Opinion

Surprise bills: Hospitals don’t like them, either

A photo illustration of hospital billing. (Image: 9dream studio, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: All of us in California should get behind the opportunity to protect patients from out-of-insurance-network health care bills. That’s why it is unfortunate that some in the Legislature want to couple this unifying issue of helping patients with other controversial and polarizing issues that threaten the outcome.

Opinion

Feds’ proposed rules would erode tribal culture, history

A bridge over tribal waters representing the transition from the past to the future. (Photo: Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake)

OPINION: Federally recognized tribes are sovereign governments – many of which have undoubtedly contributed vast, significant cultural contributions to the diverse tapestry of American social, economic and political life. Despite this recognition and contributions to society, tribes like mine unfortunately must fight hard to be remembered, respected and included in policy discussions at all levels of government.

Opinion

Renewable gas: A sound option to fight organic waste

A portion of a plant that produces gas through the breakdown of organic waste. (Photo: Bertold Werkman, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: Let’s play a game: what would you do with 25 million tons of organic waste annually? Here are a few tidbits to spark your imagination: Organic waste includes food and green waste, landscaping and pruning waste, lumber, fiber, sewage and sludges.

Opinion

Changes urged in new Consumer Privacy Act

An illustration of the concept of privacy and computer use. (Image: mstanley, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: I believe in the American Dream because I am lucky enough to be the American Dream. And I’m not alone; there are millions of business owners in California and I imagine some of them share my success story.

Opinion

The advantage of a trusted health benefits partner

The headquarters of the California Public Employees Retirement System in Sacramento. (Photo: Sabrina Clare)

OPINION: The U.S. health care system is in a moment of reckoning. No one pretends to have the perfect solution. But there is something consumers can agree on: More transparency is needed. Consumers and their employers, which insure 49 percent of American health coverage, are demanding to know exactly what goes in to their health care costs.

Opinion

Labor, business together on cannabis retail

An illustration of cannabis in California. (Image: Bruce Stanfield, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: When California voters passed Proposition 64 in 2016, they envisioned a robust legal cannabis market with substantial tax revenue for our state, improved access, and relief for communities of color who have been disproportionately impacted by the failed “War on Drugs.” Almost three years later, we see a cannabis market constrained by local bans on retail sales and frustratingly slow licensing processes. An alarming 77 percent of California cities have banned cannabis retailers altogether

Opinion

Environmental regulators: Put people before industry

View toward downtown Los Angeles and surrounding communities on a hot, smoggy day. (Image: IM_Photo, via Shutterstock))

OPINION: The Trump administration’s Environmental Protection Agency offered another boon to the fossil fuel industry when it announced its intent to ignore the scientifically-proven impacts of air pollution on human health. By minimizing and outright denying the health risks of air pollution, the EPA is recklessly devaluing the lives of children and families who are assaulted daily by pollution and climate impacts that threaten their health, safety, and life expectancy.  

Opinion

Energy storage can keep the lights on, cut carbon emissions

Electrical power lines in the California desert. (Photo: Anton Foltin, via Shutterstock)

Most of us won’t forget those rolling blackouts that took place across California in early 2000.  I remember them well, since I was the one who had to manage the power grid and turn off the lights more than a dozen times. Since then, energy engineers and operators like myself have made a life’s work out of keeping the lights on as California works to reduce carbon emissions and add more renewable energy into the power grid to meet California’s clean energy goal

Opinion

For many workers, ‘gig economy’ has a dark side

A delivery person -- an independent contractor? -- on the job. (Photo: Davide Bonaldo, via Shutterstock)

The expanding gig economy in California is often praised for giving workers flexibility and independence. Be your own boss, set your own schedule, companies tout, and these companies would like us to think that drivers, cleaners and personal shoppers actually prefer the gig economy to traditional employment. The rosy spin ignores the reality for California’s low-wage workers.

Opinion

Wanted: A comprehensive data system for education

Illustration depicting the examination of complex data. (Image: alphaspirit, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: It is easy to point to recent public investments that demonstrate the state’s commitment to improving educational and economic opportunity for Californians. But attempt to assess the outcomes of those efforts, and you will come up woefully short.

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