How Medicare Both Salved and Scarred American Health Care

The 52-Year-Old Federal Program's Successes Reflect a Complex Legacy

Before Congress passed Medicare and Medicaid in 1965 millions of elderly Americans lacked health insurance. They could not afford to go to the hospital, nor could they cover the cost of a physician. Medical breakthroughs ranging from antibiotics to new surgical procedures kept increasing the cost of health care, but the elderly were left out in the cold, and were unable to buy the insurance that was being given to workers in manufacturing jobs.

For them, just going to the hospital could result in bills that would take a …

The Next Big Shift in California’s Climate Change Movement

An Alliance Between Two State Legislators Represents a Sharper Focus on the Needs of Low-Income, Inland Communities

She calls him Eduardo. He calls her Mrs. Pavley.

And together they epitomize big changes within the world-renowned California movement to fight climate change.

She is Fran Pavley, 67, a state senator …

The Most Distinguished Representative

California's First Black Legislator Was Thomas Jefferson's Descendant

Of all the members of the California Legislature, Assemblyman Frederick Madison Roberts, who served from 1918 until 1934, could claim the finest pedigree.  He was a great grandson of Thomas …