ACA Changes Provide Big Opportunities for Small Businesses

Samantha Beasley, Senior Manager of Health Care Policy, L.A. Area Chamber on June 3, 2015 at 3:00:00 pm in Health Care Waiting Room 
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Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare), all health plans must now have 10 essential benefits, including hospitalization, prescription drugs, maternity care and mental health treatments. Any health plans that do not meet all 10 requirements were to be canceled at the end of 2014, but Gov. Brown signed SB 1446 last July, giving California’s businesses with fewer than 50 employees an extra year to obtain ACA-compliant health coverage. If the eligible businesses' sponsored health plans still do not meet the law's requirements at the end of this year, such plans will be canceled. cancelled

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MWD Invests $450 million on Water Conservation

Gary Toebben on June 2, 2015 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Is there a long-term benefit to Los Angeles County and all of Southern California that can come from this brutal, historic drought? Yes, if the call by Gov. Jerry Brown to lower water use turns out to have a permanent, lasting effect. Lowering demand will allow the system to store more water in wet years so that sufficient water is held in reserve to meet the demands of future droughts. 

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Thank You West Coast Senators for Supporting Trade Promotion Authority

Gary Toebben on May 26, 2015 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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The California economy received a potential shot in the arm on Friday, when the U.S. Senate voted to give President Obama greater authority in negotiating trade agreements with other nations. On a 62-37 vote, the Senate sent the trade promotion authority bill to the U.S. House of Representatives, where it is expected to be hard-fought as well.

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Small Businesses Object to Minimum Wage Increase Proposal

Gary Toebben on May 19, 2015 at 7:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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There have been times when the voice of business was a distinct minority on issues before the Los Angeles City Council. That was not the case during the five hearings on increasing the minimum wage that City Council held throughout L.A. this spring. Small businesses that urged the City Council to go slower with the minimum wage increase, carve out small business and non-profits and include tips in calculating the total compensation that their employees earn represented about half of the speakers at the hearings.

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L.A. Area Chamber Health Care Team Gears Up for ACCESS Sacramento, May 19-20

Samantha Beasley, Senior Public Policy Manager, L.A. Area Chamber on May 6, 2015 at 5:00:00 pm in Health Care Waiting Room 
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Since last December, the L.A. Area Chamber’s Health Care Council has been closely monitoring the health care legislation under discussion in Sacramento. From insuring the undocumented, increasing Medi-Cal rates, updating charity care requirements, transparency in the creation of specialty drugs and allowances for nurse practitioners, we’ve seen quite an active start to the 2015 legislative session.

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Business Has A Story To Tell In Sacramento

Gary Toebben on May 5, 2015 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Two weeks from today, 100 local leaders will travel to our State Capitol for the Chamber’s annual ACCESS Sacramento trip. The purpose of this day and one-half mission will be to advocate for legislation and policies that will invigorate the Southern California economy, create new jobs and deliver essential services for the people of California.

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Workforce Education Is Key to Economic Prosperity

Gary Toebben on April 28, 2015 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Last Friday in Washington, D.C., the L.A. Area Chamber and UNITE-LA were invited to a White House Summit on Upskilling America. Nearly 400 leaders from business, labor, education, foundations and nonprofits from across the country gathered with Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez and Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker to share initiatives and big ideas on building a competitive business climate and a stronger middle class by investing in educational programs to better equip America’s workforce. 

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Legislature's Turn to Consider Open Data

George Lauer, California Healthline on April 24, 2015 at 12:00:00 pm in Health Care Waiting Room 
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Last month, the California Health and Human Services Agency (CHHS) embraced the open data movement in health care with a decision to make more data available to the public online. Now it's the Legislature's turn.

California lawmakers are considering four bills designed to make more state data accessible online. The bills are not aimed directly at health care or medical applications but could have a significant effect on how health data is disseminated and shared in California.

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Tell Congress to Grow California Jobs Through Trade

Gary Toebben on April 21, 2015 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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During the Chamber's ACCESS Washington, D.C. trip to our nation’s capital in March, increasing American exports through international trade was a high priority for the 190 representatives of business, government and the non-profit sector. Increasing exports gained momentum last Thursday when a compromise proposal to give President Obama Trade Promotion Authority was announced by key leaders in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.

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Save Water for Our Future Make a Plan Today

Gary Toebben on April 14, 2015 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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The current drought requires all of us to be on the same team when it comes to conserving water. Whether your goal is reducing the water you use by 20 percent, 25 percent or more, every business and every household in Los Angeles County must carry its share of the load. 

Lawmakers, major water users and environmentalists have already started to blame someone else for our current water shortage. For a moment, let’s stop blaming someone else and look to our own ingenuity. We are in the fourth year of a drought, the snowpack in the Sierras is five percent of normal and we are running out of water. It is time for all of us to take action. 

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