Latest From California Healthline:
California’s governor Friday scuttled his plan to siphon public health money from four counties to help provide health coverage for unauthorized immigrants ages 19 through 25. (Samantha Young, 5/10)
Good morning! Here are your top California health care stories for the day.
Racing To Get Ahead Of An Outbreak: Experts Predict Los Angeles Could Be Next City Hit By Measles: Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin and Johns Hopkins University mapped the 25 American counties most at risk of measles because of their vaccine-exemption rates and proximity to airports. Los Angeles and Miami-Dade counties were topped only by Chicago as the most likely to get hit next. A similar analysis from last year proved to be surprisingly accurate. Read more from The New York Times.
The Total Cost To Of Measles To California Counties This Year? More Than $400,000: There have been 43 cases of measles in California this year, and public health officials have been working frantically to stop the spread of the disease across the state. “It’s hard to actually track the true cost of an outbreak to a local health department, especially since during an outbreak, the priority is stopping the disease, not bookkeeping,” said state Sen. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), whose office released the new report on how much California has spent on containing the potential crisis. When a person is diagnosed, health official scramble to make a list of where that person has been, then they have to contact anyone who may have been exposed, verify those people’s health data, and quarantine as necessary. That can add up to a big price tag. For example, LA County reported costs of $81,000 for three people with measles who passed through Los Angeles International Airport in March. Read more from the Los Angeles Times and KQED.
Meanwhile, the antivaccination movement is gathering its forces to oppose legislation that would tighten exemptions in the state. Read more from The Mercury News.
What Legislation To Address Homeless Crisis Could Actually Reach Newsom’s Desk?: Gov. Gavin Newsom has repeatedly made clear that the homeless crisis ranks high on his list of priorities, and there are several bills working through the Legislature that could land on his desk. A leading housing proposal is Senate Bill 50, which would rewrite zoning regulations and force cities and counties to allow “high density” housing construction near transit hubs and job centers. Meanwhile, Assemblyman Rob Bonta (D-Alameda) is sponsoring a just-cause eviction measure that cracks down on throwing tenants out for “no reason.” And Senate Bill 5 would create a special fund that would help fund local projects to accelerate construction of affordable housing and infill projects. Read more details about the bills and others from the Sacramento Bee.
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.
Sign up to get the daily edition in your inbox
More News From Across The State
Los Angeles Times:
Some California Cities Would Be Forced To Allow Marijuana Sales Under Bill To Triple Pot Shops In State
Escalating a feud with cities over marijuana, state lawmakers are pushing to require municipalities to lift bans on cannabis stores if voters there supported Proposition 64, the 2016 initiative that legalized sale of the drug for recreational use in California. A bill moving through the Legislature would require those cities to permit at least one cannabis retailer for every four liquor stores or one for every 10,000 residents, whichever is fewer. (McGreevy, 5/13)
Capital Public Radio:
Hot Off The Grille: Is California Ready To Legalize Roadkill Cuisine?
A Los Angeles County Democrat, he has a bill advancing through the Legislature that would allow Californians to “salvage” recently deceased wildlife from the sides of the state’s roads and highways. The eyebrow-raising (and for the squeamish, stomach-churning) effort has been the butt of “many jokes here in the Capitol and even in my own hometown” of Pico Rivera, he acknowledged. (Christopher, 5/11)
The San Francisco Chronicle:
Talking About Fertility In The Office Is No Longer Taboo
It’s lunchtime at Reddit’s office in San Francisco, and several dozen women have convened over salads and sparkling water to learn about their changing bodies. They’ve invited San Francisco startup Modern Fertility, which makes a home testing kit that measures hormones related to fertility, to lead a sex-ed class for grown-ups. (Russell, 5/12)
The San Francisco Chronicle:
PG&E’s Legal, Regulatory Problems Keep Growing — And Could Get Worse
Pacific Gas and Electric Co. is a bankrupt felon that has violated its probation and could face new criminal charges over its connection to California’s deadliest and most destructive wildfire. At the same time, regulators are considering huge changes for PG&E, probing allegations of records falsification on the gas side of the business and investigating some of its accounting. Gov. Gavin Newsom and state lawmakers are also weighing legislative action that could alter the company’s future and affect its path out of bankruptcy protection. (Morris, 5/13)
Capital Public Radio/KXJZ:
Loneliness And High Rent Prompt California Seniors To Look For Roommates
No hard figures exist but she’s part of growing number of California seniors opting to live with other seniors for companionship and to reduce their expenses. ...Matching up the elderly, who have long established likes and dislikes, isn’t easy. Elder Help reports the average time their pairings last is three years. (Sharma, 5/10)
The Mercury News:
California Surgeon Who Transplanted Baboon Heart Into Infant ‘Baby Fae’, Dies At Age 76
Dr. Leonard Bailey, the surgeon who controversially transplanted the heart of a baboon into an infant called Baby Fae in 1984, then performed the first successful human infant-to-infant heart transplant the next year, died Sunday, Loma Linda University announced. He was 76 and had cancer, the university said on its website. (de Atley, 5/13)
