- California Healthline Original Stories 2
- Kids Find Breathing Room At Asthma Camp
- Charlottesville Postmortem: Why People Join Hate Groups
- Sacramento Watch 1
- Proposed Tax Would Raise $2B In 15 Years To Tackle Calif.'s Unsafe Drinking Water Problem
- Public Health and Education 2
- Teachers To Get Mandatory Suicide Prevention Training Focusing On Vulnerable Students
- Concerns Over Trump's Mental Health No Longer Just Fodder For Late Night TV Hosts
Latest From California Healthline:
Camps teach children how to rely less on grownups and more on themselves to manage the chronic lung disease that afflicts 1 in 6 California children. (Pamela K. Johnson, 8/24)
Unhappy childhood experiences can drive people to join white supremacist groups, studies have found. (Sharon Jayson, 8/24)
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More News From Across The State
“My message is short and direct: We are not Flint, Michigan,” said the measure's co-author Sen. Robert Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys).
The Mercury News:
California Drinking Water Could Soon Be Taxed
For the first time Californians would pay a tax on drinking water — 95 cents per month — under legislation aimed at fixing hundreds of public water systems with unsafe tap water. Senate Bill 623, backed by a strange-bedfellows coalition of the agricultural lobby and environmental groups but opposed by water districts, would generate $2 billion over the next 15 years to clean up contaminated groundwater and improve faulty water systems and wells. (Murphy, 8/23)
In other news from Sacramento —
San Francisco Chronicle:
State Sen. Wiener Urges Supes To Not Pass Pot Permit Moratorium
State Sen. Scott Wiener criticized a San Francisco Board of Supervisors proposal to temporarily halt permits of new cannabis dispensaries, saying it would “send a terrible message statewide.” Wiener, a former supervisor who is among the city’s most prominent moderate politicians, generally avoids taking stances on city issues. (Swan and Fracassa, 8/23)
Glendale Unified's policy takes on a three-pronged approach that includes a training video developed by the district’s mental-health services team, a booklet with suicide-prevention guidelines and procedures for secondary schools and a requirement to create crisis teams at each school site.
Los Angeles Times:
Under State Mandate, Glendale Unified Adopts Policy On Suicide Prevention
Secondary teachers in the Glendale Unified School District must take part in mandatory training about suicide awareness this school year, specifically addressing youth with mental disabilities, those facing homelessness or those who are part of the LGBTQ community. The training comes after Assembly Bill 2246 put forth a mandate requiring school districts adopt a policy on suicide prevention for students in seventh through 12th grades, local school officials said last week. (Vega, 8/23)
President Donald Trump's behavior over North Korea and Charlottesville have even his allies talking about his mental health.
Debating The President's Mental Health More Complicated Than Just Saying 'That's Crazy'
When Republican Sen. Bob Corker said last week that President Trump hasn't "been able to demonstrate the stability" needed for success and recommended he "move way beyond himself," it was news mostly because Corker has been one of Trump's key supporters in Congress. Then James Clapper, who served in top intelligence jobs under former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, Wednesday morning questioned Trump's "fitness to be in this office" and said he was worried about the president's access to the nuclear codes. Clapper, who had a long military career, is a close friend and longtime colleague of Trump's Defense Secretary, Jim Mattis, a former Marine Corps general. (O'Donnell, 8/23)
What Stresses Out Trump: Not Russia, But ISIS, Family Attacks
Being the leader of the Free World is no doubt one of the most stressful jobs possible, but how much stress affects President Trump is open to debate. Still, psychiatrists including Bandy Lee, editor of the upcoming book The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump, worry about how Trump responds to what are likely stressful crises with fiery rhetoric that could provoke violence. (O'Donnell, 8/23)
California Democrats Lead Attack Over Trump's Mental Health
California Democrats are stoking a debate over Donald Trump’s mental health and fitness for office, opening a new front in the resistance to the president but raising fears that the line of criticism could backfire. As early talk of impeachment wanes and questions about Trump’s stability have surfaced after his volatile responses to the violence in Charlottesville — most recently by GOP Sen. Bob Corker and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper — California’s Democratic House delegation has seized on an issue that until recently was limited to the Internet fever swamps. (Marinucci, 8/23)
Collaborative Insurance Solutions' Stephanie Berger will take the reins as the next president of the organization.
Ventura County Star:
Insurance Professional To Lead Industry Association
Collaborative Insurance Solutions announced that Stephanie Berger, principal and chief operating officer, has been elected 2017-18 president of the California Association of Health Underwriters. The organization is the state’s largest association of health insurance agents, brokers and other health insurance industry professionals. (8/23)
A memo will direct the Pentagon to stop admitting transgender people, and give Defense Secretary Jim Mattis the power to decide whether to kick active members out of service. Previously, the policy had only been laid out in a series of tweets from President Donald Trump.
