Quick Hits: Pay cuts for electeds, Med-Cal challenges, spelling bees and more

150 150 Ed Coghlan

Californians are frustrated with how the state is governed. Approval ratings for elected officials are very low. So, we wouldn’t be surprised if many Californians are happy with a Citizens Group that cut the pay of state elected officials another 5 percent. As one member of the California Citizens Compensation Commission said, “Everybody has to sacrifice”. The total money saved in the state budget will be about $700,000. Some of the legislators quoted in the story aren’t too happy, but we wouldn’t bet they’ll do anything about it.

Medi-Cal, the state’s version of the federal Medicaid program for low-income people, is confronting challenges on two fronts.Even as it copes with financial pressures and state budget cuts, it is gearing up for the major expansion in 2014 if the national health reform law is upheld by the Supreme Court. As the San Jose Mercury News reports, Medi-Cal users are already having a difficult time finding specialists and primary care physicians, many of whom don’t take Medi-Cal patients because of what they believe is the low reimbursement rate that Medi-Cal pays doctors. 

Dr. Karen Haynes, President of Cal State University San Marcos, wrote a sobering review of the state of higher education in California which was published in the San Diego Union Tribune. It spoke about the number of college students in California who are leaving the state in order to get a college education and lamented that the state spends as much on prisons as it does on higher education. 

We know at least one California girl who probably won’t have any trouble getting into college. 14 year old Snigdha Nandipati of San Diego won the National Spelling Bee. Snigdha won by spelling the world “guetapens” correctly. If you don’t know what it means (much less know how to spell it), it is a word that describes an ambush or a trap. Happily Snigdha didn’t fall into any trap and spelled it correctly. Her ambition? She wants to be a doctor, either a psychiatrist or a neurosurgeon. Wouldn’t bet against her.  

If you don’t think your child wants to be a doctor, let us recommend they consider becoming an engineer, an information technology specialist or learn a skilled trade., Manpower, Inc. reports that despite an 8.2% national unemployment rate (10.9% in California), some 1300 employers surveyed say they have a hard time filling jobs in those areas. 


Ed Coghlan

All stories by: Ed Coghlan