- California Healthline Original Stories 3
- House GOP Health Bill Jettisons Insurance Mandate, Much Of Medicaid Expansion
- Los Angeles County Finds E-Success In Managing Specialist Care
- Are Virtual Doctor Visits Really Cost-Effective? Not So Much, Study Says
- Covered California & The Health Law 2
- GOP Plan Scraps Mandate, Rolls Back Medicaid And Replaces Subsidies With Tax Credits
- 'It’s Even More Bleak Than We Thought': Health Advocates, Calif. Dems Criticize GOP Plan
- Health Care Personnel 1
- Documents Reveal Sexual Misconduct Problems At UC Medical Centers, Hospitals
Latest From California Healthline:
After intense negotiations among party’s factions, leaders unveil legislation that committees will mark up this week. (Mary Agnes Carey and Phil Galewitz, 3/6)
An electronic consulting and referral system adopted by the county’s safety-net public health system in 2012 has reduced waiting times for appointments with specialists and eliminated the need for such appointments in a significant number of cases, according to a new study in the journal Health Affairs. (Anna Gorman, 3/7)
Rand Corp. finds that telehealth encourages patients to seek care for minor illnesses they wouldn’t bother to make an office visit for, raising overall health costs. (Ana B. Ibarra, 3/6)
Sign up to get the daily edition in your inbox
Summaries Of The News:
House Republicans release their long-awaited plan, named the American Health Care Act, which protects some of the Affordable Care Act's more popular provisions.
Los Angeles Times:
Republicans Unveil Plan To Repeal And Replace Obamacare Amid Conflicting Pressures
House Republicans released a long-awaited Obamacare replacement Monday that would dismantle the law’s extensive system for expanding health insurance coverage to millions of Americans. In all, the plan would probably take away health coverage from several million Americans and raise costs for many more, especially low-income people and the middle-aged. But it would immediately end the requirement that all Americans have insurance, which has been highly unpopular, especially with Republicans, reduce federal authority over the healthcare system and provide a huge tax cut to upper-income families. (Levey and Mascaro, 3/6)
San Francisco Chronicle:
GOP Plan To Replace Health Care Plan Is Released
The plan would decrease federal funding to Medi-Cal, the state’s version of Medicaid, and take away a subsidy from the state’s health insurance marketplace, known as Covered California. The proposed legislation would preserve two popular provisions of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare: Insurance companies could not deny coverage to patients based on pre-existing conditions, and children could stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26. (Ho, 3/6)
House GOP Releases Bill That Would Replace Obamacare Taxes And Penalties, Keep Some Subsidies
The bill would offer tax credits, refundable in advance, to people with incomes below $75,000. But those credits will be lower in many cases than the subsidies now offered in the ACA. (Kodjak and Neel, 3/6)
The Wall Street Journal:
Top Earners Would Pay Less Tax Under GOP Health-Care Proposal
Households at the top of the U.S. income ladder would see taxes on their wages and investments drop under the House Republicans’ new health-care proposal. As expected, the bill repeals a 3.8% tax on investment income and a 0.9% tax on wages. Both levies affect only the highest-earning households, those individuals making at least $200,000 and married couples making more than $250,000. (Rubin, 3/7)
Conservatives Pan House Obamacare Repeal Bill
A handful of House conservatives on Monday evening criticized GOP leaderships’ newly released Obamacare replacement bill, foreshadowing trouble for the repeal effort even after leaders tried to assuage the far-right. Some House Freedom Caucus members dismissed the bill as creating a new “entitlement program” by offering health care tax credits to low-income Americans. (Bade, 3/6)
Schumer Promises Dems Will Try To Defeat 'Trumpcare'
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Monday slammed the GOP’s replacement plans for Obamacare, saying Democrats will work to defeat the bills. “This bill is a giveaway to the wealthy and insurance companies at the expense of American families, and Senate Democrats will work hard to see that it is defeated,” Schumer said in a statement. Republicans rolled out two measures on Monday to repeal and replace the healthcare legislation, a signature campaign promise of President Trump. (Shelbourne, 3/6)
GOP Needs Trump's Salesmanship To Advance New Obamacare Plan
Two House committees released long-awaited draft measures that House Speaker Paul Ryan and GOP leaders negotiated with the White House, and made expedited plans to take up the measures Wednesday. The proposal would scrap the underpinnings of Obamacare, including its mandate to buy insurance and many of its taxes, and establish a new refundable, age-based tax credit to help people buy insurance. Leaders aim to get a final measure to Trump’s desk by mid-April, which leaves little room for error. (House, 3/6)
Los Angeles Times:
Read The Bill: GOP Proposal For Replacing Obamacare
This is House Republicans’ plan to replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. They released the proposal Monday. (3/6)
“I think they’ve managed to do a good job in making sure everyone with health insurance will get worse coverage with fewer benefits,” said state Sen. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento).
