KPIX CBS5 aired this story last night about the health of ousted Benicia Herald editor Les Mahler. He was told by a Kaiser doctor that the tumor behind his eye was benign. But a second doctor at UCSF said he had an adenoid cystic carcinoma and that he had six years to live. When he began treatment at Kaiser, before he could get an MRI he was told he had to pay a $975 co-pay, more than he could afford while on disability and without a job. So he didn’t get the MRI. After Channel 5 got involved, Kaiser immediately scheduled the MRI and agreed to bill him later for the treatment. Mahler was fired by the Benicia Herald in November after a City Council candidate, who had spent thousands of dollars on ads, complained about Mahler’s opinion column. The firing triggered protests by residents outside the newspaper’s offices.
Journalist loses job, then has to fight Kaiser
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