Latest From California Healthline:
For nearly 50 years, cigarette advertising has been banned from TV and radio. But the marketing of electronic cigarettes isn’t constrained by that law. (Michelle Andrews, 8/19)
Good morning! Here are your top California health stories of the day.
In Suit Against New Immigration Rule, California Claims Trump's 'Public Charge' Change 'Weaponizes Health Care': California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Friday sued to block the Trump administration’s “public charge” rule, which would deny immigrants green cards if they are likely to rely on public benefits. If it survives legal challenges and takes effect Oct. 15, 2019 as planned, the change could put a legal path to citizenship out of reach for many immigrants in California. It’s also expected to discourage people in immigrant families from accessing government food assistance and medical programs. “This is a reckless policy that targets the health and well-being of immigrant families and communities of color,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said at a press conference earlier this week.
Given that nearly one in five people who received a green card between 2015 and 2017 lived in California, according to federal data, the rule will likely have an outsized impact on California green card applicants. According to the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, as many as 765,000 people across the state may lose access to Medi-Cal and food stamps due to fear alone. Nearly seven in ten Californians predicted to lose benefits would be children, according to the study. Doctors warn that the change will lead to rising costs and poorer health outcomes for an already vulnerable population. “People are going to be sicker. They’re not going to go get health care, or not until they have to go to an emergency room,” said Lisa David, president and CEO of Public Health Solutions. “It’s going to cost the system a lot of money.”
Read more from Sophia Bollag of the Sacramento Bee; Ben Christopher and Jackie Botts of CalMatters; Patrick McGreevy of the Los Angeles Times; Michael Cabanatuan of the San Francisco Chronicle; and Sophia Tareen of The Associated Press.
California Is Facing A Primary Care Physician Shortage And It’s Only Going To Get Worse: Not enough newly minted doctors are going into primary care, and a third of the doctors in the state are over 55 and looking to retire soon, according to a study by the Healthforce Center at UC-San Francisco. That means by 2030, the state is going to be in dire need of physicians. Studies show the state could be down by as many as 10,000 primary care clinicians, including nurse practitioners and physician assistants. Some areas — the Central Valley, Central Coast and Southern Border region — will be hit especially hard. So too will be remote rural and inner-city residents, communities of color, the elderly, those with mental illness or addiction, and those without health coverage. New doctors “take these specialty areas that pay higher, and that leaves us with a shortage of primary care physicians including pediatricians, internists, family practice physicians and OB/GYNs,” said John Baackes, CEO of LA Care Health Plan, which has the largest number of Medi-Cal members in the state. He said in rural areas, veteran doctors who are solo practitioners are having a hard time bringing in new doctors to take over. Read more from Elizabeth Aguilera of CalMatters.
Below, check out the full round-up of California Healthline original stories, state coverage and the best of the rest of the national news for the day.
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More News From Across The State
Los Angeles Times:
Power Shutoffs Can Prevent Wildfires, But Put Vulnerable People At Risk
The power outage Santillano endured wasn’t related to preventing wildfires — she said it was caused by Southern California Edison maintenance. But outages like hers could become more commonplace and prolonged as California utility companies expand their use of intentional electricity shutoffs to prevent power lines from sparking wildfires. Local leaders and public health workers fear that hundreds of thousands of vulnerable Californians, such as Santillano, could find themselves in increasingly dire situations. They also acknowledge there are wrenching trade-offs. (Luna, 8/18)
Amid Homelessness Crisis, Los Angeles Restricts Living In Vehicles
Along a big, commercial street in L.A.'s North Hollywood area, near a row of empty storefronts, about a half dozen motor homes sat parked on a recent morning. Inside one of them, 67-year-old Edith Grays and her husband watched TV with the door open. Grays said they'd been there a few days, despite a two-hour parking limit. "Thank God they're not bothering us right now," she said. (Scott, 8/19)
Capital Public Radio/KXJZ:
Sacramento Sues Homeless People For ‘Public Nuisance,’ Civil Rights Advocates Call Lawsuit A ‘Dangerous’ New Tactic
In a move blasted by civil rights and homeless advocacy groups, the city of Sacramento has filed a lawsuit against seven homeless people accused of property and drug crimes. The city says the group is causing a public nuisance along the Broadway business district, and is asking a court to ban them from a large swath of the city. (Nichols, 8/16)
San Jose Builds Its First-Ever Tiny Homes For The Homeless
On Saturday, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo was just another volunteer building the city's first-ever tiny homes for the homeless. Inside a small but lofty white structure, complete with a window, a proper wooden door and a slanted roof, Liccardo is attempting to put up the finishing touches — a shelf. (Hossaini, 8/18)
