State Highlights: Calif. Tables Immigrant Health Care Bill; New La. Hospital Financing Plan

Los Angeles Times: State Legislature Tables Bills On Migrant Health Care, Oil Tax, More 
Nearly 200 proposals were shelved in the Legislature on Friday, including controversial measures that would have provided health care coverage to people in the country illegally, imposed a tax on oil drilled from the ground and created a voluntary substance-abuse counseling program for doctors (McGreevy and Mason, 5/23).

The Associated Press: Jindal Gives CMS New Hospital Financing Plan 
A revised financing plan for six LSU hospital privatization deals was filed Friday with the federal agency that oversees Medicaid spending, which rejected a previous version. Louisiana's Department of Health and Hospitals submitted a new proposal, hoping the CMS will be more receptive to the rewritten plan (5/24).

Los Angeles Times: Ideologies Clash In Race For California Insurance Commissioner 
After four years in office, [Democrat David] Jones actively is campaigning for more clout, seeking voter approval of a statewide initiative on the November general election ballot. He wants the same approve-or-deny authority over health insurance premiums that he now has for auto, property and casualty insurance rates. ... His Republican opponent, Ted Gaines, 56, a state senator and an independent insurance broker from the Sacramento suburb of Rocklin, wants to ease up on regulation and inject more competition into the insurance market (Lifsher, 5/26).  

The Denver Post: Debate Rages In Colo. Over Involuntary Holds For Mental Illness
A contentious policy debate rages in Colorado over when is the right time to hold someone against his will when no crime has been committed. Colorado is one of just a handful of states where people must pose an "imminent danger" of harm to themselves or others before they can be committed involuntarily for evaluation. Supporters say the language is an important barrier to civil liberties abuses. Critics call "imminent danger" too restrictive and difficult for health professionals to use effectively (Draper, 5/25).

The Denver Post:  Colo. Medicaid Acts To Limit Painkiller Overdoses 
Colorado's Medicaid program is paying for opioid painkillers at such high doses and in such large quantities that thousands of people are at increased risk of overdose, recent reports provided to the program show. State officials are moving to come up with ways to address the issue, which researchers found may have caused as many as 174 Medicaid beneficiaries to overdose over 12 months. The overdoses probably are higher because the researchers could track only those that resulted in an emergency-room visit and could not identify overdoses in which no hospitalization occurred (Osher, 5/25).

Los Angeles Times: Sandra Fluke Trying To Ride Spotlight Into State Senate 
It is rare for state legislative candidates to get national media attention, but there was West Hollywood attorney Sandra Fluke on MSNBC the other day, talking about the challenges of being a woman running for the California Senate. It was one of several such appearances Fluke has made since she was thrust into the spotlight in 2012. That's when conservative radio personality Rush Limbaugh called her a "slut" for testifying before Congress that health insurers should pay for contraception. Fluke is hoping to translate her national profile as a women's-rights heroine -- and her support from feminist leaders including Gloria Steinem and California NOW -- into victory in this year's election for the 26th Senate District seat (McGreevy, 5/26).

North Carolina Health News:  Tanning Bed Bill Languishes In State Senate 
When Anne Bowman was a teenager, she’d hit the tanning salon before a big dance. Later, in college, she would go to get a “base tan” before spring break. Bowman didn’t think much of it until she was diagnosed with melanoma, the most aggressive form of skin cancer, when she was a 32-year-old mother of two. But despite passing the House of Representatives by an overwhelming majority last March, a bill to restrict young teens’ access to tanning beds has since been sitting in the Senate without action (Hoban, 5/23).

The Associated Press:  Teen Births Cost New Mexico More Than $100M A Year 
Teens giving birth are likely costing New Mexico more than $100 million a year, health officials said this week. The New Mexico Health Department cited a study Thursday from a teen pregnancy organization that indicated taxpayers spent $103 million in 2010 on births, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported. The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy said the state spent $2.5 billion overall between 1991 and 2010. There were more than 93,000 births to teens in that period (5/25).

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