The Weekly Newspaper of Manhattan Beach
Herald Publications - El Segundo, Manhattan Beach, Hawthorne, Lawndale, & Inglewood Community Newspapers Since 1911 - Circulation 30,000 - Readership 60,000 (310) 322-1830 Vol. 11, No. 11 November 2, 2017
Certified and Licensed
Pets............................. 11 - 12
Real Estate.................. 8 - 10
Skechers Pier to Pier Friendship Walk was held October 29th and had a huge turnout. Organizers said it was an amazing day filled with fun, family, friends, and entertainment! They surpassed their $1.8
million fundraising goal and are thrilled to give back to children with special needs and education! Photo Credit: Will Hartman
California’s Health Premiums Are
Holding Steady for the Time Being
How Much They Loaf
See Employees, page 3
Pier to Pier Friendship Walk
By Rob McCarthy
California’s healthcare exchange will raise
premiums for a second consecutive year, but
limit the 2018 increase to the silver mid-level
plans as a way to offset a possible loss of
federal assistance, it has announced.
President Trump’s threat to withhold the
federal government’s contribution toward
making health insurance affordable for individuals
and families will only affect the
silver-tiered plans for now, said Executive
Director Peter Lee for Covered California.
Silver plans will average a 12 percent price
hike next year, but could go as high as 27
percent for some policyholders who receive
financial assistance, his office said.
A surcharge on silver plans was necessary
because of the “ongoing uncertainty
at the federal level,” Lee’s office said last
month. The federal government partners with
states that created and run health insurance
marketplaces--like Covered California--to pay
some of the premiums so that individuals
and families can comply with the Affordable
Care Act. Under the law, every child
and adult must be covered by a private or
government-sponsored health plan.
The President on October 12 also signed
an executive order that allows low-cost,
low-benefit plans to be sold to individuals
in compliance with the Affordable Care Act.
It was widely reported that the President’s
directive would weaken the law and keep to
his promise to “let it die.” The consequences
of the presidential order on Californians and
their health insurers were unclear at press time.
California Insurance Commissioner Dave
Jones was critical of the executive order that
allows insurers to sell policies across state
lines. Jones called it “President Trump’s
latest attempt to sabotage the Affordable
Care Act” and to strip away protections for
Californians with pre-existing conditions who
were priced out of insurance before the 2013
By Rob McCarthy
Once as a supervisor, I reprimanded
a young customer-service rep in our office
who was checking her smartphone
every time I looked up from my desk.
She was the niece of a good friend, so
I persuaded HR to hire her.
My request seemed reasonable. However,
it went over as well as a burp in
church. Another manager in the office
later told me that I was wrong to single
out one employee for something everybody
in the office was doing. That our
staff goofed off was hardly a revelation.
I just didn’t know how much or exactly
White collar employees admitted to
a Bay Area staffing firm that they goof
off 10.5 hours a week. Millennial males
say they’re the most bored in offices and
cube farms. They estimate playing on
their phones, surfing the Web and--get
this--working on their unfinished novels
almost 14 hours per workweek.
The survey sample wasn’t huge, for
what it’s worth. The OfficeTeam, based
in Menlo Park, says that the researchers
took responses from 380 adult workers
and 300-plus senior managers at companies
with 20 or more staff.
This project calls to mind screenwriter
Mike Judge’s 1999 film Office Space,
about a group of restless tech workers.
The leader of the group, named Peter,
spends his day in a cubicle updating
banking software ahead of the Y2K
changeover and watching out for his
boss who’s going to ask him to work
Another writer who has explored the
topic of slacking on the job is Bloomberg
View columnist Noah Smith. He penned
an article in May about “Goofing Off
at Work Masking Rising Productivity,”
in which he opined that companies are
getting their money’s worth even if
today’s employees are shopping online
law took effect.
“This change in the long-standing statebased
regulatory approach is very harmful
to consumers. We will do everything within
our power to prevent it from going into effect,”
Jones said immediately after the White
House released the Presidential Executive
Order Promoting Health Care Choice and
The order can be viewed at www.whitehouse.
choice-and-competition, on the
White House’s website.
Under the Obamacare law in effect since
2013, participating health plans must offer
lower premiums or deductibles to lowincome
consumers. The federal government
reimburses the carriers for the lower-adjusted
cost to the consumer. Those reimbursements
from Washington, D.C., total $800 million
in cost savings to Californians, according to
estimates from Lee’s office.
“Covered California worked hard to come
up with a plan that ensures a stable market
and protects as many consumers as possible
from an unnecessary price hike,” Lee said
See Premiums, page 4