State Highlights: NYC's Plan To Get Bids For Worker Coverage Meets Roadblock; Iowa Waits For Medicaid Expansion Waiver, Readies Enrollment

A selection of health policy stories from New York, Iowa, California and New Hampshire.

The Associated Press/Wall Street Journal: NYC's Plan To Get Health Insurance Bids On Hold
New York City's plan to solicit bids for health insurance for hundreds of thousands of workers has been put on hold. A Manhattan judge on Monday granted a preliminary injunction preventing the City from issuing the bids. A group of unions sued the city Aug. 10, shortly after Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the city was planning to seek bids within days. Bloomberg said the request for proposals will look to save up to $400 million a year (10/1).

The Associated Press: Iowa To Move Forward With Low-Income Health Care
Iowa residents will be able to sign up for a new low-income health care program starting Tuesday, even though federal authorities have yet to approve the plan, Gov. Terry Branstad said Monday. The state has applied for a waiver enabling the state to receive more federal Medicaid money for the proposed Iowa Health and Wellness Plan, a new health insurance program which would cover up to 150,000 residents (9/30).

ProPublica: California Poised To Broaden Access To Abortions
When you read about abortion these days, the news is mostly about restrictions -- new state laws, regulations, and court challenges that aim (depending on your point of view) either to make the procedure safer for women or to put providers out of business. But California is going in the opposite direction, with two bills that could lead to the one of the biggest expansions of access to abortion in the United States since the FDA approved mifepristone, aka the abortion pill, in 2000 (Martin, 9/30).

Los Angeles Times: L.A. Sues To Block Vote That Could Force Separate Health Departments
The city of Los Angeles filed a lawsuit Monday to halt a ballot measure that would require the city to start its own health department separate from the county's. AIDS Healthcare Foundation, a major provider of HIV testing and treatment services for Los Angeles County's health department that also frequently butts heads with county leadership, led the charge to get the city measure on the June 2014 ballot (Sewell and Mehta, 9/30).

The Associated Press/Wall Street Journal: Dartmouth-Founded Health Collaborative Grows
Four more health systems have joined a data-sharing project at improving health care and lowering costs that was started by New Hampshire's Dartmouth-Hitchcock health system and other partners three years ago (9/30).

Medpage Today: Program Cuts Child Obesity In San Diego
An innovative public-private partnership in San Diego helped the county lower rates of childhood obesity and overweight by 3.7 percent over a 5-year span, organizers said here. After several years of working with schools and other community partners, the San Diego County Childhood Obesity Initiative lowered the percentage of overweight and obese fifth, seventh, and ninth graders from 35.83 percent in 2005 to 34.5 percent in 2010, according to data from the University of California, Los Angeles Center for Health Policy Research (Pittman, 9/30).

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