healthcare

With Feds Distracted, States Will Have Much to Ponder in 2020 | 11-22-2019

It’s the holiday season, and if most voters are thinking about politics at all they are probably pondering more about how to get through family festivities without a major blowup over differing political philosophies than they are about next year’s...

Governors in Brief - November 25 2019 | 11-22-2019

Raimondo Will Seek Legal RI Pot in 2020 Calling it “the next logical step” after legalizing medical use, RHODE ISLAND Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) said she will make another attempt to legalize adult recreational marijuana use in the Ocean State...

Business - November 25 2019 | 11-22-2019

MASSACHUSETTS Senate Approves SB 2410 The MASSACHUSETTS Senate approves SB 2410 , a bill that would prohibit the distribution of single-use plastic bags and require customers to pay a fee of at least 10 cents for recyclable or reusable bags. The ban...

Health & Science - November 25 2019 | 11-22-2019

MASSACHUSETTS House and Senate Unanimously Approve HB 4210 The MASSACHUSETTS House and Senate unanimously approve HB 4210 , which would extend MassHealth coverage until age 26 for young adults formerly in Department of Children and Families custody...

Social Policy - November 25 2019 | 11-22-2019

Massachusetts House and Senate Approve HB 4203 The MASSACHUSETTS House and Senate overwhelmingly approve HB 4203 , which would ban Bay State drivers from talking on a handheld device while behind the wheel. It moves to Gov. Charlie Baker (R), who is...

Budgets in Brief - November 18 2019 | 11-15-2019

OR Facing Big Wildfire Mitigation Costs OREGON will have to spend $4 billion now to mitigate its wildfire problems, according to a report from the Council on Wildfire Response appointed by Gov. Kate Brown (D). The report said alternatively the state...

Health & Science - November 18 2019 | 11-15-2019

Massachusetts House Approves HB 4183 The MASSACHUSETTS House approves HB 4183 , which would make the Bay State the first to completely ban the sale of all flavored vaping and tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes. The measure moves to the...

Kemp Unveils GA Reinsurance Proposal | 11-01-2019

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) unveiled the first part of a two-part plan to overhaul health care in the Peach State. The reinsurance proposal Kemp announced calls for the state and federal governments to pay part of the costs of treating the sickest patients...

Lee Says TN Medicaid Critics ‘Misinformed’ | 11-01-2019

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (R) says the overwhelmingly negative public comments the state has received regarding his pending Medicaid proposal – which would convert $7.9 billion in federal funding for TennCare, the state’s $12.1 billion Medicaid...

Health & Science - November 4 2019 | 11-01-2019

New York Governor Signs SB 5091 NEW YORK Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) signs SB 5091 , a bill that requires pharmacies to inform patients whenever a Class 1 recall has been issued for a prescription drug they're taking. The notification, which can be made...

Health & Science - October 21 2019 | 10-18-2019

Oregon Liquor Control Commission Imposes Six-Month Moratorium The OREGON Liquor Control Commission imposes a six-month moratorium on the sale of flavored nicotine and cannabis vaping products. The ban comes in the wake of a national outbreak of vaping...

NY Hospitals Get Major Concession After Big Political Donation | 10-11-2019

Last year when New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) was facing a tough primary battle, his campaign asked the Greater New York Hospital Association, one of Albany’s biggest power players, representing New York City’s largest healthcare institutions...

Health & Science - October 14 2019 | 10-11-2019

New York Governor Signs AB 1092 NEW YORK Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) signs SB 1092 , which bars medical professionals from performing pelvic exams on an anesthetized or unconscious person without informed consent. The law takes effect 180 days from that...

States Save for Inevitable Rainy Day | 09-20-2019

Many states have learned lessons from the Great Recession of 2007-09 and are better prepared for the next economic downturn, according to findings by the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO) and other analysts. “Rainy day...

KS Eying Healthcare Cost Controls | 09-20-2019

A special committee in Kansas is looking into ways to control the rising cost of healthcare in the state. This month the members of the House and Senate Special Committee on Financial Institutions and Insurance got a crash course on healthcare cost control...

Budgets in Brief - September 23 2019 | 09-20-2019

TN PROPOSES SWITCH TO MEDICAID BLOCK GRANT FUNDING TENNESSEE unveiled a plan last week that would fund its Medicaid program through a federal block grant, limiting how much is spent on the program instead of paying for whomever enrolls, which is the...

CA, NY Govs Join MI, Feds in Vaping Ban | 09-20-2019

Amid a growing number of vaping-related deaths and serious illnesses, Govs. Andrew Cuomo of New York and Gavin Newsom of California, both Democrats, launched efforts last week to ban the products. The actions come days after the Trump administration...

Cuomo Seeks NY Ban on Flavored E-Cigs | 09-13-2019

Calling the rise in vaping-related illnesses “a frightening public health phenomenon,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) proposed legislation to ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes in the Empire State. “Common sense says if you...

Governors in Brief - September 16 2019 | 09-13-2019

VA GOV VOWS END TO LAWSUITS AGAINST PATIENTS VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph Northam (D) said he would work with University of Virginia James Ryan to end the widespread practice of aggressively pursuing former patients for unpaid medical bills. A recent investigation...

New Rule | 09-13-2019

Things at the California Capitol have been anything but peaceful of late, with controversial legislation dealing with the gig economy, rent control and vaccinations ensuring that folks on all sides have made their presence felt every day. Loudly felt...

That’s One Way to Go Out | 09-13-2019

Some folks leave quietly; others go with both middle fingers flying. Put Jennifer Kent, director of the state Department of Health Care Services, in the latter group. I should say former director, as Kent recently announced she was leaving her post. And...

