Latest From California Healthline:
Medicare doesn’t pay for an annual physical, but it does cover an annual wellness visit focused on preventing disease and disability by coming up with a “personalized prevention plan” for future medical issues. It is important to use the correct term when scheduling a doctor’s visit. (Michelle Andrews, 3/20)
Good morning! Thousands of University of California workers are launching their third strike in less than a year today, accusing university leaders of not addressing job insecurity and wage inequality. More on that below, but first, here are some of your other top California health stories for the day.
San Francisco Considers Ban On E-Cigarettes Until Federal Government Regulates Vaping Products: San Francisco Supervisor Shamann Walton introduced legislation banning the sale of e-cigarettes in the city unless they get an FDA review. Supporters say that if the measure is approved, it would be the first such prohibition in the country, though it is unclear whether it will pass. Another measure that was introduced would prevent companies that make e-cigarettes from renting city-owned property. "I don’t eventually want Juul to leave the city. I would like for them to have been gone yesterday," Walton said. "And we’ve been clear about that, our neighbors have been clear about that. So we definitely would like for them to conduct business somewhere else."
Sacramento is also poised to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products.
In Latest Blow To Bayer, Federal Jury Finds Popular Weedkiller Roundup Was 'Substantial Factor' In Plaintiff's Cancer: The case was an unusual one in that it was divided into two separate phases. In the first part, the jury had to decide if a man developed cancer from exposure to Roundup weedkiller that he used in his yard. The link between the product and users’ cancer has been at the center of most of the lawsuits. In this suit, the jury said the product was a "substantial factor." The second phrase, which will start next, will determine if the company is liable for damages. Some court-watchers had given Bayer an edge in the first phase because jurors were weighing in on the science involved, and didn’t hear allegations that the company hid dangers about its product from the public. But lawyers for the plaintiff will make that argument in the next part. Bayer faces lawsuits in the U.S. from about 11,200 farmers, home gardeners and landscapers claiming its glyphosate-based herbicides cause non-Hodgkin lymphoma and other cancers. Six more trials are due to start this year in federal and state courts.
Report Finds Pacific Gas and Electric Knew About Likelihood Of Flaws That Led To Deadly Wildfires: Five of the 10 most destructive fires in California since 2015 have been linked to Pacific Gas and Electric’s network, and regulators have found that in many fires, PG&E violated state law or could have done more to make its equipment safer. The state has not finished its investigation of the blaze known as the Camp Fire, which became California’s deadliest ever, but the company said recently that its equipment was probably the cause. On the morning of Nov. 8, a live wire broke free of Tower 27/222, and 15 minutes later a fire was observed nearby. The region was engulfed in flames within hours. Utility experts were incredulous that PG&E had let Tower 27/222 stand for so long, and the company’s critics say the utility could have easily obtained approval from state regulators to replace the tower and recover the cost from ratepayers. “Some people believe that you run equipment to failure,” Catherine Sandoval, a former California regulator who has been pushing for improved maintenance of electrical poles and towers. “They believe ‘run to failure’ to save money. This is the danger of run to failure.” Read more from The New York Times.
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.
Sign up to get the daily edition in your inbox
More News From Across The State
University Of California Workers To Strike For 3rd Time In 11 Months
Thousands of University of California workers are launching their third strike in less than a year Wednesday at 10 campuses and five medical centers statewide, saying their labor contract negotiations have stalled because UC leaders are not willing to address wage inequality and job security. Picketers will be marching all day at the UC Davis Medical Center campus along Sacramento’s Stockton Boulevard and near Toomey Field on the UC Davis campus. (Anderson, 3/19)
Los Angeles Times:
Border Patrol Says Detention Centers Are Full — And Starts Releasing Migrants
The Border Patrol released 50 recently apprehended migrants here Tuesday, the first of several hundred border-crossers who officials say will soon be freed because there is no room to hold them. Normally, the Border Patrol would transfer the migrants to Immigration and Customs Enforcement to be “processed” and in many cases placed in detention facilities. But officials said that both agencies have run out of space due to a recent influx of Central American families. (Hennessy-Fiske and O'Toole, 3/19)
Orange County Register:
Immigrant Detainees Stage Hunger Strike At Adelanto Facility
Immigrant detainees at the Adelanto Detention Facility, a privately run center that has been criticized for providing inadequate care, are staging a hunger strike to bring attention to conditions there. Their demands: adequate medical care, an end to what they describe as abusive treatment, and access to edible, nutritious food. The hunger strike began in the facility’s west wing on Thursday, March 14, when some 150 men refused to go to the cafeteria, said Lizbeth Abeln, immigrant detention coordinator for the Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice. (Kopetman, 3/19)
