reports on health care, public health and community health issues. We cover public policy and community conditions and developments that affect the health of Californians. is an independent, nonpartisan non-profit web site created with initial funding from the California Endowment.

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Palliative Care Law Rolling Out Slowly, As Those in Need Wait

Jul 6, 2015

By Hannah Guzik

Palliative care, which is medical care that aims to improve the quality of life for people with chronic or serious illnesses, is not widely available in California. A new law, SB 1004, passed by the Legislature last August, directs the state to create a palliative care program for people enrolled in Medi-Cal,...

“I Bow To You”: Human Touch and Aging

By Matt Perry

Five older adult women sit in recliners covered with blankets. They wear soft booties on their feet while harp music plays quietly. A TV monitor gently rotates photos of flowers, while the walls feature beach décor graphics – deck chairs, fishing gear, plants and beach grass. The room’s artificial lights are...

White House Conference On Aging next week

By Matt Perry

The 2015 White House Conference on Aging is set for Monday, July 13, and will be streamed online.

While the one-day virtual event won’t solve the pressing problems of aging – most acutely elder abuse and retirement savings – executive director Nora Super says it will be successful if it achieves one...

Midwives able to accept Medi-Cal if new law approved

Jul 6, 2015

By Sara Washington In this story we go to Stockton where midwives are struggling to meet the high demand for their services. In California there is a shortage of Medi-Cal providers across the board, but especially for expectant mothers. In many areas o...

Need to Know

Jul 5, 2015

Check in every Monday for health and health care news you need to know.

By Hannah Guzik

Older adults contribute to a “Longevity Economy.”

Brown signed the vaccine exemption law.

Symptom-free carriers may be spreading whooping cough.

Fracking disclosure and mandatory sick leave laws took effect this week.

The post Need to Know appeared...

Nearly a Quarter of Californians Are Obese, Study Finds

Jul 1, 2015

By Hannah Guzik

Nearly a quarter of Californians are obese, and the disease disproportionately affects low-income people and certain racial and ethnic groups, a new study reports.

The UCLA Center for Health Policy Research found that 24.8 percent of adults were obese in 2011–2012, compared to 19.3 percent a decade earlier.

The post Nearly...

Money in the Bank: Aging and the “Longevity Economy”

Jun 29, 2015


By Matt Perry

A popular view of older adults — that they are an unproductive drag on the American economy  – is under challenge by a new brief commissioned by AARP called “The Longevity Economy.”

Authored by U.K.-based Oxford Economics, the brief refutes standard conventions of older adults and their economic impact, claiming that...

San Joaquin County improves breastfeeding rate

Jun 29, 2015

By Sara Washington

In this story we go to Stockton where one program is working to improve San Joaquin County’s breastfeeding rate — currently it has one of the lowest in the state.

In California low-income mothers are the least likely to breastfeed. San Joaquin County ranks 38 out of 50 for the lowest county breastfeeding rates.


Need to Know

Jun 28, 2015

Check in every Monday for health and health care news you need to know.

By Hannah Guzik

The truth about HIV prevention drug

Living in an unsafe neighborhood may affect DNA.

Health law clears major hurdle as Supreme Court upholds subsidies.

What comes next after the Supreme Court’s ruling that gay marriage is a constitutional...

Health Law Clears Major Hurdle As Supreme Court Upholds Subsidies

Jun 25, 2015

By Hannah Guzik

The Supreme Court upheld a major element of President Obama’s health care law Thursday, ruling that the government should continue offer insurance subsidies nationwide.

The 6-3 decision preserves the Affordable Care Act, a law that has expanded insurance coverage across the U.S.

In the King v. Burwell case, the court considered a...

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