sites

An artist's rendering of the proposed Sites Reservoir complex. (Image: California Department of Water Resources)

Sites Reservoir has been talked about for decades, but now that project officials — and backed by 70 major allies — have formally submitted an application for state bond money, the question arises: Will this $5 billion project actually come to pass? The proposed surface reservoir would be located in Colusa County, but is competing with 11 other applicants for part of a $2.7 billion coffer of state money devoted to water storage projects.

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