State Health Coverage Sign-ups Paint A Complex Obamacare Picture

Peter Lee, executive director of Covered California, unveils a marketing campaign for the exchange in Los Angeles late last year.

California: Early on, California health officials said they wanted to be ” the lead car ” on the health law, and so far they are pretty much on track. Stephanie O’Neill of Southern California Public Radio tells listeners , “Nearly 499,000 Californians had signed up for insurance through Covered California. That means 3 1/2 times as many people enrolled in December as did in all of October and November combined . … Additionally, 25 percent of all enrollees fell into the coveted 18-to-34 age group, a 4 percent uptick from the cumulative October and November numbers. Members of this group, known as the young invincibles, are important because they are typically healthier, which is considered key to helping keep down insurance costs. ” Delaware: On the other end of the spectrum, Elana Gordon of WHYY finds that in Delaware just 1 in 7 of the people who had signed up is under 30. “As of last week, 3,183 people in Delaware had signed up for coverage, up from 793 in mid-December,” Gordon says. “Those between the ages of 51 to 64 dominated, making up nearly half of all sign-ups.” The state estimates about 90,000 people are uninsured in Delaware. Alaska: In another sparsely populated state, Annie Feidt of Alaska Public Radio Network reports on December and January efforts . About 3,000 people selected marketplace plans before Dec. 28, and 83 percent qualified for a subsidy to help pay for premiums.

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Medical marijuana production in Canada set for dramatic change

CanniMed Ltd.

Each operation will purchase local power. They will pay local business taxes. They will each require dozens of employees, from white-collar executives to horticulturalists and botanists to security staff. Its no wonder that communities across Canada are preparing for a wave of legitimate marijuana investment, and are rewriting local zoning regulations to accommodate the big operators. Charlottetown, Hamilton, Edmonton, Surrey and dozens of places in between are all getting ready for a potential green rush. Privateer scoured the country for an appropriate grow-op location. The search led them all over Ontario, across the Prairies and into B.C. One town offered up tax breaks and other incentives. The Town of Kapuskasing, in Northern Ontario, sent Privateer a package describing potential grants and loans, and touting its relatively remote location, its potential access to source of CO2 to enhance cannabis production, and its planned research greenhouse that could complement a companys needs. The City of Nanaimo wasnt actively looking to land a business in the medical marijuana sector, says Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation CEO Sasha Angus, but Privateer liked what the city had to offer. The Americans seemed to know their stuff, and they impressed local authorities with their buttoned-down approach to business. These are not your Cheech and Chong type characters, says Mr. Angus.

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Correction: Health Overhaul-Spanish story

residents speak only Spanish. A corrected version of the story is below: Health care website frustrates Spanish speakers Critics say health care website is translated into ‘Spanglish,’ causing problems for Latinos By RUSSELL CONTRERAS and KELLI KENNEDY Associated Press ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) Mirroring problems with the federal health care website, people around the nation attempting to navigate the Spanish version have discovered their own set of difficulties. The site,, launched more than two months late. A Web page with Spanish instructions linked users to an English form. And the translations were so clunky and full of grammatical mistakes that critics say they must have been computer-generated the name of the site itself can literally be read “for the caution of health.” “When you get into the details of the plans, it’s not all written in Spanish. It’s written in Spanglish, so we end up having to translate it for them,” said Adrian Madriz, a health care navigator who helps with enrollment in Miami. The issues with the site underscore the halting efforts across the nation to get Spanish-speakers enrolled under the federal health care law. Critics say that as a result of various problems, including those related to the website, many people whom the law was designed to help have been left out of the first wave of coverage. Federal officials say they have been working to make the site better and plan further improvements soon. Also, administrators say they welcome feedback and try to fix typos or other errors quickly. “We launched consumer-friendly Spanish online enrollment tools on in December which represents one more way for Latinos to enroll in Marketplace plans,” said Health and Human Services Department spokesman Richard Olague in an email to The Associated Press. “Since the soft-launch, we continue to work closely with key stakeholders to get feedback in order to improve the experience for those consumers that use the website.” Still, efforts to enroll Spanish-speakers have fallen short in several states with large Hispanic populations, and critics say the translated version of could have helped boost those numbers. In California, officials have acknowledged the need for improvements, saying fewer than 5,500 people signed up for health care in Spanish in October and November, the most recent period for which records are available.

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