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California Dabbles With Reining in Health Spending

California is now among the states trying to keep health-care costs down by setting spending caps — a task that pits public officials against a deeply entrenched and heavily lawyered set of players. It’s uncertain whether the state can get insurers, hospitals and medical groups to collaborate on containing costs even as they jockey for […]

Biden Wants Hospitals To Report Data on Gunshot Wounds

The Biden administration is enlisting America’s doctors to help combat gun violence. About 160 health-care executives and officials have been invited to the White House today and Friday to promote public health solutions to the epidemic. A top priority, I’m told: The White House wants hospital emergency departments to collect more data about gunshot injuries […]

California Pays People With Addiction To Stay Clean — With Feds’ Blessing

Led by California, a few states are testing an experimental program that pays people to stop using hard drugs. The Golden State was the first to win approval from the Biden administration to cover the sobriety payments, with Medicaid wrapping it into an ambitious health-care initiative spearheaded by Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom to provide the […]

The Psychedelics-As-Medicine Movement Spreads to California

Ecstasy, “magic mushrooms” and other psychedelic drugs could soon be recognized as therapeutic in California — one of the latest states, and the biggest, to consider allowing their use as medicine. Legislation by state Sen. Scott Wiener (D) and Assembly member Marie Waldron (R) would allow the therapeutic use of psilocybin, mescaline, ecstasy and dimethyltryptamine […]

In Oregon, Medicaid Is Buying People Air Conditioners

Oregon has started providing air conditioners, air purifiers and power banks to help some of its Medicaid recipients cope with soaring heat, smoky skies and other dangers of climate change. It’s a first-in-the-nation experiment that expands a Biden administration strategy to take Medicaid beyond traditional medical care and into the realm of social services. “Climate change is […]

The Neglected U.S. Victims of Agent Orange

The Department of Veterans Affairs has long given Vietnam veterans disability compensation for illness connected to Agent Orange, widely used to defoliate Southeast Asian battlefields during the U.S. war. Less well known: The powerful herbicide combination was also routinely used to kill weeds at domestic military bases. Those exposed to the chemicals at the bases are still waiting for the same […]

Paris Hilton Speaks up for California’s ‘Troubled’ Teens

Heiress Paris Hilton is on a mission to shine a light on the “troubled teen industry,” a largely unregulated multibillion-dollar industry that is gaining public scrutiny for alleged abuse of vulnerable youths. Hilton told state lawmakers in Sacramento on Monday she was subjected to abuse disguised as therapy decades ago when she was housed in […]

Emergency Physicians Decry Surprise Air-Ambulance Bills

Emergency room doctors say insurers are increasingly declining to cover costly air-ambulance rides for critically ill patients, claiming they aren’t medically necessary. And the National Association of EMS Physicians says the No Surprises Act, enacted in 2022, is partly to blame. The law protects patients from many out-of-network medical bills by requiring insurers and providers […]

Newsom’s $6.4 Billion Homelessness Gambit Hangs by a Thread

California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s ambitious attempt to combat the mental health and addiction epidemic in his state is leading by a razor-thin margin, calling into question whether voters trust him to confront the state’s growing homelessness crisis. Newsom asked voters on Tuesday to approve his $6.4 billion bond measure, dubbed “Treatment not Tents” — the […]

Biden’s Got a Taker for One of His Gun Safety Proposals: California

California could give President Biden a political win this year on gun violence. State senators passed sweeping legislation in January that would toughen gun storage requirements, embracing a White House priority that has languished in Congress. Many states, including California, have laws in place requiring gun owners to securely store their firearms when children are […]