Health & Wellness
Forum | Friday, Jun 14, 2013, 9:00 AM
In a unanimous decision, the U.S. Supreme Court decided this week that human genes cannot be patented. A biotech company, Myriad Genetics, held patents on two genes linked to breast and ovarian cancer. But the Court ruled that because the company had simply isolated the genes and had not synthetically created something new, the patents were not valid. The company argued that allowing patents on human genes incentivizes research. But critics said it would hamper science by raising the cost of testing. What does the decision mean for medical and scientific research?
The California Report | Friday, Jun 14, 2013, 8:50 AM
California's multi-billion-dollar biotech industry is taking in Thursday's landmark Supreme Court ruling on human genes. In short, naturally occurring genes are not patentable. It's a major shift for biotech companies -- but it's one they're prepared for.
The California Report | Thursday, Jun 13, 2013, 8:50 AM
Under the Affordable Care Act, firms that employ 50 people or more must provide full-time workers with health insurance, or face a fine of $2,000 to $3,000 a head per year. So what's to stop employers from cutting worker hours to force them onto either Medi-Cal or the new state insurance exchanges? One bill moving through Sacramento attempts to close the loophole for California's largest employers.
Forum | Wednesday, Jun 12, 2013, 9:00 AM
Governor Jerry Brown and legislative leaders have reached an agreement on a $96 billion spending plan, five days ahead of the deadline to pass a state budget. Many Democrats had hoped this year's budget surplus would mean major restorations in services for the poor -- but they ultimately agreed to the governor's more conservative budget projections. The budget uses a controversial new formula to allocate education funding, steering more money to districts where over half of students are poor or learning English. The budget plan also partially restores mental health services and adult dental care for the poor.
THIS WEEK in Northern California | Friday, Jun 07, 2013, 7:30 PM
A leaked top secret court order reveals that the phone records of millions of U.S. citizens are being collected in bulk by the National Security Administration. The order, first reported by the Guardian, requires the telecommunications giant Verizon to turn over information about all telephone calls in its system during a three-month period. Top leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee are defending the practice, saying the widespread monitoring effort has been ongoing for several years.
Cyber-security will be high on the agenda this week when Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with U.S. President Barack Obama in California. At stake is whether American businesses, and especially Silicon Valley companies like Apple and Google, can protect themselves from hackers snooping for corporate secrets or intellectual property.
President Obama visits Silicon Valley this week during a fundraising swing through the state. Mr. Obama gives a speech in San Jose on Friday to shore up concerns about the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, as the health-care overhaul rolls out in California, ahead of the rest of the nation. KQED's Obamacare Explained: A Guide for Californians provides some answers for consumers.
Forum | Monday, May 27, 2013, 10:00 AM
How does saliva work? Why doesn't your stomach digest itself? And did constipation really kill Elvis? In her new book "Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal," Mary Roach chronicles the surprisingly exciting journey that food undertakes in the human body. Roach joins us to talk about everything you ever wanted to know -- or might be disgusted to know -- about the digestive process.
Forum | Friday, May 24, 2013, 9:00 AM
California's new health insurance exchange took a crucial step this week, setting the rates that consumers will pay when the federal health care law takes effect on January 1, 2014. Most say there isn't the rate shock that some had feared. But as we look ahead to further implementation of the Affordable Care Act, experts worry Californians will see spiking health costs, and that parts of the middle class will be left behind.
The California Report | Friday, May 24, 2013, 8:50 AM
Health and consumer advocates and insurers are praising Covered California for the health plans and rates it selected for the state-run insurance marketplace. Predictions of premium rate shock under federal health reform didn't come to pass -- but it's too early to break out the champagne.
The California Report | Thursday, May 23, 2013, 8:50 AM
Officials with Covered California are expected to release, for the first time, a list of the health plans and rates they plan to offer on the state-run insurance marketplace this fall. They'll probably be watching closely for the reaction of one group -- young adults. They make up the largest segment of the state's uninsured, and if they opt out of the insurance market, Obamacare could be in trouble.
The California Report | Tuesday, May 21, 2013, 8:50 AM
A growing body of evidence indicates where you live can make a big difference in how you're treated for certain ailments. The report released Tuesday from the California Healthcare Foundation looks at treatments for breast cancer, prostate cancer and certain back conditions.
Also on KQED.org this week ...
"The Bay Bridged" Music for June
Listen the The Bay Bridged mix of bands performing live in the Bay Area this month, including The Mantles, Cold Cave, The Spyrals, Blitzen Trapper, Monster Rally, and more. Enjoy the podcast and then go see some concerts!
Obamacare Explained: A Guide for Californians
Starting Jan 1, 2014, most Americans will be required to have health insurance or pay a fine. KQED has created a simple guide to explain how the health law affects you, your family or your small business, here in California.