- California Healthline Original Stories 4
- The GOP Repeal Bill Is Imploding. Here Are 5 Things Left Hanging On Obamacare.
- As Loyal Donors Age, Industry Is Out For Young Blood
- Right After Trump Blamed High Drug Prices On Campaign Cash, Drugmakers Gave More
- Congress’ Cold Shoulder Sends Shivers Through Community Health Centers
- Covered California & The Health Law 1
- Republicans Shelve Bill But Vow 'We Haven’t Given Up On Changing American Health Care System'
- Public Health and Education 3
- Orange County Sees Another Case Of Hep A Linked To San Diego Breakout
- Number Of STD Cases In California Increasing At A 'Concerning Rate'
- Doctors Currently Can't Diagnose CTE In Living Patients, But Scientists Might Have Just Taken First Step
Latest From California Healthline:
Even though the Affordable Care Act has dodged another legislative bullet, it still faces challenges. (Julie Rovner, 9/26)
Nearly 60 percent of the U.S. blood supply is provided by people older than 40 — and most of that is from folks in their 50s and 60s. Why is it so hard to find young donors? (JoNel Aleccia, 9/27)
At a political rally in March, President Donald Trump said drug prices are “outrageous” and blamed campaign contributions. Drugmakers funneled nearly $280,000 to Congress the very next day. (Sydney Lupkin and Elizabeth Lucas, 9/27)
The clinics, which serve many poor people, are tightening spending in case Congress doesn’t approve new funding for them before the government’s 2018 fiscal year starts Sunday. California has the most at stake. (Rachel Bluth, 9/27)
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More News From Across The State
Less than 24 hours after Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) stated her official opposition to the legislation, Republicans admit defeat, for now. They're now planning to turn toward an overhaul of the tax code.
The New York Times:
Senate Republicans Say They Will Not Vote On Health Bill
Senate Republicans on Tuesday officially abandoned the latest plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act, shelving a showdown vote on the measure and effectively admitting defeat in their last-gasp drive to fulfill a core promise of President Trump and Republican lawmakers. The decision came less than 24 hours after a pivotal Republican senator, Susan Collins of Maine, declared her opposition to the repeal proposal, all but ensuring that Republican leaders would be short of the votes they needed. (Kaplan and Pear, 9/26)
The Associated Press:
'Obamacare' Survives; GOP Concedes On Last-Gasp Repeal Try
The repeal-and-replace bill's authors promised to try again at a later date, while President Donald Trump railed against "certain so-called Republicans" who opposed the GOP effort. But for now, Trump and fellow Republicans who vowed for seven years to abolish President Barack Obama's law will leave it standing and turn their attention to overhauling the nation's tax code instead. (Werner, 9/26)
The Wall Street Journal:
Senate Scraps Vote On GOP Measure To Repeal Health Law
“We haven’t given up on changing the American health-care system,” Mr. McConnell (R., Ky.) told reporters on Tuesday. “We’re not going to be able to do it this week.” But for the moment, he said, “we plan to move forward on our next priority, which is reforming the American tax code in significant ways for the first time in 30 years.” (Peterson and Armour, 9/26)
Senate Won't Vote On ObamaCare Repeal Bill
"We don't have the votes so it's probably best we don't do the vote," said Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) after the GOP conference met at its regular weekly luncheon. "We've lost this battle, but we're going to win the war." (Bolton, 9/26)
The Washington Post:
Senate GOP Abandons Latest Effort To Unwind The Affordable Care Act
The Senate leaders said they would turn their attention to their next major legislative undertaking. “Where we go from here is tax reform,” Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters after holding a closed-door policy lunch with members of his caucus. Republicans already are bracing for the political fallout from the measure proposed by Sens. Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.) and Bill Cassidy (La.)., which McConnell had hoped to bring to a vote this week. They said the pressure to pass a tax overhaul bill was higher than ever and hoped the Republican base would give them a bit more time to take another shot at repealing the ACA. (Eilperin, Sullivan and Goldstein, 9/26)
Los Angeles Times:
GOP Gives Up On Voting On Obamacare Repeal, But Bipartisan Approaches Remain In Doubt
President Trump, who has repeatedly expressed frustration with the GOP failure to repeal and replace the healthcare law, responded tersely when reporters asked him what would happen next. "It will happen,” he said as he landed in New York for a high-dollar Republican fundraising dinner. (Mascaro and Levey, 9/26)
Mitch McConnell's Dreadful Day
For Mitch McConnell, Tuesday was about as bad as it could get. A vulnerable incumbent senator, Luther Strange, lost handily to Roy Moore, who used the Senate leader as his campaign punching bag. McConnell pulled the plug — again — on repealing Obamacare. One of his close allies, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), announced his retirement. And President Donald Trump is back on McConnell’s case, dubbing him “weak” at a private dinner with conservative activists on Monday evening. (Bresnahan, Everett and Dawsey, 9/27)
