Latest From California Healthline:
In a rare but growing practice, some hospitals offer parents the choice to transport their dying children out of the intensive care unit, with life support in tow, so that they can die at home. (Melissa Bailey, 5/30)
Good morning! After an emotional morning, the California Assembly passed one of the most high-profile bills of the year—a measure that would make it harder for police to legally justify killing a civilian. More on that below, but first here are your top California health stories of the day.
California Lawmakers Overwhelmingly Pass Legislation To Expand Access For All Undocumented Immigrants In State: The state Assembly’s bill would expand Medicaid so that it covers all immigrants in California living in the country illegally over the age of 19. The measure has set the Legislature and Gov. Gavin Newsom on a collision course, as Newsom as voiced concerns about how the state would pay for the expansion. The estimated cost has been at more than $3 billion a year. The bill’s passage would make California the first state in the nation to provide adults who reside in the country illegally with health care that is funded by the government. The proposal heads to the state Senate next. Read more from The Associated Press.
Measure Would Allow California Residents To Receive Their First 30-Days Of PReP Without A Prescription: Democratic Sen. Scott Wiener said the proposal would help prevent infections by expanding patient access to the drug, particularly among gay and bisexual men of color, who use it less commonly than whites. “There are still way too many barriers” for people trying to obtain PrEP, Wiener said. But doctors are opposed to the measure, which is heading to the Assembly after passing the Senate. The California Medical Association, which represents doctors, and major insurance companies, says Truvada has potential side effects, including impaired kidney function, and that people who take it need to be closely monitored by doctors. On the other hand, the bill has been endorsed by the San Francisco Department of Public Health, the AIDS Foundation, Equality California and the California Pharmacists Association. Read more from Dustin Gardiner of the San Francisco Chronicle.
In Pivotal Legal Settlement, LA Won’t Put Ceiling On Amount Of Property Homeless People Can Keep On Skid Row: The decision from the city of Los Angeles follows months of negotiations over the issue. Under the settlement terms, the city will have the authority to seize and destroy contraband, hazardous materials or rat-infested property that threatens public health and safety, as well as so-called “bulky items” — pallets, refrigerators, couches or other types of furniture. But other possessions seized during arrests or encampment cleanups must be segregated, clearly marked and stored for 90 days in a skid row warehouse. Medication and other critical items must be available to be returned within 24 hours. The case, Carl Mitchell et al. vs. city of Los Angeles, marks a critical flex point in L.A.’s long struggle to balance homeless people’s property rights against the welfare and qualify of life of the whole community. Read more from Gale Holland and David Zahniser of the Los Angeles Times.
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
After Emotional Debate, California Assembly Passes Deadly Force Bill
For an hour and a half this morning, California lawmakers lined up to speak for or against (but mostly for) one of the most high-profile bills of the year. One member of the Assembly, a former state cop, choked back tears as he wrestled with the implications of his vote. But when the rolls opened on AB392, which would make it harder for police to legally justify killing a civilian, the tally wasn’t even close. The Assembly passed the bill, 67 to 0, with 13 members abstaining. (Christopher, 5/29)
CA Flavored Tobacco, E-Cigarette & Vape Ban Bill Withdrawn
A California lawmaker has withdrawn a bill to ban the sale of flavored tobacco and vape products in the state, saying that “hostile amendments” defeated the bill’s purpose. ... Specifically, the Senate Appropriations committee added amendments to the bill exempting tobacco products with a patent pre-dating Jan. 1, 2000, as tobacco products intended for non-electronic hookahs. (Sheeler, 5/29)
Capital Public Radio:
Some California Officials Worry State Can’t Train Every Employee On Sexual Harassment Prevention
The Me Too movement precipitated a wave of legislation in California aimed at addressing sexual harassment in the workplace. One of those laws requires nearly every public and private employee in the state to receive sexual harassment training starting next year. But the law poses challenges for large institutions that have to quickly train huge numbers of employees — including state government agencies. (Rodd, 5/29)
CA Lawmakers Approve UC Anti-Wage Theft Bill
The University of California would be required to pay its employees on a regular payday under a measure moving through the California Legislature in response to the university system’s ongoing payroll problems. Senate Bill 698, sponsored by Sen. Connie Leyva, D-Chino, would mandate that employees paid monthly receive their wages no later than five days after the close of monthly payroll, while those employees paid on a frequent basis would get their wages according to a regular pay schedule. (Sheeler, 5/30)
Ventura County Star:
Job, Cost Cuts To Affect 271 County Health Workers
Officials on Wednesday announced job reductions and shifts affecting 271 people in budget-cutting moves in the Ventura County Health Care Agency. Officials said 79 regular full-time employees will be laid off and 98 positions filled by per diem and temporary workers will be cut from the agency that serves large numbers of needy residents. Also, 25 employees will be demoted and 69 staff members transferred to new positions. The reductions in the agency with more than 2,800 authorized positions will take effect July 1, said Jennifer Wortham, chief deputy of strategy and growth for the agency. (Wilson, 5/29)
San Francisco Chronicle:
UCSF Medical School Graduates First Undocumented Student In Its History
Latthivongskorn completed the program in Medical Education for the Urban Underserved, a five-year track for students focused on serving marginalized communities. He’ll start his residency training in family and community medicine at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital in June, through a UCSF program. (Sanchez, 5/29)
