- California Healthline Original Stories 1
- California's RN Wages Now Highest In The Nation, Federal Data Show
- Campaign 2016 2
- In Final Debate, Clinton Accuses Trump Of Using 'Scare Rhetoric' On Abortion
- In Stark Contrast To Previous Years, Business Groups Sit Out Tobacco Initiative Battle
- Covered California & The Health Law 1
- Obama Administration Sets 13.8M Goal For Final Enrollment Period
- Public Health and Education 2
- The DEA Wants Your Unused Meds
- $30M Project To Facilitate And Accelerate Stem Cell Research Approved By State Agency
- Around California 2
- Authorities Investigate Reason Behind Pipe-Bomb Suicide At Health Clinic
- San Diego's Alzheimer's Project Gets Boost In Funding, Credibility From HHS
Latest From California Healthline:
Registered nurses in the state earn an average annual salary of $100,000, compared to a national average of $71,000. (Ana B. Ibarra, 10/20)
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Summaries Of The News:
“If you go with what Hillary is saying, in the ninth month you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb of the mother just prior to the birth of the baby," Donald Trump said, after affirming that he would appoint anti-abortion justices to the Supreme Court. Hillary Clinton fired back, saying, "The government has no business in the decisions that women make with their families."
The New York Times:
Donald Trump Won’t Say If He’ll Accept Result Of Election
The two candidates also tangled over abortion rights. After initially declining to flatly say whether he would support overturning Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion, Mr. Trump conceded that the justices he would appoint to the court would do just that. “If we put another two or perhaps three justices on, that’s really what will happen,” he said. “That’ll happen automatically in my opinion.” (Healy and Martin, 10/19)
In other news from the debate —
The Washington Post:
Trump, Clinton Answers On Social Security Were Victories For The Left
Chris Wallace’s questions did assume that entitlements needed to be cut. He asked Trump if would “make a deal to save Medicare and Social Security that included both tax increases and benefit cuts, in effect, a grand bargain on entitlements,” and asked Clinton if she would back “a deal that includes both tax increases and benefit cuts.” But neither candidate accepted the premise. Trump insisted, tautologically, that his tax cuts would spur the economy “to grow at a record rate of growth,” solving any problem with entitlement spending. Clinton said she would raise taxes on the rich to expand benefits; “that will come from either raising the cap and/or finding other ways to get more money into it,” she said. “I will not cut benefits. I want to enhance benefits for low-income workers and for women who have been disadvantaged by the current Social Security system.” (Weigel, 10/20)
The Associated Press:
Fact Check: Trump, Clinton And Their Debate Claims
Clinton is basically on target, but Medicare's funding problems are more complicated than she implies. The 2010 health care law was partly financed with cuts in future payments to hospitals, insurers and other Medicare service providers. According to projections at the time, that extended the solvency of the Medicare trust fund to 2029. (Otherwise Medicare would have been unable to fully pay its bills in 2017.) Republican budgets since then have kept Obama's Medicare cuts. But the health care law did not solve Medicare's financial problems. (10/20)
The Associated Press:
Fact Check: Health Insurance Costs Up, But Not Doubling
Premiums are going up, and by double digits in many states, but to say it's over 100 percent is pure hyperbole. The full impact of next year's premium increases is going to take time to sort out and vary across the country. Full information will be available Nov. 1 when the HealthCare.gov market goes live. (10/20)
Some groups are even going so far as to back the tax on cigarettes.
Los Angeles Times:
Why Business Groups Aren't Fighting California's Tobacco And Income Tax Hike Initiatives
Four years ago, business leaders financed a multimillion-dollar campaign to oppose an initiative to raise income taxes on California’s highest earners. The same year, the California Chamber of Commerce was featured prominently in television advertisements against a ballot measure to increase the cigarette tax. Now, with new versions of both the income and tobacco taxes on the statewide ballot, money from the business community isn’t there and neither is the same level of opposition. Instead, many business groups are reluctantly resigned to an extension of the higher income tax rates and, in some cases, are even promoting the cigarette tax hike. (Dillon, 10/20)
If enrollment increases as the Obama administration predicts, it would suggest that the marketplace is steadier than its critics contend.