The Wall Street Journal:
GOP Health Repeal’s Long And Winding Road
Republicans wasted little time getting their Affordable Care Act repeal off the ground this year, but the party hasn’t been able to agree on a plan that would appeal to both centrists and conservatives in the House and Senate. On Tuesday, Senate leaders said they would miss a key deadline for voting on an ACA repeal before the end of the fiscal year. Here’s a rundown of some key events in the party’s health push this year. (Kozo, 9/26)
The Associated Press:
Congress At Crossroads After Another GOP Health Care Failure
Congress is at a crossroads after Republicans stumbled again in their drive to repeal President Barack Obama's health care law. The choice is between more partisan conflict or a shift toward cooperation. Bipartisan talks on a bill to stabilize the health law's shaky insurance markets are resuming. But time is short and there's no guarantee of success. Open enrollment starts Nov. 1. (Alonso-Zaldivar, 9/27)
GOP Senator Ready To Resume Bipartisan ObamaCare Talks
Senate Health Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) left the door open Tuesday to restarting bipartisan talks on an ObamaCare stabilization bill. "I’m still concerned about the next two years and Congress has an opportunity to slow down premium increases in 2018, begin to lower them in 2019, and do our best to make sure there are no counties where people have zero options to buy health insurance," Alexander said in a statement late Tuesday afternoon. (Hellmann, 9/26)
Top Republican Nixes Idea Of Pairing ObamaCare Repeal With Tax Reform
Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) on Tuesday said Congress should move onto tax reform and not try to pair it with a new plan to repeal ObamaCare. Cornyn signaled the widespread GOP fear that adding a health-care debate to the tax bill will only bog down a reform package that is President Trump’s new top priority. (Bolton, 9/26)
It's unclear how the individual, who was not homeless, contracted the virus because the person was not known to have traveled to San Diego.
Orange County Register:
Health Officials Report Second Case Of San Diego-Related Hepatitis A In Orange County
The Orange County Health Care Agency said Tuesday, Sept. 26, that a second person here has been diagnosed with a case of hepatitis A that is related to the outbreak in San Diego, where 16 people have died from the contagious disease and more than 400 have been infected. The unidentified individual was diagnosed Aug. 19, said Julie A. MacDonald, health communications manager for the health care agency. (Walker, 9/26)
Police Clear Homeless Encampments From San Diego's East Village
Homeless people told KPBS their tents used to be tolerated from 9 at night to 6 in the morning, but now they have been told they can never set up their tents. San Diego Police Lt. Scott Wahl said the increased enforcement was focused on education, vaccination and sanitation as part of the city's battle against the Hepatitis A outbreak, which has now killed 17 people. (Murphy, 9/26)
The San Diego Union-Tribune:
Hepatitis Deaths Grow By One As Cases Continue To Rise
The death toll in San Diego’s hepatitis A outbreak increased by one Tuesday, and the region’s top public health official said she has not seen any signs yet of a slowdown in the public health emergency that has now killed 17 people. Dr. Wilma Wooten said there are currently 49 suspected hepatitis cases and one death still under investigation. That number sat at 44 one week ago and has bounced around from roughly 30 to 50 cases under investigation at any given time for several months, public health officials have said. (Sisson, 9/26)
It is the third year in a row that there's been an increase in chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis cases.
Los Angeles Times:
STD Rates Hit Another Record High, With California Near The Top
The number of Americans diagnosed with chlamydia, gonorrhea or syphilis reached a record high in 2016 for the second year in a row, with more than 2 million cases reported and particularly high rates in California, according to federal data released Tuesday. Cases of these three sexually transmitted diseases have been increasing nationally since 2014, reversing a downward trend that began in 2006. Health officials say the rates reflect decreasing condom usage, a lack of awareness about STDs among doctors and patients, and a falling number of STD clinics. (Karlamangla, 9/26)
Steady Rise In California's STD Rates Frustrates Public Health Officials
The California Department of Public Health says more than 250,000 cases of STDs were reported in 2016, a 40 percent increase compared with five years ago. ... Los Angeles County experienced sharper increases in gonorrhea and congenital syphilis cases than the state as a whole, according to the county Public Health Department. (Plevin, 9/26)
In other public health news —
San Francisco Chronicle:
Huge Genetic Study To Search For Custom Treatments
In a quest to end cookie-cutter health care, researchers are getting ready to recruit more than 1 million people for an unprecedented study to learn how our genes, environments and lifestyles interact — and to finally develop custom ways to prevent and treat disease. (Neergaard, 9/26)
The Mercury News:
Is It Fair That The Amount Of Bonding Time You Get With Your Baby Hinges On The Size Of Your Employer?
