[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Santa Clarita CA
Today in
S.C.V. History
December 18
1929 - Swift justice: Thomas Vernon sentenced to life in prison for Saugus train derailment & robbery 1 month earlier [story]

Sylvia Mathews Burwell

Sylvia Mathews Burwell

In the first week of the third Open Enrollment, more than 540,000 people selected a health insurance plan through the HealthCare.gov platform, and more than 1.15 million consumers were included on applications submitted to the Marketplace. Even more signed up through their state-based Marketplaces.

It’s a solid start and I’m pleased with the consumer engagement we’ve seen over this last week. Our partners were ready to work, and people were ready to sign up.  We know we have 11 more weeks to go and a lot of hard work still to do.

We saw about 358,000 existing Marketplace customers come back in, shop, and actively select a plan that best meets their needs. We are especially glad to see that our existing customers heard our message about shopping and are eager to renew their Marketplace coverage. We expect renewals to make up a larger share of our customers this year, since we have more than 9 million people with coverage through the Marketplace nationwide.

It’s important to recognize that it is difficult to directly compare this year to last year on a week-by-week basis for a number of reasons. For example, because Open Enrollment started on November 1 this year, compared to November 15 last year, the time from the start of Open Enrollment to the December 15 deadline to sign up for January 1 coverage is much longer this year. We know from past experience that people are deadline driven, so we don’t expect to see deadline effects for a few weeks.

Last week, the President announced a “Healthy Communities Challenge.”  We are targeting 20 communities with large numbers or high percentages of uninsured, geographic diversity, and community leadership.  And there is a big incentive: the victorious community gets bragging rights, a healthier community, and a visit from President Obama to celebrate their success in helping ensure every American has health coverage.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve had the chance to speak with thousands of assisters, local community leaders, and others who are on the front lines, helping their neighbors sign up. I also visited four cities where we know many of the uninsured live.

I was impressed by the level of commitment I saw on the ground. From small community health centers, to local governments, to issuers and big corporations, we’re seeing people invest in this Open Enrollment. In fact, one major insurer is holding more than 3,000 events in its state; a national pharmacy has pledged to work in more than 12,000 of its stores; and one health system in Houston has already sent out thousands of letters — all to encourage enrollment. This kind of commitment shows that this market is stable and strong, and that businesses want to invest and be a part of it.

I was also reminded once again of why we do this important work. In Jersey City, I met Jesicca Fernandez, who endured years of stomach troubles while she was uninsured. Once she found coverage on the Marketplace, she was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, and she’s now getting the treatment she needs to live a healthier life.

Millions of people like Jesicca have found quality, affordable coverage on HealthCare.gov. All told, the uninsured rate has dropped by 45 percent since 2010.

Now even more Americans have a chance to get covered. Most will be able to get financial assistance—more than 7 in 10 returning Marketplace customers will be able to buy a plan for $75 or less a month in premiums after tax credits. And with new improvements to the site, signing up on HealthCare.gov is easier than ever. Most people will find it to be a simple and smooth experience, like this recent letter-writer to President Obama.

Whether shopping for health insurance for the very first time or re-enrolling in their Marketplace coverage, people are ready to get covered. Consumers are coming to HealthCare.gov, having a smooth experience and finding plans they can afford. That’s the Marketplace at work.


Sylvia Mathews Burwell is secretary of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.


Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.


  1. jimvs says:

    Wow, Sylvia. I can see from your personal message that you are familiar with health care issues in the Santa Clarita Valley.

    But perhaps you don’t know much about the issues facing those families who don’t qualify for the larger government subsidies available under the new national healthcare rules.

    Nothing in the general run-up to this legislation indicated that middle class Americans would be paying the full freight for those lower income Americans that the Affordable Care Act includes. I would be glad to send in a few bucks to help out; but what you are talking about is reducing my healthcare and making me pay more to ensure the healthcare of others.

    How much is Warren Buffet paying for the healthcare of the employees of the companies he “owns” or has a major interest in?

    And I use him as an example of the few 1%ers who might actually pay.