The New York Times:
As Health Markets Struggle, 9% Average Rise In Enrollment Is Predicted
The Obama administration said Wednesday that it expected monthly enrollment in the Affordable Care Act marketplace to average 11.4 million next year, up 9 percent from the monthly average this year, despite rising premiums and the departure of major insurers from the marketplace in many places. (Pear, 10/19)
The Associated Press:
Modest Gain Seen For Obama's Last Health Care Sign-Up Season
Some 13.8 million people are expected to sign up for 2017 coverage, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell said. That would be an increase of a bit less than 9 percent from the 12.7 million who picked plans during open enrollment for this year. This year is shaping up to be the most difficult sign-up season since HealthCare.gov launched in 2013 and the computer system froze up. But technology isn't the issue this time. Premiums are going up by double digits in many communities, and some major insurers have left the program, leaving consumers with fewer choices next year. (Alonson-Zaldivar, 10/19)
Los Angeles Times:
Obamacare Enrollment Is Expected To Grow By Just 1 Million Next Year
“Building a new market is never easy,” Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell said Wednesday in remarks at the agency. “And as I’ve said before, we expect this to be a transition period for the marketplace. Issuers are adjusting their prices, bringing them in line with actual data on their costs. And at HHS, we’re enhancing the stability of the marketplace, and making it stronger for the future.” But Burwell renewed calls on Congress to help make adjustments to the law to make the marketplaces more sustainable. (Levey, 10/19)
In an effort to curb the opioid epidemic, the Drug Enforcement Administration is hosting an event on Saturday to anonymously collect any unwanted medications.
The DEA Is Urging Consumers To Drop Off Their Unwanted Prescription Painkillers On Oct. 22, Part Of A Nationwide Campaign To Cut Down On Opiate Abuse.
Got unwanted painkillers or other prescription drugs sitting in your medicine cabinet or nightstand? The DEA wants to take them off your hands, no questions asked. On Saturday, as part of its nationwide campaign to curb opiate addiction and prescription drug overdoses, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration is urging the public to drop off unneeded prescription drugs – anonymously – at 4,700 collection spots nationwide, including more than 15 in the greater Sacramento region. (Buck, 10/20)
Orange County Register:
Unwanted Meds Can Be Dropped Off Saturday
Unused and expired prescriptions can be dropped off Saturday at more than 30 Orange County locations as part of National Take Back Day. The effort by the Drug Enforcement Administration is aimed at preventing prescription drug abuse and theft. Medications can be dropped off from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at participating hospitals and police and sheriff’s departments. Drop off is free and anonymous. (Perkes, 10/19)
The agency said the program will help create “the first center in the world designed specifically to overcome the unique challenge of manufacturing, safety testing and other activities needed to successfully apply” to start a stem cell clinical trial.
California Stem Cell Agency Approves $30 Million To Fast-Track Clinical Trials
The California stem cell agency on Wednesday completed creation of a $30 million effort to dramatically speed approval of stem cell therapies and establish the Golden State globally in the much-heralded regenerative medicine field. Dubbed the “pitching machine,” the two-part program is designed to pick up where basic stem cell research leaves off and to accelerate it through the all-important clinical trials involving humans. Such trials are required prior to widespread use of a therapy by the public and generally take years. (Jensen, 10/19)
The lobby of the clinic was empty when the incident occurred, and no other injuries were reported.
The Mercury News:
Investigation Continues Into Pipe-Bomb Suicide At Clinic
A day after a wheelchair-bound man blew himself up with a pipe bomb in the lobby of an East Oakland health clinic, after waiting for everyone to leave, authorities were trying to find out what prompted the suicide. The man, whose name has not been released, was the only one injured in the blast at about 6:26 p.m. Tuesday at the San Antonio Neighborhood Health Center, 1030 International Blvd. Authorities said that in addition to the pipe bomb, some illegal fireworks were also found on the man after the explosion. (Harris, 10/19)
Los Angeles Times:
Man In Wheelchair Detonates Pipe Bomb In Oakland Clinic, Killing Himself
A man in a wheelchair killed himself Tuesday after detonating a pipe bomb inside a health clinic in Oakland, police said. The deadly incident was reported about 6:26 p.m. at the San Antonio Health Center in the 1000 block of International Boulevard, according to the Oakland Police Department. (Rocha, 10/19)
The $1 million grant will go toward social workers who help patients.
