Latest From California Healthline:
Only 41.5% of internal medicine positions were filled this year by fourth-year students getting traditional medical degrees from U.S. medical schools – the lowest share on record. Similar trends were seen this year in family medicine and pediatrics. In California, some medical schools are striving to address a looming primary care shortage. (Victoria Knight, 7/3)
Good morning! A quick programming note: The Daily Edition will not be published July 4-5. Look for us again in your inboxes on July 8. And have happy holiday! Now here are your top California health stories for the day.
California Leaders Say Bring It On After Trump Suggests Federal Government Should Intercede In Homelessness Crisis: In an interview with Fox News, President Donald Trump said he is considering using the federal government to "intercede" in what he perceives as a growing "phenomena" of filth in America's cities. Although Trump never explicitly used the term "homeless" or "homelessness" in the interview, that appeared to be the issue he was addressing, saying "some of them have mental problems where they don't even know they're living that way" and "perhaps they like living that way." In particular, he pointed out San Francisco as a problem, saying there were “terrible” things happening there.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who has made homelessness a top priority with his state budget, said he of course welcomed help from the federal government. “It sounds like the president of the United States recognizes he has work to do on this issue,” Newsom said, spinning the president’s comments as “encouraging.” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti—who faced a recall campaign over accusations he hasn’t properly addressed the crisis--also chimed in. The growing homeless crisis in L.A. and across the nation “is not his fault, nor is it my fault, it is something that has been decades in the making,” he said, also eager for federal aid.
Social media kicked up a firestorm over Trump’s claim that the “phenomenon” of “filthy” cities has only been around for two years. "For the record, parts of San Francisco have smelled like urine since I was a kid,” tweeted @deck_the_holly. California’s population included nearly 130,000 homeless residents every day as of January 2018, and according to U.S. Housing and Urban Development data, in January 2010, there were estimated to be more than 123,000 homeless people in the state. Read more from William Cummings of USA Today; Michael R. Blood of The Associated Press; Andrew Sheeler of the Sacramento Bee; Amy Graff of The San Francisco Chronicle; Jeremy B. White of Politico; Michael D. Shear of The New York Times.
California Offers To Pay Down Student Loans For Doctors In Exchange Of Them Accepting Medi-Cal Patients: The 247 selected doctors for the experiment have to promise that at least 30 percent of their caseload will be people enrolled in Medi-Cal. part of California’s effort to try to increase the number of doctors who accept Medi-Cal, which has been plagued by shortages—due both to the state’s paltry rates for doctors in its provider network and to the substantial increase in the number of residents on Medi-Cal. Selected doctors included pediatricians, psychiatrists and obstetricians/gynecologists, and work in settings from community clinics to private practices. “By removing the burden of student loan debt, this program will encourage more providers to make different choices when entering the health care market and be able to provide care for the Medi-Cal population,” said Jennifer Kent, director of the state Department of Health Care Services. The program is funded by the state tobacco tax that voters increased three years ago. Read more from Elizabeth Aguilera of 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:
States' Delay Request For Arguments In 'Obamacare' Lawsuit
A federal appeals court Tuesday rejected a request to delay next week's hearing on the constitutionality of President Barack Obama's health care law. Eighteen Republican-dominated states opposed to the law said they needed more time to prepare answers to complex issues the appeals court raised in a recent filing as they prepared for the hearing. States supporting "Obamacare" had opposed the delay, saying it would contribute to uncertainty for insurance companies, regulators and people who need health care coverage. (7/2)
Mercy San Juan Medical Center Building $35 Million NICU
Dignity Health is investing $35 million at Mercy San Juan Medical Center to expand the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit, adding space not only for state-of-the-art equipment but also 16 rooms where parents can stay with the frailest preemies until it’s time to go home. “We have learned over the last several decades that having parents be with their babies while they’re in the NICU really contributes to shorter hospital stays and much better long-term developmental outcomes,” said Dr. Carolyn Getman, head of the neonatal intensive care unit at Mercy San Juan. (Anderson, 7/3)
San Diego Pediatrician Under Investigation For Allegedly Using Dirty Needles On Patients
A San Diego pediatrician is under investigation for allegations that he used expired and unauthorized needles from a box that a medical assistant said contained dead insects and what appeared to be rodent droppings. The incident allegedly happened in 2016 while Dr. Bret Gerber was working at Scripps Coastal Medical Center in Hillcrest. (Sridhar, 7/2)
Meth Is Making A Comeback In California – And It’s Hitting The San Joaquin Valley Hard
Domestic meth production has dropped in recent years, and most trafficked in the U.S. is manufactured in Mexico and smuggled across the southern border. From there, Interstate 5 and State Route 99 are two of the most common corridors used to distribute the drug to the rest of the country. Although Drug Enforcement Agency data shows the purity of meth has been rising in recent years, an increase in production has brought street prices down considerably. (Klein, 7/2)
San Francisco Chronicle:
Court Rules Berkeley May Require Warnings That Cell Phone Use Risks Radiation Exposure
Berkeley can require cell phone retailers to warn customers that carrying the phones close to their bodies may expose them to radiation above U.S. safety standards, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday in reaffirming a decision the Supreme Court had ordered it to reconsider. Rejecting a free-speech challenge by a cell phone industry group, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco said in a 2-1 ruling that the warning notice is “literally true,” promotes public health and information, and does not require retailers to post controversial messages that violate their beliefs. (Egelko, 7/2)
Los Angeles Times:
A Suprmarkt For The People Challenges ‘Food Apartheid’ In South L.A.