    I’ll stop now before I launch into the Spew-niverse of Socialism vs Carinvore-ism that is our current “discussion” of American Health Care.

    If you were a victim of Hep-C, how much would you be willing to pay out of your pocket for Harvoni or Sovaldi? Given the currently known course of treatment, do you have $60k to $100k in pocket money to pay for the best treatment known to mankind?

    Of course you do.

    The rest of us do not.

    • SCVNews.com says:

      Sylvia Mathews Burwell is President Obama’s Secretary of Health & Human Services. She is not reading your comments.

  2. Doug Dante says:

    From the article “helping ensure every American has health coverage”

    That piece of paper doesn’t prevent a child from being abused in programs funded by HHS.

    Secretary Burwell should also keep Congress informed of the appearance of corruption and negligence in HHS’s administration of grants under Title IV-E (child protective services) and Title IV-D (child support). For example, in Massachusetts:

    ““Policies and procedures fall by the wayside and kids are not being taken care of,” Mr. Arnett said in a phone … Then, with a kid like Jeremiah Oliver, they missed eight visits and didn’t review the case and the kid ends up dead, and the Hardwick boy is in a coma. That is inexcusable.”

    “Yet, DCF’s failure to follow that law since, has in some cases, led to child deaths or severe injuries more than 10 years after the Poutre case that initially inspired the change.”

    From “Adoptive parents of abused child rap DCF” By Paula J. Owen Telegram & Gazette Staff Posted Sep. 12, 2015 at 9:01 PM

    For more information find “Action Opportunity: Investigate Violations of the Civil Rights of Foster Children: Illegal Acts and Gross Negligence at Massachusetts” at reddit dot com slash r slash childrensactivism.

    From another news report:

    “A former employee for the [Texas] Office of Inspector General filed a whistleblower lawsuit Tuesday, saying he was wrongly fired after raising complaints about the way the office investigated Child Protective Services’ role in child abuse deaths. .. Plaintiff was exposing a known political ‘hot potato’ that endangered the lives of countless Texas children and threatened the careers of numerous political appointees,” the filing states.”

    Said one witness: “I know in one county of a director of social services unofficially mandating local mental health agencies to not call the state central register to make reports and required them to call the local staff first and the Local agency would decide on the case. This circumnavigated the safeguards in place by having state central registries. Said director would pull funding and program contracts from local nonprofit agencies if they did not comply with her demands. She was pure evil.”

    Said one former foster child “She made a trade off that if he would baby sit for us then she would ask no questions about what happened. The first time he baby sat me, he raped me four times during the night. I ran away the next day.” Her cries for help were ignored.

    From: “Action Opportunity: Call for an investigation: Fraud, waste, and abuse in child protective services are endangering foster child victims” in reddit’s troubled teens and men’s rights forums.

    Please read the action opportunity and consider joining me in calling for justice for these victims and others.

