Latest California Healthline Stories
Millions of Californians are vulnerable to hefty surprise medical bills from their trips to the emergency room. Now, state lawmakers are considering a measure to cap how much out-of-network hospitals can charge privately insured patients for emergency care, which could serve as a model for other states.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposal to provide health coverage to unauthorized immigrants ages 19 to 25 would siphon money that four counties currently use for public health efforts such as battling contagious diseases.
The pesticide chlorpyrifos has been linked to developmental problems in children. Some state and federal lawmakers want the chemical banned, but federal regulators are fighting to keep it on the market.
The soda industry spent $11.8 million to influence policy statewide in 2017 and 2018. As politicians once again consider bills that would tax and label sugary drinks, more big money is expected to flow.
Immigrants rallied at the state Capitol on Wednesday, calling for lawmakers to support a proposal to expand full Medicaid benefits to adult immigrants who are in the country illegally. Opponents cited potentially exorbitant costs.
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.