Patt Morrison for February 8, 2010

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Anthem Blue Cross, the state's largest for-profit health insurer, has announced that beginning March 1 they are raising their rates on approximately 800,000 individual subscribers. Some have seen their rates rise by as much as 39% since the company raised rates last year. Are the back-to-back hikes due to "rising health costs" as Blue Cross claims or are these rate hikes in anticipation of a health care reform bill? Insurance commissioner Steve Poizner's office claims they will investigate but will it be in time to save more and more Californians from falling into the ranks of the uninsured?
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Out of the ten movies up for the best picture Oscar, there is one that seems to have left the most meaningful impact on audiences—"Precious," the film adaptation of the novel Push by Sapphire, deals head-on with the immensely uncomfortable subjects of incest, abuse and poverty. Director Lee Daniels has earned a Best Director nomination for his work on "Precious" but this isn’t his first dance with the Oscars—he was the first African-American sole producer of an Academy Award-winning film for producing "Monster’s Ball," yet another envelope-pushing movie. Lee Daniels joins Patt for our first in a series of conversations with Oscar nominees.
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Public employee pensions have been having problems across the country, on state and municipal levels, but here in California there is a troubling blend of circumstances that make our pension situation especially desperate. The California State Teachers’ Retirement System, the nation’s second largest public pension fund, is reporting a $43 billion shortfall and without drastic action the fund could be completely broke within 35 years. The potential fixes, increased contributions into the fund from teachers and by the state government, look both politically and economically untenable given the continued flagging economy and the hostility toward public workers. Can CalSTRS stay solvent, and what happens to teachers’ retirements if it can’t?
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For a parent, watching your child suffer is an excruciating experience. For some parents this struggle is a horrifying daily reality. With treatments that very from intensive prescription drugs to holistic solutions - how is a parent to know what is right for their child? Patt talks with a leading expert in the field of pediatric pain management about the differences in acute and chronic pain, why some children heal and others continue to suffer and takes your questions.
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