Leave a Comment

Opinion Section Policy
All opinions and ideas are welcome. Factually inaccurate, libelous, defamatory, profane or hateful statements are not. Your words must be your own. All commentary is subject to editing for legibility. There is no length limit, but the shorter, the better the odds of people reading it. "Local" SCV-related topics are preferred. Send commentary to: LETTERS (at) SCVNEWS.COM. Author's full name, community name, phone number and e-mail address are required. Phone numbers and e-mail addresses are not published except at author's request. Acknowledgment of submission does not guarantee publication.
Read More From...
Sunday, Dec 10, 2017
Derelict since the 1994 earthquake, the Pioneer Oil Refinery in Newhall was the first productive oil refinery in the American West and is believed to be the oldest existing refinery in the world today. Unfunded restoration plans have come and gone. Now that the surrounding property is under development, will the promises be kept?
Friday, Dec 8, 2017
A National Memorial designation for St. Francis Dam will honor those who lost their lives in the nation’s worst engineering disaster and the role it played in ushering in a new era of oversight for dam construction.
Thursday, Dec 7, 2017
Eliminating net neutrality would allow Internet service providers such as Verizon, Comcast, Spectrum and AT&T to create a “slow lane” and a “fast lane” on the Internet, prioritizing certain companies over others and dictating what websites you’re able to visit and at what speed, or even blocking you entirely from visiting certain websites of your choice.
Monday, Dec 4, 2017
In his monthly message for December 2017, Santa Clarita City Manager Ken Striplin encourages residents to shop and party locally during the holidays to keep the cash in our community.
Friday, Dec 1, 2017
The big day is almost upon us and a year of celebrations is wrapping up. On December 15, 2017 our city will officially be 30 years old.
Thursday, Nov 30, 2017
Create and decorate your own holiday wreaths, centerpieces, candles and ornaments using a large assortment of fresh-cut greenery, pine cones and other beautiful natural treasures this weekend at the Placerita Canyon Nature Center.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1929 - Swift justice: Thomas Vernon sentenced to life in prison for Saugus train derailment & robbery 1 month earlier [story]
A transformative epoch in Santa Clarita Valley history drew to an uncharacteristically quiet close Saturday with the death of Bobbie Trueblood Davis at age 93.
Pre-City Leader Bobbie Trueblood Davis Dies at 93
"The final tax reform bill released punishes homeowners and weakens homeownership, and in fact, it looks at homeowners and the housing market as nothing more than a piggy bank," said C.A.R. President Steve White.
Realtors: Final GOP Tax Bill Punishes Homeowners
1925 - Jenks Harris robs Piru bank of $11,000 [story]
1902 - Hi Jolly (Hadji Ali), Gen. E.F. Beale's Syrian camel driver, dies at Quartzsite, Ariz. [story]
The National Weather Service has called a Fire Weather Watch for this weekend for Los Angeles and Ventura County mountains and valleys including the Santa Clarita Valley due to gusty northeast wind and low relative humidity.
Weekend Fire Weather Watch Called for SCV
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station deputies arrested a 21-year-old man who had an outstanding warrant and was allegedly in possession of cocaine in Canyon Country early Thursday.
Bicyclist Arrested for Warrant, Cocaine in Canyon Country
Valencia-based Princess Cruises, voted the #1 international cruise line in Japan, announced its 2019 program featuring Japanese-built Diamond Princess returning for her sixth season, sailing roundtrip from Tokyo (Yokohama) and Kobe.
Princess Cruises Unveils 2019 Japan Cruise Program
Valencia-based Princess Cruises released its 2019 Canada and New England cruise schedule, featuring Regal Princess and Caribbean Princess on the line’s largest fall deployment and the opportunity to visit Greenland roundtrip from New York
Princess Cruises Sets Fall 2019 Cruises to Canada, New England
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department looks back at five years of work by its Domestic Highway Enforcement Team, which has disrupted the operations of the drug cartels by confiscating millions of dollars in illegal drugs and drug money.
Elite LASD Drug Enforcement Team Disrupts Cartel Operations
College of the Canyons quarterback Andrew Brito, wide receiver Desean Holmes and linebacker KJ Latu have been named to the 2017 Region III All-California Community College Football Team.
Brito, Holmes, Latu Represent Cougars on All-State Team
Tickets and sponsorships are now available for the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce's 2018 awards ceremony and installation of new officers at Tournament Players Club in Valencia on Friday night, January 26.
Jan. 26: SCV Chamber of Commerce 2018 Awards, Installation Gala
Sponsorships are now open for the Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corporation's 2018 Economic Outlook Conference, set for Thursday, March 8, 2018 at a location to be announced shortly.
SCV 2018 Economic Outlook Conference Tickets, Sponsorships Open