San Jose Mercury News:
Santa Clara Supervisors To Consider 5/8-Cent Sales Tax Increase In September
To sustain and continue the expansion of Santa Clara County government, Supervisor Cindy Chavez is trying to persuade her board colleagues to put a 5/8-cent sales tax increase on the November 2020 ballot. The extra money will be needed to increase health care and social services while also giving the county a cushion in case of major federal and state funding cuts, she says. (Vo, 8/17)
San Diego Union Tribune:
Palomar Health Breaks Ground On Rehabilitation Hospital
Palomar Health and Kindred Healthcare leaders broke ground Friday on a 52-bed acute rehabilitation hospital, the Palomar Health Rehabilitation Institute, on the campus of Palomar Medical Center Escondido. The joint-venture recognizes a commitment Palomar Health has made to provide health care services in North San Diego County. Once completed near the end of 2020, the 58,000 square-foot, two-story building will serve an estimated 1,200 plus patients per year experiencing a loss of function from injury or illness. (8/17)
Santa Rosa Press Democrat:
Kids Gran Fondo Raises Money For Children With Life-Threatening Illnesses
The Kids Gran Fondo grew out of former professional cyclist and Petaluma High graduate Steven Cozza’s work raising money for children suffering from life-threatening illnesses. This year, the Petaluma Active 20-30 Club took the helm of the event. Organizers select children each year to be their “heroes” and their families recipients of event proceeds. (Johnson, 8/18)
Court Rejects Planned Parenthood Bid To Freeze Trump's Family Planning Rule
A federal appeals court has rejected efforts to block the Trump administration from banning abortion referrals by federally funded family planning clinics, including affiliates of Planned Parenthood. The 9th U.S. Court of Appeals’ ruling Friday night will allow the policy to take effect while lawsuits from states, medical groups and reproductive rights advocates continue. (Ollstein, 8/17)
Trump Donates Second Quarter Salary For 2019 To Surgeon General's Office
President Trump donated his salary from the second quarter of 2019 to the Surgeon General's office, the White House announced Friday. The Surgeon General's office falls under the Department of Health and Human Services. The White House said the donation will help address the opioid epidemic and the growing use of e-cigarettes by teenagers and children. (Samuels, 8/16)
The Washington Post:
As Mass Shootings Rise, Experts Say High-Capacity Magazines Should Be The Focus
It took a shooter all of 32 seconds to spray 41 rounds outside a popular bar in Dayton, Ohio, this month, an attack that killed nine people and injured 27. A lightning-fast response from nearby officers prevented a far higher toll: When police shot him dead, the killer still had dozens of bullets to go in his double-drum, 100-round magazine. The use of such high-capacity magazines was banned in Ohio up until 2015, when a little-noticed change in state law legalized the devices, part of an overall rollback in gun-control measures that has been mirrored in states nationwide. (Witte, 8/18)
The Washington Post:
Two Mass Killings A World Apart Share A Common Theme: ‘Ecofascism’
Before the slaughter of dozens of people in Christchurch, New Zealand, and El Paso this year, the accused gunmen took pains to explain their fury, including their hatred of immigrants. The statements that authorities think the men posted online share another obsession: overpopulation and environmental degradation. The alleged Christchurch shooter, who is charged with targeting Muslims and killing 51 people in March, declared himself an “eco-fascist” and railed about immigrants’ birthrates. The statement linked to the El Paso shooter, who is charged with killing 22 people in a shopping area this month, bemoans water pollution, plastic waste and an American consumer culture that is “creating a massive burden for future generations.” (Achenbach, 8/18)
Los Angeles Times:
Here's Why It's Premature To Say That Ebola Has Been 'Cured'
Amid a year-long Ebola outbreak that has no end in sight, this week’s headlines were unusually upbeat: “Ebola is now curable,” one proclaimed. “Ebola has finally been cured, say scientists,” announced another. “Ebola ‘no longer incurable’ as Congo trial finds drugs boost survival,” a third promised. (Baumgaertner, 8/16)
CDC Probes Lung Illnesses Linked To E-Cigarette Use
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating a "cluster" of lung illnesses that it believes may be linked to e-cigarette use after such cases were reported in 14 states. The CDC said there was no evidence that an infectious disease was behind the illnesses and that more information was needed to determine whether they were in fact caused by e-cigarette use. (8/18)
The New York Times:
How Job Retraining Can Yield Lasting Wage Gains (It Isn’t Cheap)
The economic odds facing Avigail Rodriguez a few years ago couldn’t have been much worse. An undocumented immigrant and a single mother, she lived in a cramped apartment in a tough neighborhood in San Antonio and earned just $9 an hour working as a nurse’s assistant. Today, Ms. Rodriguez, 26, owns her own home in a safer area, earns nearly three times as much as she did before and has secured legal residency. The key to her turnaround was a training program called Project Quest, whose own ability to beat the odds is no less striking than that of Ms. Rodriguez. (Schwartz, 8/19)