State Roundup: Cuomo's N.Y. Home Health Reform Spurs Complaints

News outlets report on a variety of state health policy issues.

The Wall Street Journal: Home Health Policy Shift Roils Albany
Gov. Andrew Cuomo's effort to overhaul New York state's $6 billion home health-care industry is coming under scrutiny from patient advocates and other industry players who say the administration is bowing to the interests of large, politically connected providers. Mr. Cuomo is pushing forward with his goal of enrolling tens of thousands of home-bound elderly, disabled and frail Medicaid patients into managed-care plans (Gershman, 7/26).

The Associated Press: Ohio Health Care Question Cleared For Fall Ballot
Voters will get the chance to decide whether Ohio can opt out of the national health care overhaul after the state's top election official said Tuesday that opponents of the federal law have enough signatures to put a constitutional amendment on the Nov. 8 ballot (Brownfield, 7/26).

The Hill: Anti-Health Care Reform Amendment Advances In Ohio
Voters in Ohio will likely have the chance to vote on a measure that would challenge a key piece of the healthcare reform law. A proposed amendment to the state constitution would prohibit the federal government from forcing Ohioans to purchase insurance. ... Several states have adopted anti-mandate measures, either through their legislatures or a referendum (Baker, 7/26).

The Connecticut Mirror: Both Sides Praise Health Insurance Rate Review Compromise
They started on opposite sides of the issue, but State Healthcare Advocate Victoria Veltri and Insurance Commissioner Thomas B. Leonardi are both praising an agreement reached last week that resurrects key pieces of a vetoed bill to increase oversight of health insurance rate hikes. ... Veltri said the agreement achieved what advocates really wanted: Public hearings on rate increases (Levin Becker, 7/26). 

California Healthline: Public Agency Takes Up Political Hammer
The board of the California Health Benefit Exchange voted last week to oppose a bill that would establish a basic health plan and to urge the lawmakers behind AB 52, which would regulate rate increases by insurers, to exempt the exchange from that law. The board also voted to direct staff to work with legislators on four other bills that deal with the exchange -- including two laws that directly refer to the exchange in their identifying titles (Gorn, 7/27). 

California Watch: Vetoed Funds For Adult Care Centers Could Leave Seniors With Few Options
Gov. Jerry Brown's veto of services designed to keep senior citizens in their homes could force elderly Californians to seek help in nursing homes, mental health facilities or hospital emergency rooms, advocates predicted yesterday. On Monday, Brown vetoed a bill that would have provided $85 million of in-home and community services for the elderly. The new funding was designed as a partial replacement to the $169 million Adult Day Health Care program that was cut from the state budget this (Jewett, 7/27). 

The Connecticut Mirror: DCF Complies With Court Settlement On Children's Mental Health
Four years after settling a class-action lawsuit over its care for children with mental health needs, the state Department of Children and Families has revised its procedures to keep hundreds of children from being shunted into institutions, jail or hospital emergency rooms, officials and advocates say (Rabe, 7/26).

[Colorado] Health Policy Solutions: Specialist Takes Flight For Rural Cancer Care
Madeleine Kane, a Denver medical oncologist and hematologist from the University of Colorado Cancer Center, holds a stethoscope and two poetry books in her lap. She peers out the window ... three days a month, Kane flies (to Alamosa) from Denver to see a full day's caseload. Thanks to her visits, the patients get state-of-the-art care and access to the latest clinical trials without the added stress of a long drive to a city (Kerwin McCrimmon, 7/26). 

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Council OKs Increase In City Employee Health Costs
Milwaukee city employees will have to pay more for their health care next year, a move expected to save taxpayers at least $25 million a year, the Common Council decided Tuesday. It was the city's first action on employee benefits since a controversial new state law wiped out most collective bargaining for most public workers earlier this year (Sandler, 7/26).

Los Angeles Times: Brown Approves $600,000 Settlement In Chiropractor Board Firing
The former executive director of the state Board of Chiropractic Examiners will receive $600,000 to settle a claim that she was harassed and fired for helping prosecutors investigate fraud in the industry.  ... Hayes' allegations were an embarrassment to the administration of then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. ... Hayes' lawsuit alleged that the former governor's friends ran the board with more interest in protecting the chiropractic profession than consumers (McGreevy, 7/27).

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.