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California

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The proportion of money that California hospitals spent on free and discounted care for low-income people dropped by more than half from 2013 to 2017 — even for nonprofit hospitals. Hospitals say there’s less demand for charity care because more people now have health insurance, but consumer advocates counter that people still need help.

Studies long have linked urban firefighters’ on-the-job exposure to toxins with an increased risk of cancer. More recently, as urban-style development reaches into once remote stretches of California’s mountains and forests, wildfire crews are exposed to fuels and carcinogens more typical of urban fires. We talk with Tony Stefani of the San Francisco Firefighters Cancer Prevention Foundation about the health risks that poses for firefighters.