Latest From California Healthline:
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra is trying to prevent Santa Clara County from buying two local nonprofit hospitals unless it pledges to maintain certain critical health care services. County officials warn the hospitals will close if the attorney general succeeds, leaving area residents with fewer health care choices. (Samantha Young and Barbara Feder Ostrov, 1/29)
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Advocates Pleased With Newsom’s Incremental Steps Toward Single-Payer
The hard reality of trying to fulfil a campaign trail promise could have put Gov. Gavin Newsom in a tough position with his supporters. But many advocates are pleased with the moves he’s made on health care. His plan is more incremental than the sweeping changes universal-coverage proponents may have dreamed about, but they see it as moving the ball forward in a long path toward a single-payer system. “He’s making a statement and sometimes making statements is important—even if there’s little chance of making progress in the immediate future,” said UCLA fellow Gerald Kominski in KQED’s coverage.
Kamala Harris Would Be Willing To Cut Private Insurers Out Of Mix To Enact ‘Medicare For All’
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), a newly official 2020 contender, talked about the proposal that’s popular with progressive Democrats at a town hall on Monday, saying she feels “very strongly” about “Medicare for All.” Recent polls, however, have found that Americans don't like the idea of giving up their private plans for universal coverage. CNN has the story.
On Heels Of California’s Deadliest Fire, Officials Worry That Shutdown Has Left Them Unprepared For Next Season
The ripple effects from the shutdown are still being felt across the country—including in national parks and California where officials are concerned that the lapse in funding has set them back irrevocably when it comes to preparing for this year’s wildfire season. Training and hiring were halted, as were contract arrangements with helicopters and other aircraft; vegetation work was stopped; and there was no forward progress with controlled burns or brush clearing. Read more in the San Francisco Chronicle.
Is Pollution Rewiring Kids’ Brains To Crave Junk Food? New USC Study Suggests Link Between High-Traffic Areas, Later Obesity
Kids who were raised in areas that were sooty were 34 percent more likely to eat junk food later in life than their peers, a study finds. Experts say that while some of the negative effects of pollution—such as increased risks for respiratory problems and cancer—are obvious, the study is an example that the lasting problems it causes have not been fully explored. Check out more in Capitol Public Radio’s coverage.
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
Newsom's Tactic: Not Yet Health Care For All, But Health Care For More
It was way easier for candidate Gavin Newsom to endorse single-payer health care coverage for everyone than it is now for Gov. Newsom to deliver it. Yet hardcore advocates say they’re pleased with the moves he’s made thus far—even if it may take years to come to fruition. (Aguilera, 1/28)
The California Health Report:
Proposed Changes To Juvenile Justice System Generate Praise, Skepticism
Advocates for juvenile justice reform are both optimistic and wary of a proposal to put the California Health and Human Services Agency in charge of the state’s juvenile justice system. Last week, new California Governor Gavin Newsom announced plans to work with the legislature on shifting the Division of Juvenile Justice from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to the Health and Human Services Agency. He said the change would be part of restructuring juvenile detention in the state to focus on helping youth work through trauma and obtain educational and vocational skills, rather than punishing them. (Boyd-Barrett, 1/28)
Wildfire Season Preparations Delayed By Shutdown
Park rangers are worrying about the lasting effects from the recent shutdown, particularly when it comes to preparations for the next fire season. The longest shutdown in U.S. history ended on Friday after 35 days, and it coincided with the crucial fire season planning period for many national parks and forests. (Green, 1/29)
The San Francisco Chronicle:
Wildfire Prevention: Can California Make Up Ground Lost To Shutdown?
During the shutdown, no new logging projects went forward, nor did fuel reduction programs like brush clearing, controlled fires and slash-pile burns. Also, much of the planning and hiring of firefighters that typically gets done in winter was put on hold. Some federal employees, unauthorized to speak to the media, say fire programs at national parks and forests won’t be fully staffed before the new fire season begins. “A lot of preparation just didn’t happen,” said Stephen Graydon, a former firefighter for the U.S. Forest Service and now executive director of Terra Fuego, a Butte County organization that works with the government to reduce fire risk. “It’s hard enough to get ahead on large-scale forest treatments. While I can’t give you a number of acres that wasn’t treated during the shutdown, we’ve lost opportunities. The shutdown will have a lasting effect.” (Alexander, 1/26)
Camp Fire Debris Cleanup In Butte County To Launch This Week
Saying they feel an urgency to act fast, California officials this week will launch the main phase of wildfire debris removal in Butte County, scene of November’s devastating Camp Fire. But a potential problem has emerged: Nearly half of the property owners in the hill country around Paradise have not given the government permission to enter their properties to do the work. County officials this week said they are making an extra push to get the word out to people who own burned property, informing them that they are required to have their land cleaned of ash and other fire debris, either through a free state-run program or by hiring their own contractor and paying for it themselves. (Bizjak, 1/29)
The Mercury News:
PG&E Files For Bankruptcy In The Wake Of Deadly Wildfires
PG&E filed for a Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Tuesday, staggered by billions of dollars in debts and liabilities in the wake of a series of deadly wildfires that torched Northern California in 2017 and 2018.San Francisco-based PG&E listed $51.69 billion in debts and $71.39 billion in assets, according to the filing with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Northern California. “We are not ‘going out of business,’ and we expect that there will be no disruption to the services you expect from us as a result of the Chapter 11 process,” PG&E stated in a post on its website to explain the bankruptcy. (Avalos, 1/29)
Harris Backs 'Medicare For All' And Eliminating Private Insurance As We Know It
