- California Healthline Original Stories 3
- New Commission Plans To Address State Health Care Worker Shortage
- Offshore Human Testing Of Herpes Vaccine Stokes Debate Over U.S. Safety Rules
- Elder Abuse: ERs Learn How To Protect A Vulnerable Population
- Sacramento Watch 1
- Despite Setbacks, Fervor Over Single-Payer Hasn't Fizzled, And Probably Won't Anytime Soon
- Public Health and Education 2
- Publicly Funded Independent Study Programs Offer Loophole To Vaccination Rules
- California Struggles To Even Warn Residents Valley Fever Exists, Let Alone Combat It
Latest From California Healthline:
Kaiser Health News senior correspondent Anna Gorman discussed the shortage Thursday with KPCC’s Libby Denkman, on the radio station’s Take Two program. (8/28)
Prominent businessmen and an American university supported offshore testing of an experimental vaccine. (Marisa Taylor, 8/28)
An emergency department at New York-Presbyterian Hospital trains staff to recognize signs of elder abuse and help victims. (Barbara Sadick, 8/28)
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More News From Across The State
The Los Angeles Times looks at why the idea has taken root, and what's coming next.
Los Angeles Times:
The Debate Over Single-Payer Healthcare In California Isn't Going Away. Here's Why
Calls for a sea change in the state’s healthcare system have proven remarkably durable, even after Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon shelved a measure in June that would have made the state responsible for paying all of its residents’ medical costs. A recently filed ballot initiative, budding campaigns against sitting lawmakers — including a recall effort against Rendon — and new plans for legislators to wrestle with how to achieve universal healthcare have taken shape in recent weeks, and the conversation is poised to take on national heft as Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders prepares to introduce a “Medicare for all” measure in the fall. (Mason, 8/27)
The "no shots, no school" law exempted students who didn't receive classroom-based instruction, so programs that are essentially publicly funded homeschooling have become the place to go for parents who don't want to vaccinate their children.
Why Are California Charter Schools' Vaccination Rates So Much Worse Than District-Run Schools?
Last year, after California's new, stricter immunization law took effect, parents could no longer simply obtain a "personal belief" exemption to enroll their unvaccinated child in school, public or private. ... But the law exempted students who didn't receive classroom-based instruction, making independent study programs like River Oaks Academy among the only options left for an unvaccinated child to receive publicly-funded schooling. (Stikes, 8/28)
The disease has infected more than 75,000 people in California and Arizona, but the states have been unable to launch an effective campaign to warn the public of the dangers of valley fever.
The Bakersfield Californian:
'It Is A Disease That Is Not Respected And Not Funded.' States Skimp On Valley Fever Awareness
Valley fever infects more than 13,000 people annually in Arizona and California and kills more than 100. Yet the two states spend less on public awareness about the disease in one year than what the Bakersfield City School District spends on lunch milk for a month and less than what Pima County, Arizona's Parks and Recreation Department spent on janitorial supplies in 2016. (Innes and Pierce, 8/26)
In other public health news —
San Francisco Chronicle:
New California Law Aims To Stop Spread Of Bedbugs
A new state law designed to battle bedbugs requires California landlords to provide tenants with written information about these blood-sucking, tenacious pests and how to report suspected infestations to the landlord. The disclosure requirement took effect for new tenants July 1 and will apply to existing tenants Jan. 1. (Pender, 8/26)
According to the complaint, the deputies told men assigned to the same cell as Clifton Donald Harris that they would get better accommodations at the jail if they attacked him.
Sacramento Deputies Encouraged Beating That Left Inmate With Brain Damage, Lawsuit Alleges
According to the complaint, the county and its deputies knowingly put [Clifton] Harris in harm’s way because they knew of his “status as a gay man and the animus that others felt toward” gay people. The beating “was the predictable and intended result” of deputies placing him in the same cell as the unidentified inmate who attacked him in hopes of getting better jail accommodations, it says. (Hubert and Smith, 8/27)
Although, that healthier business outlook has been achieved at a big cost to consumers.
The New York Times:
Trump’s Threats On Health Law Hide An Upside: Gains Made By Some Insurers
It has not been a market for the faint of heart. Supporters of the Affordable Care Act achieved a major victory this past week when, thanks to cajoling and arm-twisting by state regulators, the last “bare” county in America — in rural Ohio — found an insurer willing to sell health coverage through the law’s marketplace there. So despite earlier indications that insurance companies would stop offering coverage under the law in large parts of the country, insurers have now agreed to sell policies everywhere. (Abelson, 8/26)
In other news —
Consultant Offers Steps To Lower Health Insurance Premiums And Boost Enrollment
Congress and the Trump administration could boost insurance coverage by a couple of million people and lower premiums by taking a few actions to stabilize the Affordable Care Act insurance markets, according to a new analysis by the consulting firm Oliver Wyman. The paper, which lays out a simple blueprint for making insurance more affordable for more people while working within the current health law's structure, comes just days before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee begins hearings on ways to stabilize markets in the short term. (Kodjak, 8/25)
The Wall Street Journal:
Pressure Mounts On Senate Republicans As Trump Rachets Up Criticism
Tensions between President Donald Trump and Senate Republicans are rising, as lawmakers are being blamed by the president, House colleagues and many voters for the party’s failure to pass a major legislative initiative. “I’m sick of them,” said Matthew Walters, a 58-year-old construction worker who lives in Shelbyville, Ky., and has been eager for the GOP to repeal the Affordable Care Act as his wife’s insurance premiums jump. “They’ve said for six years if we get a Republican in the White House we’re going to get this repealed. What is the problem? What are the excuses? I’m sick of it. We elected Donald Trump for change.” (Hughes and Peterson, 8/27)
According to one official, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has been directed to take a number of factors into consideration such as "military effectiveness," budgetary constraints and "unit cohesion," as well as others he deems "relevant."
The Associated Press:
Fate Of Transgender Already In Military Unclear Under Order
President Donald Trump on Friday directed the Pentagon to extend indefinitely a ban on transgender individuals joining the military, but he appeared to leave open the possibility of allowing some already in uniform to remain. Trump gave Defense Secretary Jim Mattis authority to decide the matter of openly transgender individuals already serving, and he said that until the Pentagon chief makes that decision, "no action may be taken against" them. (Burns, 8/26)
The Wall Street Journal:
Trump Signs Memo Aimed At Banning Transgender Military Service Members
The new policy, outlined in a call from senior administration officials late Friday, makes exceptions for those receiving medical care in some cases “to protect the health of the individual who has already begun treatment. ”The policy pertains not only to the Defense Department, but also to the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the U.S. Coast Guard. (Lubold, 8/25)
In other news —
Trump’s Most Popular Cabinet Secretary Is Obama Holdover
VA Secretary David Shulkin has proven to be something unique in President Donald Trump's Washington: an Obama appointee nominated by Trump who is beloved by almost everyone and getting stuff done. By tweaking regulations, he has managed to fire hundreds of allegedly incompetent employees, publicized waiting times at VA clinics, gotten money to expand vets’ treatment by private doctors, and expanded care for isolated vets through telemedicine and mobile phones, while promising to close 430 vacant VA buildings and speed up benefit awards. Shulkin also made a bold — and risky — decision to bypass contracting rules to buy a $16 billion digital health record system. (Allen, 8/28)