Daily Business Report-Oct. 2, 2013
Online Enrollment for Obamacare in California
Flooded Despite Government Shutdown
Like a wave crashing on the shores of Ocean Beach, Covered California is officially open for business in San Diego despite the partial government shutdown. Dr. Robert Ross, with the California Endowment and a Covered California board member, said a new online marketplace to shop for health insurance is now open across California, where 1-in-4 people have no access to health insurance.
“If you have health insurance, you’re fine. If you have Medicare, you’re fine. Obamacare doesn’t affect you,” Ross said. “If you’re uninsured, come to our website (www.coveredca.com) check us out, comparison shop and buy an affordable product that works for your family.”
Ross says the goal is to register 2 million of the 5 million uninsured people in California before enrollment ends March 31, no matter what the politicians in Washington are trying to do to stop it.
“We’re going to behave as if Washington is doing their own thing,” Ross said. “We’re going to do our thing and make Obamacare work … for Californians and that’s the best thing we can be held accountable for.”
Online enrollment has already been flooded and there might be some delays, but Ross said to be patient.
“In addition, there are 180,000 San Diegans that maybe eligible for subsidies and this gives these San Diegans a chance to access affordable health care,” said Melissa Hayden-Cook, CEO of Sharp Health Plan, one of six plans offered under Covered California.
Enrollment at Covered CA.com is now open with coverage beginning on Jan. 1. The opening of health care exchanges throughout the country marks the biggest change in health care since Medicare was established nearly 50 years ago. — KPBS report
UPDATE: Heavier-than-expected traffic Tuesday, delivered delays to Covered California, the state’s new health insurance exchange, ultimately forcing the marketplace to stop taking enrollments at 9 p.m. Tuesday, just 13 hours after launch, U-T San Diego reports. Covered California released a brief statement just after 6 p.m. announcing that the newly launched enrollment portions of its website, coveredca.com, would shut down until “early Wednesday.” The break, the health insurance clearinghouse stated, “will help optimize performance for the millions of people expected to log in to use the enrollment function in the future.”
Mayoral Forum Oct. 8 on Law Enforcement Issues
Local law enforcement associations at U-T San Diego are sponsoring a mayoral forum on Oct. 8 for candidates Mike Aguirre, David Alvarez, Kevin Faulconer and Nathan Fletcher. It will be at 12:30 p.m. at the San Diego Police Officers Association headquarters, 8388 Vicker St., San Diego. The groups sponsoring the event are the San Diego Police Officers Association, Deputy Sheriffs Association of San Diego County, San Diego County Deputy District Attorneys Association and San Diego County Probation Officers Association.
Northrop Grumman Receives $114 Million Air Force Contract
The U.S. Air Force has awarded a $114 million contract to Northrop Grumman for its Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle. The work is to be done in San Diego. The contract covers long-lead items for three Block 30 air vehicles, three in-line airborne signals intelligence payloads, three in-line enhanced integrated sensor suite sensors and two airborne signals intelligence payload retrofit kits. Completion is expected by February 2015.
Neil Morgan Fund Established for Watchdog Journalism
Voice of San Diego has created the Neil Morgan Fund for Investigative Reporting in honor of legendary columnist Neil Morgan. The goal is to raise $100,000 to support watchdog journalism through 2014. “Morgan continues to inspire our organization on a daily basis,” VOSD said today in its Mornigh Report. “Not just in our reporting but also our vision for shepherding a new nonprofit news model that has sparked start-ups across the country. He and (venture capitalist Buzz) Woolley believed that a news organization funded by individual donors would produce the healthiest model for strong independent journalism.” For more information, visit voiceofsandiego.org.
BioNano Genomics Raises $10 Million for Human Genome Analysis
San Diego-based BioNano Genomics announced that it has raised $10 million to support the ongoing development and commercialization of the Irys System for human genome analysis. Current investors, Battelle Ventures, Domain Associates, Gund Investment Corporation, participated in the financing. “BioNano Genomics has made significant progress in commercializing the Irys System first in the U.S. and then in China and Europe, to expand the global access to the power of its long-read capabilities,” said Tracy Warren, general partner of Battelle Ventures. “We continue our support of BioNano so that scientists and clinicians will have better tools to investigate the clinical significance of genome variation.”
Renovation Realty Forms Franchise Operation
Renovation Realty announced the creation of a franchise operation that will initially be available in San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. Renovation Realty uses its own capital to renovate residential property before placing it on the market for sale as the listing brokerage, with no out-of-pocket costs to a homeowner. The funds are secured by a promissory note and deed of trust, and are repaid at the close of escrow. “Demand for our one-stop array of services has grown to where we needed to look at new options, which led to the next logical step to expand our reach through franchising,” said Cannon Christian, president of Renovation Realty. “Our goal is take our proven model and grow it to become the industry leader in residential real estate renovation and sales, providing a turnkey service to property owners, estate and probate attorneys, fiduciaries and trust departments.”