Federal and state law divides babies into two categories. The privileged newborns have parents who work at companies with 50 or more employees, including [Cat] Crist who manages a Marie Callender outlet in Westminster. But nearly half of California’s mothers and fathers have jobs at smaller businesses–there were just 22 employees where Berreth worked—and their infants often get far less parental bonding. Next month, the California Assembly will vote on a Senate-passed bill to reduce the disparity. If approved by lawmakers and signed by the governor, the legislation would extend the same rights enjoyed by workers at larger companies–longer parental leaves and job protection with continued health coverage–to employees at firms with 20 to 49 workers. (Roosevelt, 9/26)
East Bay Times:
Horses That Help Soothe Dementia Patients And Caregivers
Asked at Xenophon Therapeutic Riding Center in Orinda what he has derived from grooming Dakota’s mane, the Orinda resident [Jim Frane] said, “Everything.” Nearby, his wife of 56 years, Tré Frane, relaxes, a smile erasing the worried furrow from her brow. The couple, in their 70s, are participating in Connected Horse’s “Equine Guided Workshops for People Living with Early Stage Dementia and Their Care Partners.” The four-week, 2 ½-hour workshops have as their goal a community embedded extension of the nonprofit’s programs and research. Participants led by trained equine handlers and expert facilitators engage in grooming, leading and interacting with horses in an open paddock. No riding is included in this no-cost program; the emphasis is on therapeutic activities, stress reduction, multisensory awareness and more. (Fancher, 9/27)
Researchers from Boston University’s School of Medicine have identified an inflammatory protein circulating in spinal fluid that may reflect the presence of CTE in patients’ brains.
Los Angeles Times:
Scientists May Have Found A Way To Diagnose CTE In Football Players While They're Still Alive
It is a humbling but very motivating fact that a person currently has to die before doctors can make a diagnosis of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the degenerative brain disease that afflicts many professional football players and other athletes who have sustained repeated blows to the head. After all, if it were possible to diagnose CTE in the living, those athletes and the physicians who care for them could probably do something useful with that knowledge. (Healy, 9/26)
Rep. Mimi Walters (R-Laguna Beach) highlighted legislation that ensures VA employees who “don’t do their job are fired,” and strengthens whistleblower protections for those who report misconduct. She also warned against Democrats' single-payer attempts.
Orange County Register:
Rep. Mimi Walters Talks About Health Care, Divisiveness And North Korea In Laguna Woods Village
Nearly 150 residents gathered at Clubhouse Five in Laguna Woods Village on Friday to listen to Rep. Mimi Walters, R-Laguna Beach, talk about what’s going on in Washington D.C., ranging from North Korea to health care. Walters was a guest speaker for the Republican Club’s monthly meeting, which was open to members and nonmembers, who accounted for a row of about 10 people the audience. (Rasmussen, 9/26)
Activists say the money spent on construction and operation should instead go to mental health programs in the community.
LA Activists Mount New Effort To Block Mental Health Jail
It was an unusual scene on Temple Street outside Tuesday’s meeting of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors: 100 grey metal bunk beds were blocking traffic. They were there as part of a protest against the county’s plans to build a new jail in downtown L.A. for mentally ill inmates. (Stoltze, 9/26)
In other news —
San Jose Mercury News:
Mentally Ill Defendants Jailed Due To Hospital Bed Shortage; Contra Costa Judge Issues Sanctions
A Contra Costa Judge had harsh words — and a $17,400 bill — for the California Department of State Hospitals, saying the agency was violating the due process rights of dozens of severely mentally ill county jail inmates. ... Data released to Bay Area News Group last year showed more than 450 California jail inmates were awaiting hospital beds as of June 2016. (Gartrell, 9/26)
An HHS official said both trips were for official government business. Former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius called HHS Secretary Tom Price's private jet use "stunning."
Price’s Private-Jet Travels Included Visits With Colleagues, Lunch With Son
Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price took a government-funded private jet in August to get to St. Simons Island, an exclusive Georgia resort where he and his wife own land, a day and a half before he addressed a group of local doctors at a medical conference that he and his wife have long attended. The St. Simons Island trip was one of two taxpayer-funded flights on private jets in which Price traveled to places where he owns property, and paired official visits with meetings with longtime colleagues and family members. (Diamond and Pradhan, 9/26)
Los Angeles Times:
Mnuchin, Price And Others On Trump's Team Are Getting Taxpayer-Funded Travel Perks – But Where's The Outrage?
The Treasury secretary requested a military plane for his European honeymoon. The head of Health and Human Services ran up a six-figure tab flying around the country on private jets. The chief of the Environmental Protection Agency dinged taxpayers for repeated excursions back home to Oklahoma. In normal times, Washington’s scandal machinery would be kicking into high gear. Mounting outrage — some real, some calculated — would lead to months of hearings and calls for criminal investigations. (Finnegan and Barabak, 9/26)