Los Angeles Times: Gov. Jerry Brown's Plan To Stem Pension Costs Is No Panacea
Even by the most ambitious forecasts, the plan Gov. Jerry Brown and fellow Democrats are championing to contain government worker pensions in California could leave state taxpayers awash in debt to public employees. ... His initial proposal would have housed a sizable chunk of retirement money for new hires in 401(k)-style funds, shifting considerable financial risk away from taxpayers to employees. He also had taken aim at tens of billions of dollars in lifetime healthcare expenses awarded to hundreds of thousands of state and local government workers. Brown's negotiations with lawmakers resulted in a more modest plan (Halper and York, 8/29).
California Healthline: Time Is Short For Healthy Families Bills
If the two legislative bills to revive Healthy Families get passed by tomorrow night's deadline, a lot of things are going to have to happen today. The bills need to be heard in health committee, both committees would need to waive a re-hearing, the bills then must be brought to the floor and passed by both houses. And that's assuming the bills don't have to go through appropriations committee. It all is expected to start today, if and when the Senate bill can be presented to the Assembly Committee on Health. The Assembly would need to waive the rules on publicly noticing meetings before the committee could hear it (Gorn, 8/30).
Reuters: Marijuana Activists Seek Vote To Block Los Angeles Dispensary Ban
Marijuana activists in Los Angeles, the hub of America's medical cannabis industry, said on Wednesday they will submit a petition of 50,000 signatures to block a municipal ban on pot dispensaries from taking effect next week. The move comes amid a widening dispute over pot shops in California's most populous city. Residents complain dispensaries are a nuisance that draw riffraff, but the store owners say they serve patients with serious diseases like cancer and AIDS (Dobuzinskis, 8/29).
The Denver Post: Anti-Abortion Personhood Amendment Won't Make Colorado Ballot
The proposed anti-abortion measure known as the Personhood Amendment won't be on the ballot, Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler announced Wednesday, but supporters promised to challenge what they call a wrong result. Gessler said the personhood petition drive fell short of the required number of signatures by 3,859 (Draper and Bartels, 8/30).
The Hill: Anti-Abortion 'Personhood' Measure Fails To Make Colo. Ballot
A controversial "personhood" amendment may not qualify for the ballot this year in Colorado — another setback for a policy that has divided abortion-rights opponents. The Colorado secretary of state said Wednesday that personhood supporters don't have enough valid signatures to get their proposal added to the November ballot. Planned Parenthood Action Fund celebrated the news, saying personhood won't be on the ballot in any state this November — a big change from just months ago, when supporters were angling for ballot initiatives in several swing states (Baker, 8/29).
The Associated Press: Nation’s Largest Health Care Fraud Settlement Means $1.4 Million For Alaska
The largest health care fraud settlement in U.S. history means more than $1.4 million for Alaska. The state attorney general's office says that is Alaska's share of a settlement with GlaxoSmithKline. The company agreed to pay a total of $3 billion to resolve allegations that it engaged in various illegal schemes related to the marketing and pricing of 10 drugs (8/29).
The Associated Press: Ky. Initiative Helps Soldiers With Substance Abuse
A team of military and health care professionals have been charged with finding better ways to help military service members, veterans and their families with substance abuse and mental health issues. Gov. Steve Beshear announced the initiative on Wednesday, saying the state needs to be ready with resources to help those who have sacrificed so much (8/29).
The Associated Press: Three Ore. Counties Get Coordinated-Care Organizations
Oregon has certified two more organizations to provide healthcare for people on the Oregon Health Plan. The Oregon Health Authority gave provisional approval to coordinated-care organizations that want to operate in Hood River, Wasco and Yamhill counties. If formally approved later this month, they will begin operating on Nov. 1 (8/29).
Kansas Health Institute News: Health Improvement Initiative Launched To Identify State’s Priorities
An initiative to identify how best to improve Kansans' health over the next decade began this week with a meeting of about 70 representatives of state agencies, various health associations and foundations. The goal of the Healthy Kansans 2020 steering committee is to set priorities for the state choosing from among a list of about 600 national health goals in 42 broad areas (PDF), said Paula Clayton of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, which is leading the effort (Cauthon, 8/29).
North Carolina Health News: Confusion Over Cuts At Public Meeting
Confusion about which programs would be cut and a request for more information were the overriding concerns at at public meeting held Tuesday evening by Wake County’s new mental health management entity. Alliance Behavioral Healthcare, a partnership between Durham, Wake, Johnston and Cumberland counties, held meetings in Durham and Wake this week to inform advocates and mental health consumers about how they would be affected by $20 million in federal funding cuts to the Social Services Block Grant and the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant (Monti, 8/30).
St. Louis Beacon: Report Underscores Serious Health Disparities Among Gays
People who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender face some of the poorest health outcomes and experience severe health disparities in relation to other Missouri residents, according to a report by the Missouri Foundation for Health. The report says poor health outcomes for this group are due to many factors, including lack of health coverage and "social and economic systems that have not supported and protected minorities." Drawing on state and local data as well as information from other sources, the report paints a picture of a Missouri LGBT population that is 1.5 times more likely to be uninsured than other residents (Joiner, 8/29).