Latest California Healthline Stories
Public health officials are asking for more money in California’s state budget. But unlike some rich and powerful health care interests, they don’t have an army of lobbyists to curry favor with lawmakers.
California legislators resume their work Monday after more than a month off. While the coronavirus pandemic has shifted the state’s priorities, many lawmakers say they still intend to push non-COVID health care bills to tax soda, ban vape flavors and more.
Gov. Gavin Newsom has asked lawmakers to pare down their legislative wish lists and focus on the state’s coronavirus response. But state Sen. Jim Beall plans to forge ahead with his mental health care proposals, including a measure to create a state mental health parity requirement.
In an interview with California Healthline, the state’s Senate leader, Toni Atkins, makes clear that with social-distancing measures in force it will be difficult to debate and pass complicated budget measures ― but public health, education and public safety will be priorities.
California lawmakers are proposing ambitious health care ideas, from creating a state generic drug label to banning the sale of flavored e-cigarette products. Even though Democrats control state government, they’re likely to face pushback from powerful health care industry groups like hospitals.
Kate Gordon, director of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Office of Planning and Research, is tasked with identifying and mitigating the risks of climate change in California. She spoke to California Healthline about how that work intersects with health, and how residents can get involved.
A California law, which took effect in July 2017, protects consumers who use an in-network hospital or other facility from surprise bills when cared for by an out-of-network doctor. But physicians say the law has allowed insurers to shrink networks, limiting access to those doctors who have contracted with the patients’ insurance plans.
A new state law that takes effect Jan. 1 requires employers to provide spaces where women can pump their breast milk comfortably and privately, with access to electricity, running water and refrigeration.
The state Senate on Wednesday sent a measure to Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom that would tighten the rules for children’s medical exemptions from vaccines. Newsom, who said in June that he would sign the measure after amendments had been made at his request, now wants more changes.
States increasingly expect to see insurers enter or re-enter ACA marketplaces next year. That’s a critical sign that these exchanges are growing less risky for insurers despite ongoing political and legal battles over the ACA.