Protect PG&E, Utilities From CA Wildfire Costs, Panel Says
A panel of state leaders Wednesday called for legal changes that would give PG&E and other utilities some more protection against wildfire liabilities. The five-member Commission on Catastrophic Wildfire Cost and Recovery, created last fall by the Legislature, said in a draft report that California should overhaul the legal doctrine known as “inverse condemnation,” which holds utility shareholders liable for wildfire costs if the company’s equipment caused the fire — even if the company didn’t act negligently. (Kasler, 5/29)
Promise Hospitals In Baton Rouge Sold To California Company
Southern California health care business KPC Health has acquired Promise Hospital of Baton Rouge, a former subsidiary of Promise Healthcare, a Boca Raton, Florida-based hospital business. Promise Healthcare Group’s hospital network across Louisiana was acquired several months after it filed for bankruptcy protection in 2018. The network was split between KPC Health and Lexmark Holdings. (Mosbrucker, 5/29)
Serial ADA Filer Faces Charges As Store Owners Rejoice
When Sacramento attorney Scott N. Johnson was indicted last week on tax charges, the reaction from people he has sued for Americans with Disabilities Act violations was simple and quick. “Yaaaaay,” said Steven Johnson, who runs a costume and magic shop in Carmichael with his mother and was sued in 2005 over a lack of ADA-compliant parking. “It isn’t enough. The penalties for tax evasion are well and good, but he really should be caught up for his abuse of the ADA laws.” (Stanton, 5/29)
The Washington Post:
White House Runs Into Health-Care Industry Hostility As It Plans Executive Order
President Trump is preparing to issue an executive order to foster greater price transparency across a broad swath of the health-care industry as consumer concerns about medical costs emerge as a major issue in the lead-up to next year’s presidential election. The most far-reaching element favored by the White House aides developing the order would require insurers and hospitals to disclose for the first time the discounted rates they negotiate for services, according to health-care lobbyists and policy experts familiar with the deliberations. (Goldstein and Dawsey, 5/29)
Durbin Alarmed That New FDA Chief May 'Disappoint' On E-Cigs
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) charged in an unusually sharp attack Wednesday that acting FDA Commissioner Ned Sharpless seemed to have "no intention" of addressing youth e-cigarette use, which his predecessor deemed a public health epidemic. His May 14 meeting with Sharpless was "one of the most alarming and disappointing meetings in my time in public service," the No. 2 Senate Democrat wrote in a letter to Sharpless, a longtime cancer researcher who took the top FDA post in April as Scott Gottlieb left. (Owermohle, 5/29)
Former Trump Refugee Director To Depart HHS
Scott Lloyd, whose nearly two-year tenure leading the Department of Health and Human Services refugee office sparked lawsuits and congressional inquiries, will leave the Trump administration next week, HHS announced Wednesday. Lloyd ran the refugee office for most of 2017 and 2018 as HHS was taking custody of thousands of migrant children separated from their families under the administration's zero-tolerance border enforcement policy. The administration struggled to reunite those families after a federal court order, and House Democrats this year have probed Lloyd’s role in the separations and whether his testimony before Congress was truthful. (Diamond, 5/29)
The New York Times:
Four Years After Beau Biden’s Death, His Father Bonds With Voters In Pain
Joseph R. Biden Jr. has a habit of bringing people to tears. For Teri Inverso, a Pennsylvania voter attending Mr. Biden’s Philadelphia rally this month, the moment came as she talked about her late parents and recalled how the former vice president coped with the death of his son Beau. For Lisa Gatto, a sister-in-law of former Representative Steve Israel, it was when she once opened up to Mr. Biden about her experience battling breast cancer, Mr. Israel recalled. (Glueck, 5/30)
The New York Times:
Louisiana Moves To Ban Abortions After A Heartbeat Is Detected
On the heels of a spate of anti-abortion legislation passed in recent months across the South, Louisiana lawmakers voted on Wednesday to ban the procedure after the pulsing of what becomes the fetus’s heart can be detected. The restriction, backed by the state’s Democratic governor, could prohibit abortions as early as six weeks into a woman’s pregnancy. Several other states have passed versions of so-called fetal heartbeat bills this year, and Alabama approved a law about two weeks ago that would forbid nearly all abortions in the state. (Blinder, 5/29)
The Washington Post:
Prosecutors Push Back On Enforcing New State Abortion Laws
New state abortion laws likely to become bogged down in legal challenges face another potential obstacle: prosecutors who refuse to enforce them. The Associated Press reached out to nearly two dozen district attorneys across seven states, and several said they would not file criminal charges against doctors who violate the laws. Even a few who left open potentially charging doctors said they would not prosecute women for having an abortion, which some legal observers say could be a possibility under Georgia’s law. (Thanawala, 5/30)
The New York Times:
I’m A Veteran Without PTSD. I Used To Think Something Was Wrong With Me.
A few years ago, my husband, Chris, who survived four deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, was killed by an avalanche in Colorado. I am an Army veteran who was deployed to combat zones twice, in 2005 and 2008, without any serious lingering psychological ramifications. But I thought my husband’s death, that New Year’s Eve day, would be the final trigger for post-traumatic stress disorder; it would be what sent me over the edge. The next few months were filled with sleeplessness and drinking, but also exercising and thoughtful introspection as I scoured self-help books and sought therapy. I never had trouble getting out of bed in the morning, and I continued to make it to work on time. I was sad yet functional. (Thomas, 5/30)