California Healthline Daily Edition

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Viewpoints: Single-Payer System Just A Dream; Legal Marijuana Challenges

A selection of opinions on health care developments from around the state.

Los Angeles Times: A State Single-Payer Healthcare System? Nice Idea, But It's Just California Dreaming 
Voters want politicians to be bold. They disrespect timidity. And trying to push every Californian into a government-run healthcare system is certifiably bold. The voters’ desire for boldness has a caveat, of course: They’ve got to like what the politician is being bold about. We really don’t know how Californians feel about government-run universal healthcare. People haven’t been asked for a while. ... Now, with congressional Republicans and President Trump trying to repeal and replace Obamacare, some Sacramento Democrats think they see an opening to finally adopt a California version of single-payer. (George Skelton, 3/9)

Glendale News-Press: How Can We Save Our Healthcare System? 
The health insurance industry used to work well before the age of bonuses and billionaires. Now that everyone wants to have a private jet and a home in the Hamptons, many top CEOs are finding the fastest path to being featured in Forbes magazine is by transferring wealth from the middle class. All the current trends point to health insurance premiums going up while doctors are getting paid less. No matter how you slice it, the common denominator stems from a culture of greed. (Manuel Momjian, 3/9)

Sacramento Bee: Bumps On The Road To Legal Weed 
On election night last November, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, riding high on the news that California voters had approved Proposition 64 to legalize recreational pot, bragged to a reporter: “I think it’s the beginning of the end of the war on marijuana United States.” That was a bit optimistic, even for Newsom. A few sobering months into 2017, what’s becoming increasingly clear is that the state, its cities and counties, and, most troubling, the federal government are far from being on the same page about the creation of an industry for legal marijuana. Instead, what we’ve seen is a gathering storm of uncertainty that, for the sake of public health and public safety, should be resolved – sooner rather than later. (3/9)

San Francisco Chronicle: Help Mentally Ill With Police Training And Treatment, Not Jail 
Violent encounters between police and individuals with mental illness — Sean Moore in San Francisco and Joseph Mann in Sacramento — have highlighted the use of lethal force. In both incidents, police were summoned to address dangerous or disorderly behavior of men who suffered from mental illness; both incidents ended with officers shooting the suspects, one fatally. Public attention has focused narrowly on perceived police mismanagement of these tragic situations. Unfortunately, it may be difficult to defuse a dangerous situation especially when the officers feel that their lives are at risk or a civilian may be injured. (Matthew E. Hirschtritt and Renee L. Binder, 3/9)

This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.