The Wall Street Journal:
White House Sets Rules For Military Transgender Ban
The White House is expected to send guidance to the Pentagon in coming days on how to implement a new administration ban on transgender people in the military, issuing a policy that will allow Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to consider a service member’s ability to deploy in deciding whether to kick them out of the military. (Lubold, 8/23)
The New York Times:
Military Transgender Ban To Begin Within 6 Months, Memo Says
A White House memo that is expected to be sent to the Pentagon in coming days gives Jim Mattis, the secretary of defense, six months to enforce the transgender ban that Mr. Trump announced abruptly last month in a series of tweets. The directive was confirmed Wednesday by a person familiar with its contents but who was not authorized to discuss its details and spoke on the condition of anonymity. The authority has not yet been finalized. Once it is approved, it would allow Mr. Mattis to force out transgender service members by setting a legal standard of whether they would be able to deploy to war zones or for other lengthy military missions. (Hirschfeld Davis, 8/23)
The state leaders will appear at the second of two hearings in front of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. They'll be focusing on ways to make insurance more affordable and to shore up the individual marketplaces.
Five Governors To Testify At Hearing On Bipartisan Healthcare Bill
Five governors will testify in front of the Senate Health Committee next month on ways to fix ObamaCare. Govs. Charlie Baker (R-Mass.), Steve Bullock (D-Mont.), Bill Haslam (R-Tenn.), Gary Herbert (R-Utah) and John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.) will testify at a hearing on Sept. 7. State insurance commissioners will testify Sept. 6. (Hellmann, 8/23)
The Associated Press:
McConnell Says He And Trump Are United On 'Shared Goals'
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he and President Donald Trump are in regular contact about "shared goals" and working together to advance them. He says people suggesting otherwise are "clearly not part of the conversation." ... Trump has criticized McConnell for the Senate's rejection of the GOP push to repeal President Barack Obama's health law. He suggested McConnell might need to step aside as leader if he can't push top bills through the chamber. (8/23)
Pulse Check: Former HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius
Kathleen Sebelius, the former HHS secretary who oversaw the rollout of Obamacare, is worried that HHS’s current leaders are steering the ACA the wrong direction. "They have done a lot to sabotage the health care law," Sebelius told POLITICO’s Dan Diamond. The former HHS secretary shares her thoughts on the current administration’s strategy, what she thinks HHS should be prioritizing and what’s been overlooked because of the intense focus on the ACA. (Diamond, 8/24)
Health officials have been caught flat-footed by the resurgence of the sexually transmitted disease.
The New York Times:
Hunting A Killer: Sex, Drugs And The Return Of Syphilis
For months, health officials in [Oklahoma City] ... have been staggered by a fast-spreading outbreak of a disease that, for nearly two decades, was considered all but extinguished. Syphilis, the deadly sexually transmitted infection that can lead to blindness, paralysis and dementia, is returning here and around the country, another consequence of the heroin and methamphetamine epidemics, as users trade sex for drugs. (Hoffman, 8/24)
In other national health care news —
Abstinence Programs Don't Stop Teen Pregnancies Or STDs
Abstaining from sexual activity is a surefire way to prevent pregnancy and avoid sexually transmitted diseases. But programs advocating abstinence often fail to prevent young people from having sex, researchers write in the September issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health. Such programs, sometimes referred to as "abstinence only until marriage" programs, typically advocate monogamous, heterosexual marriage as the only appropriate context for sexual intercourse and as the only certain way to avoid unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. (McCammon, 8/23)
The New York Times:
20 Percent More Smokers Quit After $1 Price Increase
When the price of a pack of cigarette increases by $1, there is a 20 percent increase in rates of quitting smoking. Researchers linked data on the smoking habits of 632 smokers, average age 58, to neighborhood cigarette prices in 896 chain grocery and drugstores in 19 states. They gathered data on local laws on indoor smoking in public places, and followed changes in prices, laws and smoking habits over 10 years. (Bakalar, 8/23)
The Washington Post:
Pediatricians Say Teens Should Sleep In. Schools Won’t Let Them.
Pediatricians have been clear: Early bell times can spell sleep deprivation for teens and, in turn, a decline in academic performance, an increased risk of car accidents and physical and mental health issues. But according to a recent report by the National Center for Education Statistics, only a fraction of high schools are starting later than 8:30 a.m., which is what the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends. (Balingit, 8/23)
Seven Things To Know About Sage Therapeutics' Big Epilepsy Drug Trial
There’s no approved medication to treat patients with epilepsy so severe that they must be put into a coma to stop their seizures. An experimental drug from Sage Therapeutics (SAGE) aims to fill that void — if the key phase 3 clinical trial yields positive results. It’s expected to read out results within the next month. It’ll be a pivotal moment not just for the patients, but for Sage and its investors. (Feurstein, 8/24)