State Roundup: Candidate Berwick Floats 'Single Payer;' Minn. Reps Pushing Against Med Device Tax; Restore Medi-Cal Cuts?

A roundup of state health policy news, today from Iowa, Minnesota, Massachusetts and California.

Kaiser Health News: In Iowa, Accountable Care Begins To Make A Difference
Here’s how it works: a group of doctors and hospitals get together to form a network responsible for taking care of a group of Medicare patients—in this case, about 9,000 Iowans. If the network can prove it’s keeping those patients healthier and spending less money to do so, it gets to keep some of the savings. The ACO can then use that money to do things Medicare doesn’t usually cover—like reaching out more to patients at home. But if the ACO does not succeed, it may face a financial penalty (Gold, 11/21).

WBUR: Berwick Platform: ‘Seriously’ Explore Single Payer, Review Cost Control
Granted, a candidate releasing his platform on health care for a race that’s a full year away might not strike you as big breaking news. But what if that candidate is one of the country’s leading health policy thinkers? ... That candidate is Dr. Donald Berwick, former chief of Medicare in the Obama administration, and that territory is the idea of a “single-payer” system — a sort of "Medicare for all" (Goldberg, 11/21).

Minnesota Public Radio: Minnesota Delegation Continues Fight Against Medical Device Tax
There aren't many issues that unite the Minnesota congressional delegation, but the effort to get the medical device tax repealed is one of them. The tax, part of the Affordable Care Act, went into effect in January. ... On The Daily Circuit, we get an update on the repeal effort. [Guests:] Shaye Mandle: Executive vice president and COO for LifeScience Alley, a Minnesota-based trade association .... Paul Van de Water: Senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (11/21).

California Healthline: Rosier State Budget Report Prompts Talk About Restoring Health Care Cuts
Now that the general fund crisis seems to have eased, lawmakers may want to revisit some of the cuts they were forced to make in recent years, according to Scott Graves, a senior policy analyst at the California Budget Project, a not-for-profit based in Sacramento that conducts nonpartisan fiscal reviews. … "We have been saying for a long time for the Legislature to revisit the 10 percent cut in Medi-Cal provider payments," he said (Gorn, 11/21).

California Healthline: California’s Trans Fat Law Set Stage For Pending National Ban On The ‘Anti-Food’
The proposal to stop the use of partially hydrogenated oil comes five years after California lawmakers passed a partial ban on the substance. California's 2008 law was a big step toward fueling the current administrative drive to ban trans fat, according to Mark Dressner, president of the California Academy of Family Physicians, … The California law did not ban all forms of trans fat, but limited use of the substance in restaurants and some food-preparation facilities (Gorn, 11/21).

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.