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California Department of Health Care Services

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“Dollars that were intended for a wide array of medical services started being gobbled up by just one drug,” said Charles Bacchi, president of an industry trade group.

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An unlikely coalition of health insurers, labor and consumer advocates are pushing for controls on high-cost drugs in the nation's most populous state. “California is truly ground zero for this fight,” one advocate said. “It is clear Congress as a whole is not going to take meaningful action."

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A complaint filed this week alleges that California is engaging in unlawful discrimination by paying some of the lowest reimbursement rates in the country to the state’s Medicaid providers. As some coverage pointed out, the notion that low rates are limiting access to doctors is “not unfounded."

Picture of Judy  Silber

For hundreds of thousands of Californians waiting for their Medicaid applications to be processed, affordable health coverage is still a dream. The delays, partly caused by tech glitches, come with real human costs for those in application limbo and in need of care.

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The USC Center for Health Journalism at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism is seeking two Engagement Editors to serve as thought leaders in one of the most innovative and rewarding arenas in journalism today – “engaged reporting” that puts the community at the center of the reporting process. Learn more about the positions and apply to join our team.

Nowhere was the massive COVID wave of winter 2021 more devastating than in America’s nursing homes, where 71,000 residents died in the surge. In this webinar, we’ll hear from the lead reporter in the USA Today series "Dying for Care," who will show how an original data analysis and an exhaustive reporting effort revealed a pattern of unnecessary deaths that compounded the pandemic’s brutal toll. Sign-up here!

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