SetPoint Medical, a Valencia-based biomedical company developing therapy for chronic inflammatory diseases, has received approval from the FDA to initiate a pilot trial in the U.S. for patients with drug-refractory rheumatoid arthritis.
FDA OK’s SetPoint Bioelectronic Therapy Study for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., representing the United States - and states and regions leading on climate across the globe - joined world leaders at the One Planet Summit Tuesday, the two-year anniversary of the Paris Agreement.
Brown in Paris: ‘We Can’t Wait for White House to Wake Up’
The regular Planning Commission meeting scheduled for Tuesday, December 19 has been canceled, according to a notification from the city of Santa Clarita today.
City Cancels Dec. 19 Planning Commission Meeting
The next meeting of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is set for Tuesday, December 19, starting at 9:30 a.m.
Dec. 19: L.A. County Board of Supervisors Meeting
L.A. County's Bringing Our Loved Ones Home Task Force officials unveiled their final recommendations, endorsing a plan to use a voluntary system of trackable bracelets to find people prone to wandering, like those suffering from Alzheimer’s or autism.
County Task Force Calls for Tracking Bracelets to Locate Lost Individuals
The Community Development Commission of the county of Los Angeles looks back on 35 years of advancing its core program areas: affordable housing and housing, community and economic development.
County Community Development Commission Marks 35th Anniversary
Metro is seeking two new members to join the Measure M Independent Taxpayer Oversight Committee.
Metro Seeks 2 New Measure M Oversight Committee Members
The California Air Resources Board approved a $663 million low-carbon transportation plan Thursday to increase the use of clean cars, heavy-duty trucks, buses and freight equipment.
Air Resources Board OK’s $663 Million for Clean Vehicles
The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station has released its public safety and crime information report for Saugus (Zone 4) for December 4-10, 2017.
Crime Blotter: Shoplifting, Petty Theft in Saugus
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has filed his strong opposition to the Trump Administration’s illegal attempt to suspend the 2015 Clean Water Rule for two years.
California AG, 10 Others Oppose Feds’ Suspension of Clean Water Rule
Conservation groups on Friday lobbied a federal judge for permission to join a fight between the federal government and a ranching association over a trio of California amphibian species.
Conservationists Lobby to Join Fray Over Frog Habitat
1987 - Incorporation: Santa Clarita officially becomes a city [story]
With an offense that challenged the program’s single-season goals record, The Master’s University women’s soccer team was almost almost never out of any game it played: The Mustangs were always within striking range.
Lady Mustangs Within Range of Directors’ Cup Top Spots
When Ed Jackiewicz met Tera Trujillo in spring 2015, she was studying at a desk she’d carried to the corner of the California State University, Northridge soccer field, in a “time out” of sorts, unable to practice because she’d just earned a D in an economics class.
CSUN’s “Under Armour Faculty” Promotes Academic Success in Student-Athletes
When Rafael Munoz recalls his time at the Layer 8 Computer Security Club at California State University, Northridge, he feels proud and thankful.
CSUN’s Tech Education Makes Top 10 List
The city of Santa Clarita Arts and Events division is currently seeking proposals for solo exhibits for 2018 in the gallery space at The MAIN, the City’s newest arts venue in Old Town Newhall.
City Seeking Artists for 2018 Solo Exhibits
NORTHRIDGE, Calif.---CSUN Men's Basketball returns to the road for the final time in the non-conference season this weekend.
CSUN to Face-Off Against Formal Rival Eastern Washington
Here is a list of Santa Clarita arts-related events for Friday:
Dec. 15: Santa Clarita Arts Calendar
This Friday and Saturday (Dec. 15-16), The Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance brings their annual Winter Dance Concert to the REDCAT stage.
Dec. 15, 16: Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance Concert at REDCAT
The William S. Hart Union High School District Governing Board has approved naming Dr. Collyn Nielsen as Chief Administrative Officer and Jan Hayes-Rennels as Director of Special Programs and Staff Development.
Hart Appoints Nielsen, Hayes-Rennels to District Office Positions
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - The CSUN men's volleyball team was picked to finish third in the inaugural Big West Men's Volleyball Preseason Coaches Poll announced Thursday.
Big West Pre-Season Coaches Poll Puts Matadors Volleyball at No. 3
A 44-year-old transient was arrested by SCV Sheriff's Station deputies Wednesday afternoon after he allegedly tried to pick up his 8-year-old niece from a school in Santa Clarita.
Suspect Arrested in Attempted Kidnapping
It was a night to honor exceptional mentors at California State University, Northridge, but the five recipients of the 2017 Don Dorsey Excellence in Mentoring Awards just wanted to talk about their students.
CSUN Pays Tribute to Mentors Who Have Made a Difference