Latest From California Healthline:
California officials announced a ban on chlorpyrifos, a widely used pesticide that has been linked to lower IQs, lower birth weights and other developmental issues in children, even as the federal government fights to protect it. (Ana B. Ibarra, 5/8)
Good morning! Gov. Gavin Newsom is releasing a revised budget plan today, expected to include a proposal on expanding health care to young immigrants who are living in the country illegally. More on that below, but first here are some of your top California health stories of the day.
California To Ban Toxic Pesticide After Scientists Determine It Is More Dangerous Than Previously Thought: The state announced Wednesday it will act to ban chlorpyrifos from use in agriculture over the next two years, encouraging counties to tighten their own regulations in the meantime to further restrict its use. Several studies have linked prenatal exposure of chlorpyrifos to lower birth weights, lower IQs, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and autism symptoms in children. Chlorpyrifos is used on crops such as apples, alfalfa, almonds, citrus, cotton, grapes and walnuts. California citrus growers are among the groups that oppose the ban. They worry that eliminating chlorpyrifos could result in disease outbreaks among their fruit trees. Its usage has already dropped significantly across the state, according to the California Department of Pesticide Regulation, from 2 million pounds in 2005 to just a little more than 900,000 pounds in 2016. Read more from California Healthline, the Ventura County Star and The Mercury News.
San Francisco Doctor Subpoenaed Over Measles Exemptions: San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera has requested the patient records of Dr. Kenneth Stoller, an outspoken opponent of vaccination requirements. City officials had reason to believe the doctor had granted a significant number of exemptions, and they wanted to see whether they all abided by a state law that went into effect in 2016, according to a person familiar with the matter. Stoller is among a small group of medical experts who have suggested vaccines cause autism, despite multiple studies concluding they don’t. Vaccination advocates say some California doctors are writing medical exemptions that aren’t justified, and there is currently legislation that’s been introduced that would give exemption authority to a state official rather than a doctor. Read more from The Wall Street Journal.
California’s Oncoming ‘Silver Tsunami’ Will Overwhelm Shrinking Number Of Caregivers In State: Experts say about a quarter of households in California are caring for an elderly family member, and the number of seniors who will need care is expected to grow as the population ages. Kathryn Kietzman, a research scientist at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, says the biggest challenge in senior care will fall on middle-income families that don’t qualify for state assistance and who aren’t wealthy enough to pay for services at home or at a facility. “There will be a huge need for more caregivers in the state,” said Parker Martin. “Every state across the country now is having this issue. But in California, in particular, we already have a lack of caregivers.” According to the California Employment Development Department, the state will need an additional 200,000 home care workers by 2024 to keep up with current levels of care. Read more from 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
The Associated Press:
California Governor To Reveal Updated Spending Plan
California is flooded with money and Gov. Gavin Newsom will outline how he thinks the nation's most populous state should spend it Thursday when he releases a revised version of his $200 billion-plus state budget. The Democratic governor has already proposed new spending to expand health care for young immigrants living in the country illegally, prevent and fight wildfires, spur more housing and boost early child care programs. (5/9)
CA Approves Health And Sex Education Inclusive Of LGBT Issues
The California Department of Education approved controversial changes to the state’s health and sex education framework on Wednesday, but removed five resources and books that some organizations called “sexually explicit,” including a book that explains sex to students as young as kindergarten. Despite large protests, the department unanimously approved new guidelines for elementary school grades about sex trafficking, sexual orientation and how to support transgender and non-conforming students in the classroom. (Morrar, 5/8)
The California Health Report:
Untreated Postpartum Depression And Anxiety Costs California Billions, Report Concludes
Untreated mood and anxiety disorders associated with pregnancy are costing California billions of dollars in health care spending, social services expenses and productivity losses, according to a new report. The study, conducted by the research firm Mathematica with funding from three foundations including the California Health Care Foundation, estimates the cost of untreated perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs) in California at $2.4 billion for all births in 2017. This includes costs incurred due to medical interventions, low-income health care, welfare payments, work absenteeism and lost productivity over a six-year period, from the mom’s pregnancy through the child’s first five years of life. California’s burden accounts for about a sixth of the nationwide cost of not treating perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, which the researchers estimated at $14.2 billion. (Boyd-Barrett, 5/8)
The Bakersfield Californian:
Not Sure When To Ask For A Valley Fever Test? It May Not Be Accurate Anyway.
