A selection of health policy news from Minnesota, Texas, North Carolina, Connecticut and California.
Bloomberg: Abortion Clinics Close At Record Pace After States Tighten Rules
At least 58 U.S. abortion clinics -- almost 1 in 10 -- have shut or stopped providing the procedure since 2011 as access vanishes faster than ever amid a Republican-led push to legislate the industry out of existence. A wave of regulations that makes it too expensive or logistically impossible for facilities to remain in business drove at least a third of the closings (Deprez, 9/3).
Minnesota Public Radio State To End Health Care Insurance Safety Net Program
After gathering feedback from some of Minnesota's sickest patients, the state is moving ahead with a plan to close a safety-net program that helped people with prior health problems get insurance. The federal health care law prevents insurance companies from denying people with pre-existing conditions, so high-risk pools like the Minnesota Comprehensive Health Association are no longer necessary -- at least in theory (Richert, 9/3).
The Texas Tribune/Kaiser Health News: Texas Minors Can No Longer Use Tanning Salons
The relationship between tanning beds and skin cancer has concerned lawmakers on a state and national level for years, but there has been no consensus on how to address it. The federal government requires tanning bed manufacturers to disclose the risks on warning labels, and some states require youth to have parental consent to tan (Serrano, 9/3).
North Carolina Health News: State Health Department Sees Sharp Rise In At-Will Workers
With the passage of a new law, Gov. Pat McCrory has been given the power to make hundreds of workers in DHHS exempt from the State Personnel Act. What will that mean for the department? (Dukes and Hoban, 9/3).
CT Mirror Connecticut Officials Trying To Redesign Health Care System, But Advocates Wary
State officials and representatives from the health care and insurance industries are developing a plan to redesign how health care is delivered and paid for in the state, an initiative aimed at affecting the vast majority of Connecticut residents. The goal is to improve the quality of health care by changing the way private insurers and public programs like Medicare pay for it (Becker, 09/03).
California Healthline: Health Bills On Docket As Legislature Moves Into Final Phase
Over the next 10 days, a number of health-related bills will get their final floor votes in the state Assembly and Senate. One of them is a proposal to expand independence of practice for pharmacists. SB 493 by Sen. Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina) passed out of Appropriations last week and is waiting for an Assembly floor vote. What won't hit the floor is SB 491, also authored by Hernandez, which would have expanded independence of practice for nurse practitioners. It was held up in the Assembly Committee on Appropriations last week (Gorn, 9/3).