A selection of health policy stories from Arizona, California and Oregon.
Bloomberg: San Francisco Probes Nevada For 'Dumping' Mental Cases
San Francisco will investigate allegations that Nevada has bused hundreds of indigent people with mental illnesses out of state, including to the Northern California city. San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera said his office has opened a formal investigation and is requesting public records from the Nevada Health and Human Services Department, according to a letter today to Mike Willden, the agency’s director (Vekshin, 4/22).
Medscape: Reform-Minded Governor Is More Influential Physician Exec
John Kitzhaber, MD, the long-time Democratic governor of Oregon who has ushered in Medicaid and medical liability reform there, is the nation's most influential physician executive in healthcare in a poll conducted by the sister publications Modern Healthcare and Modern Physician. Just how influential is Dr. Kitzhaber? In sharp contrast to the partisan gridlock in Washington, DC, he helped bring together Republican and Democratic state lawmakers last year to approve a plan to improve care for Medicaid patients while saving an estimated $11 billion over 10 years (Lowes, 4/22).
Bloomberg: Stockton, Calif., Retirees Worry Pension Cuts Follow Health Losses
Retired public employees in bankrupt Stockton, California, who saw health-care coverage shrink last year may see their pensions decrease next as the city wrangles with creditors. The biggest U.S. city in bankruptcy, Stockton is preparing a plan for paying debt that may propose compensating some creditors less than the principal owed, setting up a likely court challenge from the creditors that the city’s pension contributions be subject to cuts as well (Vekshin,4/22).
Arizona Republic: Arizona Foster-Home Vaccination Bill Proceeds
Legislation to eliminate the requirement that foster families fully immunize their own children came one step closer to becoming law on Monday following a bitter partisan House floor debate. Republicans and Democrats sparred for almost an hour before Rep. Steve Montenegro, R-Litchfield Park, abruptly called for a vote, ending the discussion and surprising colleagues on both sides of the aisle. The measure passed on a voice vote and is scheduled for a roll-call vote today (Reinhart, 4/22).
California Healthline: School-Based Health Center Proponents Lobbying For Funding
California school and health care leaders have joined ranks with officials from other states urging Congress to put money behind an idea with widespread but underfunded support: health care centers based in schools. Tom Torlakson, California's state Superintendent of Public Instruction, and 18 superintendents from school districts across the state added their names to a letter delivered to Congress asking for $50 million in federal funding (Lauer, 4/22).