Soda taxes decrease consumption, study reports

[ Posted on September 12th, 2016 by Center Communications | No Comments » ]

Consumption of sugary beverages such as soda dropped 21 percent and water consumption rose 63 percent after a soda tax was passed in Berkeley in 2014, according to a study featured on

Related 2013-2014 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) data (shown below) charted on the website estimate almost 60% of teens drink at least one sugar-sweetened beverage daily:kids_soda

Wonder how much soda/sugar-sweetened beverages adults drink? Find adult rates by ZIP code on AskCHIS NE.


Big price gap for rabies shot exposes US health care woes

[ Posted on September 7th, 2016 by Center Communications | No Comments » ]


“The free market doesn’t work for health care,” said Nadereh Pourat, Center Director of Research, in a Los Angeles Times column about the extreme price gap for a rabies shot that cost under $20 in Thailand and more than $5,000 in Torrance. “With health care, there’s no price transparency.”

Read the story.

Sept. 27: “The Presidential Candidates: Their Health Plans”

[ Posted on September 2nd, 2016 by Center Communications | No Comments » ]
Sept. 27: “The Presidential Candidates: Their Health Plans”

What will health coverage look like under a President Trump? A President Clinton? In a Sept. 27 seminar, Center Director Gerald Kominski will discuss the evolving visions of the presidential candidates’ health plans.

Specifically, Kominski will describe Republican nominee Donald Trump’s idea to replace the Affordable Care Act with block grants to states to provide health care to low-income people as well as to enable the sale of health insurance across state lines. Alternatively, Democrat nominee Hilary Clinton has vowed to expand Medicaid in every state as well as to undocumented workers and their families. She has also pledged to limit prescription drug costs.

How feasible are these ideas in an age of extreme partisanship?

Join us in-person or online  Sept. 27 for a timely discussion at our free noon seminar.


Private health care system in US a ‘myth’

[ Posted on September 2nd, 2016 by Center Communications | No Comments » ]

public_pie2A new Center study reports 71% of health care expenses in California were paid for with public money in 2016, breaking down the “myth” that insurance coverage is a private system, said Center Director Gerald Kominski in Modern Healthcare. Kominski co-authored the study, which was also featured in Kaiser Health News, My News LA, Fierce Healthcare, and other media.

Read the study.

Kominski: Single-payer? Or continued “crazy patchwork” health system in the U.S.?

[ Posted on August 31st, 2016 by Center Communications | No Comments » ]


More Americans have health insurance coverage in the U.S. and California, thanks to the ACA,  Center Director Gerald Kominski says. But health care – the lack of it, the expense of it – is a primary issue again in this year’s presidential election.

In a new Q&A Center Director Gerald Kominski says it’s time to combat  “the crazy patchwork of health care financing we have in the U.S.”  based on whether people are poor, retired seniors, or part of the working population. He says it’s time to upgrade to ACA 2.0 and consider a single system that can be personalized, but maintain minimum benefit requirements “that guarantee a floor for everyone.”

The Q&A is related to a new policy brief on the 71 percent of health care expenditures in California that are paid for by public dollars.

Read the Q&A.


UCLA study: Big slice of public money spent on health care

[ Posted on August 31st, 2016 by Center Communications | No Comments » ]

public_pie2Contrary to the notion that the country’s health care is primarily a privately funded system, 71 percent of health care expenditures in California are paid for with public funds, according to a new analysis co-authored by Center Director Gerald Kominski.

In a related Q&A, Kominski discusses how tax exemptions for employer-sponsored health insurance premiums benefit the rich more than the poor, why California’s share of Medicaid spending is 10 percentage points higher than the national average, and why a streamlined single-payer system might be preferable to the nation’s current “crazy patchwork” of health care financing.

Read the press release or the related Q&A.

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