Capital Public Radio/KXJZ:
Merced Doctors Issue Prescriptions For Food Under New Program Addressing Family Hunger, Health
One in three children experiences food insecurity in Merced County: going hungry, not knowing when or where their next meal is coming from, or just not eating right. A new program at Olivewood Pediatrics is putting meals on the table and helping families eat healthier foods. (Ibarra, 3/19)
Capital Public Radio:
San Joaquin Delta College Opens Food Pantry To Help Students Fulfill Basic Needs
Food pantries have become more common at California’s community colleges as the schools have become aware of how many students struggle to meet basic needs. The Delta College pantry is being funded by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, which has distributed $2.5 million to its 60 campuses to host food pantries or distribution programs. (Ibarra, 3/19)
O'Rourke: Decisions On Late-Term Abortions 'Best Left To A Woman And Her Doctor'
Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), who announced his presidential candidacy last week, said Tuesday he would not infringe on a woman’s right to seek an abortion in a pregnancy’s third trimester. “I think those decisions are best left to a woman and her doctor. I know better than to assume anything about a woman’s decision, an incredibly difficult decision, when it comes to her reproductive rights,” O’Rourke said to applause during a campaign stop at The Pennsylvania State University. (Axelrod, 3/19)
The Associated Press:
UN: Gene Editing For Human Reproduction Is 'Irresponsible'
A panel convened by the World Health Organization said it would be "irresponsible" for scientists to use gene editing for reproductive purposes, but stopped short of calling for a ban. The experts also called for the U.N. health agency to create a database of scientists working on gene editing. The recommendation was announced Tuesday after a two-day meeting in Geneva to examine the scientific, ethical, social and legal challenges of such research. (3/19)
The New York Times:
F.D.A. Approves First Drug For Postpartum Depression
The first drug for women suffering postpartum depression received federal approval on Tuesday, a move likely to pave the way for a wave of treatments to address a debilitating condition that is the most common complication of pregnancy. The drug works very quickly, within 48 hours — a significant improvement over currently available antidepressants, which can take two to four weeks to have an effect, if they work at all. (Belluck, 3/19)
Her Son Died. And Then Anti-Vaxers Attacked Her
Not long ago, a 4-year-old boy died of the flu. His mother, under doctor's orders, watched his two little brothers like a hawk, terrified they might get sick and die, too. Grieving and frightened, just days after her son's death she checked her Facebook page hoping to read messages of comfort from family and friends. Instead, she found dozens of hateful comments: You're a terrible mother. You killed your child. You deserved what happened to your son. This is all fake - your child doesn't exist. Bewildered and rattled, she closed her Facebook app. (Cohen and Bonifield, 3/19)
The New York Times:
Reports Of Breast Implant Illnesses Prompt Federal Review
Reports from thousands of women that breast implants are causing problems like debilitating joint pain and fatigue, claims long dismissed by the medical profession, are receiving new attention from the Food and Drug Administration and researchers. This may be a long-awaited moment of validation for tens of thousands of women who have been brushed off as neurotic, looking to cash in on lawsuits or just victims of chance who coincidentally became ill while having implants. (Grady and Rabin, 3/19)
Addiction Medicine Lures A New Generation Of Idealistic Doctors
The U.S. surgeon general's office estimates that more than 20 million people have a substance-use disorder. Meanwhile, the nation's drug overdose crisis shows no sign of slowing. Yet, by all accounts, there aren't nearly enough physicians who specialize in treating addiction — doctors with extensive clinical training who are board certified in addiction medicine. The opioid epidemic has made this doctor deficit painfully apparent. And it's spurring medical institutions across the United States to create fellowships for aspiring doctors who want to treat substance-use disorders with the same precision and science as other diseases. (Stone, 3/19)
The Associated Press:
Smoking Strong Pot Daily Raises Psychosis Risk, Study Finds
Smoking high-potency marijuana every day could increase the chances of developing psychosis by nearly five times, according to the biggest-ever study to examine the impact of pot on psychotic disorder rates. The research adds to previous studies that have found links between marijuana and mental health problems, but still does not definitively pinpoint marijuana as the cause. (3/19)
As Home-Cooked Cottage-Food Industry Grows, States Work To Keep Up
As more consumers shop at farmers markets and “eat local,” U.S. local food sales, including cottage-food sales, have soared from $5 billion annually in 2008 to a projected $20 billion this year, according to former U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. Maine, North Dakota, Utah and Wyoming have gone further, enacting “food freedom” laws that exempt home producers from food-safety rules that apply to grocery stores, restaurants and other food establishments. Advocates see food freedom as a matter of personal liberty and think informed consumers can make their own choices. The issue is a cause among those who want less government regulation. (Mercer, 3/19)