California Sen. Kamala Harris fully embraced "Medicare-for-all" single payer health insurance at a CNN town hall Monday and said she's willing to end private insurance to make it happen. "We need to have Medicare-for-all," Harris told a questioner in the audience, noting it's something she feels "very strongly" about. When pressed by CNN's Jake Tapper if that means eliminating private insurance, the senator answered affirmatively, saying she would be OK with cutting insurers out of the mix. She also accused them of thinking only of their bottom lines and of burdening Americans with paperwork and approval processes. (Luhby and Krieg, 1/29)
Capital Public Radio:
Your Brain On Exhaust: New Study Shows Pollution Could Increase Obesity Risk In Kids
Diesel exhaust may be wiring kids’ brains for junk food cravings, according to a new study from the University of Southern California. The research found that children who grow up in high-traffic areas are more likely to consume unhealthy foods later in life, regardless of their poverty level or proximity to fast food restaurants. (Caiola, 1/28)
Los Angeles Times:
Obesity, Climate Change And Hunger Must Be Fought As One, Health Experts Declare
Maybe, when it comes to finding a way out of a global crisis of obesity, we’re just thinking too small. Maybe the steps needed to reverse a pandemic of unhealthy weight gain are the same as those needed to solve two other crises of human health: malnutrition and climate change. So instead of trying to tackle each of these problems individually, public health experts recommend that we lash the three together. (Healy, 1/28)
The Associated Press:
Officials Urge Vaccinations Amid Northwest Measles Outbreak
Public health officials scrambling to contain a measles outbreak in the U.S. Northwest warned people to vaccinate their children Monday and worried that it could take months to contain the highly contagious viral illness due to a lower-than-normal vaccination rate at the epicenter of the crisis. The outbreak near Portland has sickened 35 people in Oregon and Washington since Jan. 1, with 11 more cases suspected. Most of the patients are children under 10, and one child has been hospitalized. (1/28)
Los Angeles Times:
L.A. Doctor In Trouble After Prescribing Marijuana To 4-Year-Old
A Hollywood physician could lose his medical license after recommending that a father give his 4-year-old son marijuana cookies to control temper tantrums, according to California’s medical board. Dr. William Eidelman, a natural medicine physician, improperly diagnosed the boy with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and bipolar disorder before recommending marijuana as the treatment, the medical board said in a decision announced last month. (Karlamangla, 1/28)
Capital Public Radio:
Where Will The Next Sacramento Homeless Triage Shelters Be Located?
Sacramento City Council members have been looking for possible homeless shelter triage sites for a couple of months.Jay Schenirer represents Oak Park and part of south Sacramento. One of his possible sites is the parking lot behind a Sacramento Regional Transit station on Florin Road. (Moffitt, 1/28)
Capital Public Radio:
Homeless Attempt Cleanup To Stave Off Eviction From Vacant Lot On Stockton Blvd.
Homeless people and advocates spent Monday picking up trash in an effort to halt eviction proceedings in Sacramento. They say more than 40 tent sites on a vacant lot along Stockton Boulevard near Fruitridge Road are in danger of being cleared. (Moffitt, 1/28)
Capital Public Radio:
Stephon Clark’s Family Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against City Of Sacramento, Seeking More Than $20 Million In Damages
Family members of Stephon Clark filed a wrongful-death lawsuit in federal court on Monday, blaming the city of Sacramento and two of its police officers in the March 2018 shooting. Clark’s mother, grandmother, uncle and children are seeking more than $20 million in damages. (Miller, 1/28)
A Year After Trump Touted Right To Try, Patients Still Aren't Getting Treatment
Patients and family members like Frank and Marilyn [Mongiello] — a half dozen of whom spoke to STAT — described making dozens of unreturned calls to drug makers, outlining plans to pitch the companies on how right to try could be good for business, and even trolling Food and Drug Administration Twitter accounts hoping to drum up some help getting access. Their failures so far underscore just how many questions remain: Did the law change anything, or did it just give patients false hope? Were the detractors who made such critiques right all along? (Florko, 1/29)
Pharma Stocks In Focus As Congress Kicks Off Drug Cost Hearings
Watch pharmaceutical stocks on Tuesday as the new Congress kicks off its first hearings on drug pricing this year. The two meetings, by the House Oversight and Senate Finance committees, will both focus on the impact of rising drug prices, and lawmakers are expected to make their case for more direct government involvement in pricing decisions for Medicare and allowing Americans to import certain drugs from Canada for personal use. (Darie, 1/28)
Sackler Family, Members Of Purdue Pharma Accused Of Profiting From The Opioid Crisis
A court ruling Monday in Massachusetts will expose details about one of America's richest families and their connection to the nation's opioid crisis. The Sacklers and members of their company Purdue Pharma have been named in a lawsuit that accuses them of profiting from the opioid crisis by aggressively marketing OxyContin, claims denied by attorneys for the family and Purdue. The suit had been heavily redacted, but on Monday, Suffolk County Superior Court Judge Janet Sanders ruled that the unredacted amended complaint must be publicly released by February 1. (Marco, 1/29)
The New York Times:
Study Offers Hint Of Hope For Staving Off Dementia In Some People
In dementia research, so many paths have led nowhere that any glimmer of optimism is noteworthy. So some experts are heralding the results of a large new study, which found that people with hypertension who received intensive treatment to lower their blood pressure were less likely than those receiving standard blood pressure treatment to develop minor memory and thinking problems that often progress to dementia. (Belluck, 1/28)
Apple Watch, Using Aetna Client Data, Wants To Help You Be Healthy
CVS Health Corp's health insurer Aetna on Tuesday said it is working with Apple Inc on a new health app for Apple Watches that uses an individual's medical history to set personalized health goals. Called "Attain," the Apple Watch app will reward Aetna customers for meeting activity goals and fulfilling recommended tasks, such as getting vaccinations or refilling medications, with a subsidy toward the cost of an Apple Watch or gift cards for U.S. retailers. (1/29)