Following a press conference held last month on the topic of valley fever, Russell Judd, the CEO of Kern Medical, said something about the disease that struck a chord for many who live in the southern valley. "If you have a fever and you have a cough and you live in Bakersfield," he said, "you should get a valley fever test." Simple, right? It seemed like a common sense formula, but it raised questions about whether health care providers really operate that way. And about how valuable the tests are in detecting valley fever in a patient. Should doctors in Bakersfield order a valley fever test based on these symptoms, combined with the fact that the patient lives in a geographical area that sees more valley fever cases than any other county in California? (Mayer, 5/8)
Paradise Residents Return Home After Camp Fire
Phil and Michelle John know they have it better than most. Their house was among the 11 percent in Paradise that survived the Camp Fire, and they moved home in early April. Their street is largely intact, and many of their neighbors have returned. Even their cat is recovering, having miraculously turned up, half starved and reeking of smoke, a couple of weeks after the fire. (Kasler and Sabalow, 5/9)
Caltrans Fined Over Workers’ Homeless Camp Cleanup
Union complaints over homeless camp cleanup led California’s workplace safety enforcer to fine the state’s transportation department, the department’s union announced Wednesday. The International Union of Operating Engineers filed a complaint with CalOSHA in November as part of broader effort to prod Caltrans into adding protections for workers who clean up human waste, used feminine hygiene products and needles when they clear homeless camps under bridges and along roadways, said Steve Crouch, the union’s director of public employees. (Venteicher, 5/9)
The New York Times:
Drug Prices Will Soon Appear In Many TV Ads
The Trump administration for the first time will require pharmaceutical companies to include the price of prescription drugs in television advertisements if the cost exceeds $35 per month. The move, announced on Wednesday by Alex M. Azar II, the health and human services secretary, is the most visible action the administration has taken so far to address the rising cost of prescription drugs. It has been a key issue for American voters and one that both Republicans and Democrats have vowed to address. (Thrush and Thomas, 5/8)
The New York Times:
Elizabeth Warren, Unveiling Opioid Plan, Says She Will Give Sackler Family’s Donations To Charity
Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts escalated her criticism of the pharmaceutical industry, announcing she would donate the campaign contributions she has received from the family of the pharmaceutical magnate Raymond Sackler, and calling on Harvard University to remove the Sackler name from all campus buildings where it appears. Ms. Warren, who is running for the Democratic presidential nomination, made the announcement as she unveiled a plan on Wednesday to fight the opioid crisis raging in the United States. (Herndon, 5/8)
The New York Times:
Brother And Sister Of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Accuse Him Of Spreading Misinformation On Vaccines
A brother, sister and niece of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on Wednesday chastised him for campaigning against vaccines, saying he has been disseminating “dangerous misinformation” that discourages immunization even as measles spreads throughout the United States. They declared that they love him and praised his work to protect the environment. “However, on vaccines he is wrong,” they wrote in a column published in Politico under the headline “RFK Jr. Is Our Brother and Uncle. He’s Tragically Wrong About Vaccines.” (Rabin, 5/8)
The New York Times:
Walmart Raises Minimum Age To Buy Tobacco Products To 21
Starting in July, people under the age of 21 will no longer be able to buy tobacco products from Walmart or Sam’s Club stores in the United States. Walmart Inc. announced on Wednesday that it would be raising the minimum age for buying the products on July 1, making it the latest retailer to make changes regarding tobacco sales to minors. Walmart’s move comes after a letter from the Food and Drug Administration last month that requested it to submit a plan to end illegal tobacco sales to minors. (Garcia, 5/8)
The Washington Post:
House Democrats Seek To Block Trump’s Faith-Based Protections For Health Workers
The House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday voted to block a new Trump administration rule allowing health workers to refuse services that violate their religious beliefs. The measure by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) would prevent spending to implement the new rule, which Trump announced last week during a speech before faith leaders. The broad new rule allows health-care providers, insurers and employers to refuse to provide or pay for services that violate their religious or moral beliefs, such as abortion or assisted suicide. (Werner, 5/8)
The Associated Press:
Teen’s Death Raises New Questions About US Care Of Migrants
Juan de León Gutiérrez told his mother he was calling from a warehouse in Mexico, hidden by a human smuggler who had been paid to take the teenager into the United States. “He told me he had something of a headache, perhaps because he was hungry and had not been able to sleep,” said his mother, Tránsito Gutiérrez de León. The 16-year-old died on April 30 after officials at a Texas youth detention facility noticed he was sick, becoming the third Guatemalan child to die in U.S. custody since December. (Merchant and Perez D., 5/9)