Nurses sign, doctors strike

Jan 27, 2015

As California’s Kaiser Permanente nurses sign a contract health center doctors at the University of California prepare to strike today – the first time that licensed doctors have picketed in the US in 25 years.  From Paul Sisson at the San Diego Union Tribune:


“The work stoppage is scheduled to last one day. It involves 150 health center doctors who manage the primary care and mental health needs of students….


“[Dr. Amol Doshi], one of four doctors in the union’s bargaining team, said the strike is needed because the UC system refuses to provide enough financial information on student health services for the union to make accurate judgments about whether resources are well-allocated…


“’This isn’t a strike about salary,’ Doshi said Monday.”


Speaking of doctors, state officials report that Californians received $3.2 billion in Obamacare subsidies


Chad Terhune has the story at the Los Angeles Times: “Nearly 90% of enrollees in the Covered California exchange qualified for financial help based on their income. The average monthly subsidy was $436 per household, according to the state.”


Senator Mark Leno introduced legislation to apply the same restrictions to vaping electronic cigarettes as apply to cigarettes, cigars and pipes.  From Laurel Rosenhall at the Sacramento Bee:


“’No tobacco product should be exempt from California’s smoke-free laws simply because it’s sold in a modern or trendy disguise,’ said a statement from Leno, D-San Francisco. ‘Addiction is what’s really being sold. Like traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes deliver nicotine in a cloud of other toxic chemicals, and their use should be restricted equally under state law in order to protect public health.’


“Leno’s bill is sponsored by a coalition of health organizations, including the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association and American Lung Association.”


Kamala Harris, already ‘shadowboxing’ potential rival Antonio Villaraigosa, got a boost from the White House in her bid to succeed Senator Barbara Boxer: President Obama chose her to promote the president’s immigration policy.  From Carla Marinucci at SFGate:


“Harris, describing herself as a “daughter of immigrants,” delivered an impassioned defense during a phone news conference on Obama’s immigration policies. Although it plowed no new ground on the issue, the news conference gave Harris a plum opportunity to address a major state issue with the White House’s imprimatur. It also provided her with a venue to air her own talking points.


“The White House’s decision to have Harris promote Obama’s policies underscored speculation that she can expect both campaign and fundraising help from the president when she runs next year to replace retiring Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer.”


And, hats off to Carla, who ended up on the Washington Post’s list of Best State Political reporters.  From Chris Cillizza:


“The most under-appreciated reporters in the political world are the scribes covering state and local politics. They rarely get the attention of their colleagues at the national level but are often covering the very politicians and national trends that come to impact the broad political landscape.”


Congrats to the rest of the California journalists on the list of top statehouse reporters: Joe Garofoli, San Francisco Chronicle; Seema Mehta, LA Times; Josh Richman, Bay Area News Group; David Siders, Sacramento Bee; George Skelton, LA Times, and Doug Sovern, KCBS.


Dan Walters posted a nice obituary of longtime lobbyist Dan Wall, who died Thursday night of pancreatic cancer.  He was 68.


“Wall was known for his affability and his intimate knowledge of local government finances, which became more intertwined with those of the state after the passage of Proposition 13 in 1978.


“’He was a strong and knowledgeable defender and advocate for local government. But he also knew about taxes, and he was very much involved in the issue of taxes,’ Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis, said in a tribute to him on Monday…


“’He was such a great friend to everybody, all the time,” [Sen. Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley] said. ‘He loved life; he enjoyed it to the fullest.’”


We’re still feeling the fallout from the 2014 elections – and if you feel the need to have a deeper understanding of what happened and what it all means, you’ll want to check out the Institute of Governmental Studies’ election postmortem, coming up at the end of the week.


“This year, IGS will expand this traditional ‘California Votes’ conference to address the entire election, including the gubernatorial campaign and other issues on the ballot. As in the past, we will bring together experts of all backgrounds and political beliefs to dissect the day-to-day campaigns, the broader issues of the election, and the long-term questions facing the California political process.”


California Votes: A Postmortem on the 2014 Election will be held at Hotel Shattuck Plaza in Berkeley on Friday and Saturday, January 30-31.

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