Latest California Healthline Stories
The leaders of California’s legislative health committees who wield power over state health policy have been showered with money from the health care sector, with drug companies, health plans, hospitals and doctors providing nearly 40 percent of their 2017-18 campaign funds.
California legislators approved some significant health care proposals in their rush to meet the Friday end-of-session deadline. They tackled controversial topics, such as making abortion pills available on college campuses, and adopted measures countering Trump administration attacks on the Affordable Care Act.
Carmela Coyle was known as an innovator when she led Maryland’s hospital association and supported a groundbreaking program that capped hospital revenue. But less than a year into her new job representing California’s hospitals in Sacramento, Coyle has already helped kill a proposal to regulate pricing.
Proponents of the bill say high costs of care are gobbling paychecks and worsening income inequality. Doctors and hospitals say it will drive providers out of state.
California is one of only a handful of states nationwide that screens babies for the gene mutation that causes a rare brain disease — a test that dramatically increases a sick child’s chances of survival.
The California Nurses Association, representing some 100,000 registered nurses, is regarded statewide and nationally as a progressive political powerhouse. “Politicians are afraid” of the activists they turn out, said one critic.
Political leaders, medical providers and consumer advocates say the Senate bill, like its counterpart in the House, could put health care out of reach for millions of Golden State residents.
A state Senate panel considering the measure said money for existing public programs could cover half the cost. But the rest might have to come from new taxes — a serious political obstacle.
A bill pending in California’s Legislature, sponsored by an influential health care union, would require hospitals and clinics to pay minimum wage to student trainees.
Wood, who chairs the Assembly Health Committee, lays out his priorities for 2017.