As part of its Bearing Witness 2.0 project, the Huffington Post is rounding up a few of the best local stories of the day.
Rather than continue to pay for Ian Pearl's million dollar medical treatments, one insurance company has decided to end certain lines of coverage altogether, reports William Ehart of the Washington Times. Pearl, 37, suffers from Type II spinal muscular dystrophy, and has been using a wheel chair and connected to a breathing tube for most of his life. Patients with his type of muscular dystrophy rarely live past infancy, but Peal credits his vitality to the care he has received all his life.
On December 1 his insurer, Guardian, is discontinuing a portion of its coverage, which will effectively kill him. Without his extensive coverage Pearl will be admitted to a state hospital under Medicaid, with less treatment. Pearl's mother said that in a state hospital her son would be lucky to live more than a few weeks. Pearl's plan, as of now, covers 24-hour home nursing, which Medicaid, and the vast majority of plans, do not.
"This is attempted murder" said his father, Warren, "the insurance companies are cheating in order to have obscene profits." Last year Guardian reported $437 million profits, up 50 percent from 2007.
The Los Angeles schools superintendent is standing by a decision that allows recently laid-off teachers to have priority for substituting jobs over veteran subs with more seniority, reports the Los Angeles Times, which puts substitutes' health benefits at risk.
In July, in the midst of a budget crisis, the Los Angeles Unified School District laid off 2,000 teachers and registered almost all of them to be substitutes, bumping ahead of veteran subs, a move roundly rejected by the local teachers union.
Leslie Park has lived in her South Minneapolis home for 21 years. But in May, after her mother fell victim to a shady mortgage deal with an adjustable rate, her home was sold by the local sheriff and she's now in what is called the redemption period -- a period of six to 12 months after the sale where the previous owner can continue to stay, with the potential to buy back the title, plus interest. The redemption period ends November 30, and Park is not optimistic that she'll be able to buy the home back.
Instead, reports Charles Hallman of the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder, she has joined with four other women, dubbing themselves the Foreclosure Five, and, as part of the Minnesota Coalition for a People's Bailout, are urging the state legislature to place a moratorium on foreclosures and make owners of foreclosed houses let the occupants stay and make their monthly payments. She, like many others, has pledged to fight: "They are not going to get me out of that house."
A pilot program of the New York State Department of Labor is going to help job-seekers find employment using a mathematical algorithm that searches for phrases and paragraphs in an applicant's resume, instead of just keywords, reports Ilya Marritz for WNYC. The formula was designed for people like Danielle Lazzaro, who lost her job four months ago and has had no luck posting her resume on internet job help sites like Careerbuilder or Monster.com. "I've been on the internet six to eight hours a day looking for a job," she said, "I've pretty much made it my full time job looking for a job." New Yorkers hope the new software, already used by corporations like Coca Cola and Accenture, as well as the state of Minnesota, will help cut down the growing unemployment numbers and help people find jobs.
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