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Kaiser Cuts 1,850 Jobs in Calif. as Rolls Drop

— Kaiser Permanente says it is eliminating 1,850 jobs in California as the Oakland health care giant faces a drop in subscribers and shrinking reimbursements for Medicare.

Kaiser announced the cuts Tuesday, a week after reporting a 75 percent jump in second-quarter profits to $620 million. Income from day-to-day operations, however, fell 18 percent.

The company says it lost 36,000 subscribers in the first half of the year, leaving about 8.6 million.

Kaiser spokesman Marc Brown says the cuts will mainly hit housekeepers, secretaries, business office employees and pharmacy and information-management clerks - mostly in Northern California.

Economists say laid-off employees in other industries losing their employer-paid health insurance were a major cause of Kaiser's subscriber losses.

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