May 14, 2009

Four in the morning

1. The LA Press Club announced award finalists today. If you're the LA Weekly, KPCC or your name is Amy Alkon, chances are you're going to walk away with a plaque. Arianna Huffington of Huffington Post, Robyn Dixon of the Los Angeles Times and Rick Orlov of the Daily News will receive special awards. LAPC

2. Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Lakewood, had a baby. LAT

3. "No one manipulates the press like David Geffen," writes Mark Lacter at LA Biz Observed. *New York Post story calls talks between Geffen and the New York Times "guff".

4. Evan George of the Los Angeles Daily Journal dug through public records and found that a state program set up to reimburse patients who were wrongly dumped by their private health insurers has been largely ineffective. The story is behind a paywall, but here's an excerpt:
A year after Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's administration unveiled a series of landmark legal settlements intended to relieve thousands of Californians who had their health insurance revoked, only a fraction of patients have taken part in the program, and just four are known to have received any kind of payment from their insurer, a Daily Journal investigation has found.

Overall, just 5 percent of patients wanted or were aware of the state's plan and took part in it, records show. Many of those who lost their insurance racked up crippling debt for medical costs when their policies were rescinded.


A Department of Managed Health Care spokeswoman defended the program this month, saying it had won new health coverage for 177 Californians who otherwise would have stayed uninsured. "We were able to provide that for them in a quick way where they wouldn't have to go through a lengthy court battle," spokeswoman Lynne Randolph said.

Asked why medical bills have not been addressed, Randolph blamed the delay on private lawyers and the Los Angeles city attorney, whose ongoing lawsuits have interfered with the state's settlement notices.

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