Image of no prop 8 on a door

Billion-dollar dialysis companies and a labor union are spending tens of millions of dollars to sway Proposition 8 votes their way on Election Day. Health experts say the proposition is unlikely to improve care for dialysis patients and may put care out of reach for patients in low-income areas.

But they also say risky practices in the industry put patients’ lives at risk.

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When the reforms called for by the Affordable Care Act go into effect January 2014, in addition to enrolling thousands of people who were previously uninsured, a number of Baby Boomers will also enroll in Medi-Cal and Medicare. For Alameda County health care experts, the challenge will be to explain the differences in the two similar-sounding programs and to help recipients understand the complex rules of each.

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Walgreens is one of many pharmacies offering flu shot vaccines this season. The chain charges $31.99 per shot.

The waiting room at Catch Up Clinic is sparse, save for a little girl in a pink sleeveless shirt darting out the door, a tan Band-Aid barely visible on her upper left arm. Located just around the corner from the Alameda County Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program at Eastmont Town Center, Catch Up is one of several County Public Health Department clinics preparing for the arrival of the autumn’s biggest contagion challenge—the flu.

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In old age homes and residential care facilities across the country, low-income seniors are already part of a government-run healthcare system–through MediCal, the state benefits program for the poor; and Medicare, the federal program for those over 65. But for some seniors those benefits don’t necessarily provide easy access to medical care either. A special Oakland North radio podcast.

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