Wednesday's Round Up Of State Health Stories

State health news coverage includes political vandalism in Colorado, health-related bills in Maine, Medicaid cuts in Maryland and a dismissed medical malpractice lawsuit in Florida.

In Colorado, The Boston Globe/Associated Press reports: "At least two people smashed windows bearing health-care reform posters at the Colorado Democratic headquarters in Denver in what party officials are calling an act of political vandalism. Police say the windows were broken at about 2:30 a.m. Tuesday. A policeman on regular patrol witnessed two people smashing windows with hammers, stopped, then pursued the suspects as they fled on bicycles" (Banda, 8/25).

In Maine, The Boston Globe/Associated Press reports: "Governor John Baldacci joined supporters of a pair of health-related bills to mark their enactment during this year's legislative session. They include a Health Care Bill of Rights, which the governor says will improve transparency in the health insurance marketplace and give the public more information about the quality and cost of health care services. A second bill gives the state insurance superintendent more authority to oversee rate increases and allow consumers to more easily compare health insurance plans" (8/25).

In Maryland, The Washington Post reports: "A somber Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) has just wrapped up briefings to legislative leaders and the media on budget cuts that will be presented tomorrow to the Board of Public Works." It notes that $21 million "will be cut from Medicaid payments to hospitals, managed care organizations, community and other health-care providers; $12 million will be cut from Cigarette Restitution Fund programs, with savings redirected to Medicaid [and] several units at state health facilities will be consolidated, saving $7.2 million" (Wagner, 8/25).

In Florida, Health New Florida reports: "Florida's Board of Medicine has dismissed charges of substandard care against a Central Florida physician in the same case that brought a medical malpractice settlement of $1 million. Lake Mary urologist Michael Friedman was cleared after physicians on the board reviewed the patient's charts and determined he didn't make a mistake in the treatment of Harold Knowles of Seminole County" (Gentry and Melone, 8/25).

This is part of Kaiser Health News' Daily Report - a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. The full summary of the day's news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.