GOP Reveals Obamacare Repeal Plan, Alarming California Democrats
Long-awaited legislation announced Monday night to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act immediately raised cries of dismay among Democratic legislators and consumer health advocates in California. House Republicans in Washington, D.C., called it a necessary fix. The bill, part of President Donald Trump’s campaign promise to dump Obamacare, sparked fears from some that millions of Americans will lose health coverage. (Pugh, Daugherty, Buck and Caiola, 3/6)
In other news —
KPBS Public Media:
Disability Rights Groups Oppose Obamacare Repeal
Advocates for people with disabilities say the Affordable Care Act has improved access and has made it easier for people with disabilities to live independently. What's more, they say, Obamacare has introduced some vital protections. (Goldberg, 3/7)
About 40 of the 113 records the University of California released detailing investigations and findings related to allegations of sex-based discrimination or misconduct involved medical centers and hospitals.
Sexual Harassment, Misconduct Also Plague UC Medical Centers
The University of California operates five nationally recognized medical centers known for their breakthrough research, medical specialties and doctor-training programs. But documents released last week show sexual harassment and misconduct are not only plaguing UC campuses, but also the system’s medical centers and hospitals. (Tintocalis, 3/6)
The legislation goes beyond state and federal laws that already require private employers to make “reasonable efforts” to provide a clean space other than a bathroom where women can breastfeed or pump breast milk.
San Francisco Chronicle:
SF May Require Breastfeeding-Friendly Workplaces
San Francisco could soon have the most sweeping lactation policy in the nation, making it easier for mothers to pump breast milk in the workplace. Supervisor Katy Tang will introduce legislation Tuesday that would require all workplaces in the city — private and public — to have a lactation space that would include a seat, surface, electrical outlet and sink. The city Department of Public Health would provide a form for women to request time from their bosses to pump, and the bosses would be legally required to accommodate the request. (Johnson, 3/6)
In other news from across the state —
KHSD Unanimously Approves New Sex Ed Policy
In order to comply with new state laws, the Kern High School District voted unanimously Monday night to revamp its sexual education policy. Designed to decrease rate of sexually transmitted infections in the county, the new curriculum will include "comprehensive sexual health and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevention" and will "promote understanding of sexuality as a normal part of human development." ... After years of declining STD rates in Kern County teens, the numbers have gone back up. The Kern County Public Health Services Department says 1 in 4 sexually active teen girls in the county has an STD. (Boone, 3/6)
“I am definitely not a fan of expanded use of marijuana,” U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said recently. The Los Angeles Times looks at the state of marijuana in California. Meanwhile, former Oakland Mayor Jean Quan is opening a medical marijuana dispensary.
Los Angeles Times:
What Is The Future Of Recreational Marijuana In Trump's America?
Legalizing recreational marijuana is currently a priority in more than a dozen states as polls show overwhelming support and lawmakers see a way to bring in hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue. So far, eight states have legalized recreational cannabis. But in recent weeks, the Trump administration has alarmed some pot supporters by warning states that have legalized recreational marijuana — California, Colorado and Oregon, among them — that federal law enforcement agents could soon come after them. (Lee, 3/7)
San Jose Mercury News:
Former Oakland Mayor Jean Quan Plans To Open Pot Shop In San Francisco
Now out of elected office, former Oakland Mayor Jean Quan and her husband, Floyd Huen, are embarking on a new venture: a medical marijuana dispensary. Quan and Huen, a physician, are partnering with Apothecarium to open a dispensary in the Outer Sunset, in a predominantly Chinese American neighborhood in San Francisco. Apothecarium already operates a dispensary in the Castro, but Huen said there is a great need for one in the Sunset. (Debolt, 3/6)
Companies will no long have to disclose serious violations. Democrats were particularly concerned about government contractors that were receiving taxpayer money.
Congress Kills Rule Forcing Contractors To Disclose Safety Problems
Companies vying for federal contracts will not be required to disclose serious workplace safety violations after the Senate narrowly voted today to overturn one of President Barack Obama’s executive orders. The move follows a vote by the House last month to dismantle the 2014 order, which required companies vying for federal contracts of $500,000 or more to disclose workplace safety, wage and civil rights violations from the previous three years. (Gollan, 3/6)
Health officials say four people from California have been sickened by eating I.M. Healthy brand SoyNut Butter or granola coated with SoyNut Butter.
San Jose Mercury News:
Two People In Santa Clara County Affected By E. Coli Outbreak
Two people from Santa Clara County are among a dozen in several states who may have become infected by an E. coli outbreak after eating I.M. Healthy brand SoyNut Butter or granola coated with SoyNut Butter, health officials said Monday in a release. The California Department of Public Health, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are investigating a multistate outbreak of the infections and warning people not to eat the product. Young children and the elderly are most vulnerable, officials said. (Turntine, 3/6)
In other public health news —
The Mercury News:
How Dangerous Are Mold Hazards Plaguing Flooded Bay Area Homes?
From San Jose to Felton to Guerneville and beyond, floods this winter have Northern California home recovery and restoration experts scurrying from one water disaster to the next, alerting panicked residents that time is critical in the battle against mold. For many San Jose residents, the floodwaters from Coyote Creek triggered a cascade of confusion: The sudden loss of personal property was followed by headaches over insurance issues and scam-artist contractors. Then came worries that the filthy flood water left behind and the resulting mold could jeopardize their health. (Seipel, 3/7)