Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Advocates Sue To Change The ‘Nursing Cliff’ In California; Smoking Prevention Funds Run Short Despite Tobacco Settlement

Now on Kaiser Health News' blog, Sarah Varney writes about the differences in Medicaid coverage for children and adults: "It was some 21st birthday present.  When Pablo Carranza turned 21 in September, California’s Medicaid agency notified him that the around-the-clock nursing care he receives at the Chula Vista, Calif., home he shares with his mother would be sharply cut back. Carranza has muscular dystrophy and can only move his left thumb and his eyes. The nurses, paid for by Medi-Cal, the joint federal-state program for low income people and those with disabilities in California, have long monitored Carranza’s ventilator and feeding tube. They also cleared fluids from his lungs and lifted him into his wheelchair. But like many other states, California's Medicaid benefits are much more generous for disabled children than for adults" (Varney, 12/6).

In addition, Ankita Rao reports on a study about state efforts to curb smoking: "In 1998, big tobacco companies settled a landmark lawsuit and agreed to pay states $246 billion over 25 years for smoking prevention efforts.  Fourteen years later – with smoking still the country’s leading cause of preventable death – most states use only a fraction of the money for its intended purpose. An annual report found that less than 2 percent of the $25.7 billion collected by states this year from the tobacco settlement and tobacco taxes will be spent on prevention and cessation programs" (Rao, 12/6).

Check out what else is on the blog.

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