Since 2016, Süprmarkt has provided affordable organic produce to communities in South L.A. both with stands such as this and a subscription-based, CSA-style produce delivery service. Subscribers can sign up on the Süprmarkt website and customize their order by dietary preferences and quantity. (Platt, 7/3)
CA Police Agencies Reported Fewer Deadly Incidents Last Year
As California lawmakers move to restrict police officers’ use of deadly force, a new report says law enforcement agencies have cut use-of-force instances by 20 percent since 2016. Agencies reported 628 incidents last year that involved serious bodily injury, death or the discharge of a firearm, according to a crime report published by the state Department of Justice on Tuesday. That’s a dip from 782 incidents in 2016, and from 707 a year later. In these instances, which involved close to 680 civilians and more than 1,550 officers, 94 percent of the civilians were male and roughly half were Hispanic. Another 20 percent were black and close to a third were white. Nearly three quarters of the incidents ended in arrest. (Wiley, 7/3)
The New York Times:
Government Watchdog Finds Squalid Conditions In Border Centers
Overcrowded, squalid conditions are more widespread at migrant centers along the southern border than initially revealed, the Department of Homeland Security’s independent watchdog said Tuesday. Its report describes standing-room-only cells, children without showers and hot meals, and detainees clamoring desperately for release. The findings by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General were released as House Democrats detailed their own findings at migrant holding centers and pressed the agency to answer for the mistreatment not only of migrants but also of their own colleagues, who have been threatened on social media. (Kanno-Youngs, 7/2)
DHS Watchdog Describes Crammed Detention Centers, A Ticking Time Bomb
Inspectors from DHS's Office of Inspector General in June visited Border Patrol facilities and ports of entry across the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, the busiest sector in the country for illegal border crossings. "We are concerned that overcrowding and prolonged detention represent an immediate risk to the health and safety of DHS agents and officers, and to those detained," they wrote. In its response to the report, the Department of Homeland Security says the surge of migrants crossing the Southern border has led to an "acute and worsening crisis." (Rose and Burnett, 7/2)
The New York Times:
Top Border Officials Condemn ‘Highly Inappropriate’ Secret Facebook Group
Top officials in the agency overseeing border security condemned a secret Facebook group for current and former Border Patrol agents that featured jokes about migrant deaths, obscene images of Hispanic lawmakers and threats to members of Congress as the lawmakers themselves on Tuesday amplified their criticism of the agency. (Kanno-Youngs, 7/2)
The Associated Press:
Show Of Hands On Immigrant Health Care Belies A Thorny Issue
In one unanimous show of hands, Democratic presidential candidates moved to the mainstream the idea of full health insurance for people who don't have legal permission to be in the United States. But turning that debate-night moment into reality would mean reversing longstanding federal policies that have only gotten stricter. The idea is so new that independent experts say they don't have a reliable cost estimate. Politically, it wouldn't happen without a pitched battle. (7/3)
House Panel To Hold Hearing On Treatment Of Migrant Children
The House Oversight Committee has scheduled a hearing next week on the separation and treatment of immigrant children and has launched an investigation into reports of offensive Facebook posts by border patrol officers, the panel said on Tuesday. Representative Elijah Cummings, the committee’s Democratic chairman, said the panel had invited Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan from the Department of Homeland Security and Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan from U.S. Customs and Border Protection to testify on July 12. (7/2)