San Diego Union-Tribune:
Alzheimer's Project Wins $1 Million Federal Grant
San Diego County’s homegrown effort to fight Alzheimer’s disease just received a $1 million federal grant to enhance the abilities of social workers who serve dementia patients and provide respite to loved ones who care for such patients at home. The funding, awarded by the Administration on Aging at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is intended to help the county’s Alzheimer’s Project build a case management program that will hopefully make it easier for dementia patients to find the resources they need quickly after diagnosis. (Sisson, 10/19)
In other news from across the state —
Kaiser Permanente, Sacramento Kings Open State-The-Art Sports Medicine Center In Golden 1
Move over, DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay. You’re about to get company on the injured players list. In a Tuesday morning ribbon cutting at Golden 1 Center, Kaiser Permanente and Sacramento Kings officials opened their sports medicine facility catering to NBA players as well as teenage student athletes and “weekend warriors.” (Buck, 10/18)
Syphilis cases increased by 19 percent, gonorrhea by nearly 13 percent, and chlamydia by nearly 6 percent compared with 2014.
The New York Times:
Reported Cases Of Sexually Transmitted Diseases Are On Rise
There were more cases of sexually transmitted diseases reported in the United States last year than ever before, according to new federal data. Rates of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis — three of the most common S.T.D.s — grew for the second consecutive year, with sharper increases in the West than other regions. And while all three diseases are treatable with antibiotics, most cases continue to go undiagnosed, potentially causing infertility and other problems. (Goodnough, 10/19)
In other national health care news —
The New York Times:
Children 14 Or Under Need Fewer H.P.V. Vaccine Doses
Children 11 to 14 years old need only two doses of the H.P.V. vaccine, not the previously recommended three doses, to protect against cervical cancer and other cancers caused by the human papillomavirus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Wednesday. But teenagers and young adults who start the vaccinations later, at ages 15 through 26, should stick with the three-dose regimen, the disease centers said. (Grady, 10/19)
VA Shuffles Managers, Declares ‘New Leadership’
Although Veterans Affairs Secretary Bob McDonald has asserted that more than “90%” of the VA’s medical centers have “new leadership” or “leadership teams” since he took over the troubled agency in 2014, a USA TODAY investigation found the VA has hired just eight medical center directors from outside the agency during that time. (Slack, 10/18)
The Common Cold May Be Beatable, Scientists Say
Time and again, Martin Moore’s children get sick with a cold. He hauls them to their doctor, who then informs him that there’s nothing to be done aside from taking them home and waiting it out. The experience is maddening for Moore — especially because he’s a virologist. For everything that virologists have learned about rhinoviruses — the cause of the majority of colds — they have not invented a vaccine for them. In 2013, Moore wondered if he could make one. He consulted a rhinovirus expert for some advice. Instead, the expert told him, “Oh, there will never be a vaccine for rhinovirus — it’s just not possible.” (Zimmer, 10/20)
Are Concerns About A Price War Between Johnson & Johnson And Pfizer 'Overblown'?
After Pfizer announced earlier this week that it will sell a biosimilar version of Remicade, the blockbuster rheumatoid arthritis treatment, Johnson & Johnson executives are scrambling to calm investors who worry the health care giant will quickly lose a big chunk of revenue. That’s because Pfizer plans to sell Inflectra at a 15 percent discount to Remicade, which generated roughly $1.2 billion in sales for Johnson & Johnson in this year’s first quarter. A biosimilar, you may recall, is a nearly identical variant of a biologic and is expected to provide the same result in patients, which means the Pfizer medicine is poised to eat into Remicade sales. The question, though, is by how much? (Silverman, 10/19)