The Associated Press:
States Bring Price Fixing Suit Against Generic Drug Makers
Attorneys general from more than 40 states are alleging the nation's largest generic drug manufacturers conspired to artificially inflate and manipulate prices for more than 100 different generic drugs, including treatments for diabetes, cancer, arthritis and other medical conditions. The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Connecticut on Friday, also names 15 individual senior executives responsible for sales, marketing and pricing. (5/11)
The New York Times:
Teva And Other Generic Drugmakers Inflated Prices Up To 1,000%, State Prosecutors Say
Leading drug companies including Teva, Pfizer, Novartis and Mylan conspired to inflate the prices of generic drugs by as much as 1,000 percent, according to a far-reaching lawsuit filed on Friday by 44 states. The industrywide scheme affected the prices of more than 100 generic drugs, according to the complaint, including lamivudine-zidovudine, which treats H.I.V.; budesonide, an asthma medication; fenofibrate, which treats high cholesterol; amphetamine-dextroamphetamine for A.D.H.D.; oral antibiotics; blood thinners; cancer drugs; contraceptives; and antidepressants. (Murphy, 5/11)
44 States Accuse Drug Companies Of Price-Fixing
Teva USA denied wrongdoing in a statement to Reuters. “The allegations in this new complaint, and in the litigation more generally, are just that – allegations,” the company said. “Teva continues to review the issue internally and has not engaged in any conduct that would lead to civil or criminal liability.” The drugs in the alleged scheme include treatments for diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, cancer, epilepsy and more, according to the news outlet. (Frazin, 5/11)
House Budget Committee Announces Hearing On Single-Payer Health Care
The House Budget Committee on Friday announced that it will hold a hearing on single-payer health care on May 22, marking another step forward for the progressive proposal on Capitol Hill. The hearing will be the second one on the idea of single-payer, sometimes called "Medicare for All," that House Democrats have held this year since taking back the majority. (Sullivan, 5/10)
Health Industry To Clash Over Surprise Medical Bills
Three powerful players in the health care industry are gearing up for battle over surprise medical bills. Doctors, hospitals and insurers have all pledged to protect patients from being hit with massive, unexpected bills for out-of-network care, but no one wants to take on the added costs that come with it. That reluctance is setting the stage for a fight, with the insurance industry on one side and hospitals and doctors on the other (Weixel, 5/11)
Health Care, Climate Change Top Issues For Iowans Ahead Of Caucuses: Analysis
Iowa caucus-goers’ top concerns appear to be health care and climate change, according to data analysis by the Des Moines Register. An analysis of more than 300 questions asked by potential voters at 46 candidate events over the course of 30 days found 27 questions about climate or environmental issues. The candidate receiving the most climate-related questions was former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), with seven, followed by Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), each with four. (Budryk, 5/12)
The Washington Post Fact Checker:
Cory Booker’s Misleading Claim That Toy Guns Are More Regulated Than Real Guns
These are three examples of a catchy talking point from the 2020 presidential hopeful — that toy guns are subject to more regulation than real guns. The Medium post is rather specific: The Consumer Product Safety Commission, because of a “loophole,” does not assess the safety of guns. But in television interviews and tweets, that nuanced point gets turned into misleading shorthand — there is “more federal regulation” of toy guns, or there are “no regulations” for guns. Booker’s point is not particularly original. Gun-control advocates have been calling for consumer safety oversight of guns for decades. But he veers off course when he compares regulatory oversight of guns and toy guns. (Kessler, 5/13)
The Washington Post:
Abortion Ban: Alabama And Georgia's Bills Explained
Abortion legislation in Georgia and Alabama ascended in the news cycle this week, with Georgia’s governor signing a “heartbeat bill” into law on Tuesday and Alabama’s Senate postponing until next week its vote on a near-total abortion ban. The Georgia law will ban abortions after a doctor is able to detect “a fetal heartbeat in the womb,” usually at about six weeks, before many women know they are pregnant. It was one of the nation’s most stringent proposals until the all-out ban introduced in Alabama. (Paul and Wax-Thibodeaux, 5/12)
Additional Actors, Filmmakers Boycott Georgia Over New Abortion Law
More actors and film production companies, such as Alyssa Milano and Duplass Brothers Productions, have joined a boycott of the state of Georgia after Gov. Brian Kemp (R) signed a new "heartbeat" abortion bill into law. Milano told BuzzFeed News in a statement Thursday that she will not return to Netflix's "Insatiable" for a third season if the show's filming does not move to a different state. (Frazin, 5/10)
Instagram Blocks #VaccinesKill, Reviewing Other Anti-Vaccine Hashtags
Instagram this week blocked the hashtag #VaccinesKill amid its crackdown on vaccine-related misinformation, and it says it is looking into other hashtags typically used to promote false information about vaccines. The Facebook-owned social media network had previously declined to block the #VaccinesKill hashtag, a popular gathering place for anti-vaccine activists on Instagram, arguing that the phrase "vaccines kill" did not count as medical misinformation. An Instagram spokesperson in an email to The Hill last month claimed there have been rare instances in which vaccine side effects have caused death. (Birnbaum, 5/10)