On Quality of Life: Health Care Reform; Brain Injuries in Youth Sports

Mar 8, 2011

Part 1: Health Care Reform, 1 Year Later - Last March, President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law. This sweeping and controversial law aims to expand health coverage to millions of previously uninsured Americans, with the bulk of the new programs beginning in 2014. But many Valley residents, who currently lack coverage, or lost their insurance after losing a job in the recession, have yet to feel the impact of the legislation.

On this edition of Quality of Life, reporter Lauren Whaley looks at how several north valley residents are dealing with the health care crisis, in a special report from The Modesto Bee and the California HealthCare Foundation’s Center for Health Reporting at USC. Following the report, we talk about how the health care reform law is being implemented in California, and what reform measures are being implemented now, before 2014. Our guests include Dr. Shana Alex Lavarreda, Director of Health Insurance Studies at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research; and Dr. Steven Choolijian, M.D., an internist and a consultant to the Central Valley Health Policy Institute at Fresno State.

Part 2: Brain Injuries in Youth Sports - Each year American emergency rooms treat 135,000 sports and recreation related traumatic brain injuries, and some 65 percent occur of those occur in children between the ages of 5 and 18. Now California coaches, educators, and lawmakers are working to make the state's playing fields and gyms safer. From new "safer" bats and helmets, to rules requiring children who suffer head injuries to be removed from play, and to not return until cleared by a medical professional, awareness of the danger of concussions is on the rise. In this segment we learn more about the proposed bill AB 25 by talking with Ross Warren, Chief Consultant to the State Assembly’s Committee on Business, Professions and Consumer Protection; professor Scott Sailor, director of the Athletic Education Training Program at Fresno State; and Marie Ishida, Executive Director of the California Interscholastic Federation.