Health & Science - September 9 2019 | 09-06-2019

California Senate Gives Final Approval to SB 276 The CALIFORNIA Senate gives final approval to SB 276 , which would allow the state Department of Public Health to review and potentially reject medical vaccine exemptions written by doctors who have...

Health & Science - September 3 2019 | 08-30-2019

Washington State Health Officer Issues Statewide Standing Order WASHINGTON State Health Officer Dr. Kathy Lofy issues a statewide standing order to allow any person or organization in the state to purchase the overdose reversal drug naloxone from a...

States Still Attending to Medical Balance Billing | 08-09-2019

When SNCJ reported in August 2017 on medical balance billing - the direct charging of patients by healthcare providers for services that aren’t fully covered at the providers’ rate by the patients’ insurance - nearly half of the states...

Budgets in Brief - August 12 2019 | 08-09-2019

GA GOV ORDERS SWEEPING BUDGET CUTS GEORGIA Gov. Brian Kemp (R) has ordered all state agencies to cut their budgets by 4 percent this year and 6 percent next year. State agencies haven’t received such an order since the Great Recession. (WSB-TV...

Health & Science - August 12 2019 | 08-09-2019

Acting Governor Signs A Trio of Gun-related Measures Acting NEW JERSEY Gov. Sheila Oliver (D) signs a trio of gun-related measures: SB 3301 , which requires the Garden State Department of Health to establish a hospital-based violence intervention plan...

Health & Science - August 5 2019 | 08-02-2019

Federal Judge Blocks Three Arkansas Abortion Laws Saying they provide women with “no discernible medical benefit,” a federal judge temporarily blocks three ARKANSAS abortion laws from going into effect. The state is expected to appeal the...

Obamacare Challenged as States Experiment on Health Care | 07-19-2019

As the fate of the Accordable Care Act (ACA) hangs in the balance in a federal court, states are experimenting with myriad policies affecting health care coverage and insurance costs. In a hearing in New Orleans on July 9, two Republican-appointed...

Medicaid Work Requirements Approved for Nine States | 07-19-2019

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved waivers allowing the imposition of work requirements for Medicaid enrollees in nine states, according to the National Academy for State Health Policy. Approved waivers have been blocked by legal...

CA Lures Doctors with Loan Forgiveness | 07-19-2019

This month California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced the state would be paying off $10.5 million in school loan debt for 40 dentists and $58.6 million in school loans for 247 doctors. The debt relief, provided through a loan repayment program established...

CA Provides Health Insurance to Young Undocumented Residents | 07-12-2019

California became the first state to provide healthcare coverage to adult undocumented residents when Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed legislation last week making those between the ages of 19 and 25 eligible for the state’s Medicaid program. (Children...

Health & Science - June 10 2019 | 06-07-2019

TX Legislature Gives Approval to HB 2041 The TEXAS Legislature gives final approval to HB 2041 , which would require freestanding emergency rooms to clearly disclose the in-network health plans they accept and the fees patients may be charged. It moves...

Medicaid Work Requirements under Fire | 04-19-2019

The Trump administration is plunging ahead with waivers that will encourage states to impose controversial work requirements on Medicaid recipients despite a federal judge’s ruling striking down such requirements in Arkansas and Kentucky. ...

Medicaid Work Requirements Approved in Nine States and Counting | 04-19-2019

Nine states have received federal approval for waivers allowing them to impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients. A federal judge has struck down the requirements in two of those states, Arkansas and Kentucky. But waivers are pending in another...

States Grapple with Complexities of Health Reform | 03-08-2019

It has been just over two years since President Donald Trump famously bemoaned the complexities of the American health care system, telling a meeting of the nation’s governors that “Nobody knew health care could be so complicated.” ...

States Forge Ahead with Obamacare | 01-25-2019

Battered by partisan opposition and bruised by a federal judge’s ruling that the law is unconstitutional, the Affordable Care Act continues to be embraced by the states and the clients it serves. Democrats made preservation of the ACA, often...

Blue Wave Could Have Big Impact on Health and Employment Laws In 2019 | 12-07-2018

Issues like budgets and funding for education are staples of every legislative session in every state. In our second installment of our annual three-part legislative preview, we continue our look at other issues we think will keep lawmakers occupied in...

Almost Three Quarters of States Have Now Expanded Medicaid | 12-07-2018

Voters in three states approved measures on Election Night to expand Medicaid, bringing to 36 [plus the District of Columbia] that have agreed to broaden eligibility to include those earning 138 percent of the federal poverty rate. One of those, Maine...

Stripped-Down Insurance Plans Compete with Obamacare | 08-31-2018

Bare-bones, low-cost health insurance plans pushed by the Trump administration that critics say are inadequate are set to proliferate in the states as alternatives to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). These plans, formerly limited to three months and...

Some States Resist Expanding Short-Term Health Plans | 08-31-2018

A new regulation from the Department of Health and Human Services will allow insurers, starting on Oct. 1, to offer bare-bones, short-term health insurance plans as a longer-term, low-cost alternative to the coverage prescribed by the Affordable Care...

KY Cuts Medicaid Benefits After Work Requirement Blocked | 07-06-2018

In January Kentucky became the first state to receive federal approval to impose a work requirement for Medicaid . But last month a federal judge blocked that plan, called Kentucky HEALTH. The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services...

CHIP Money Running Out in States | 12-01-2017

At least 11 states will exhaust their Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) funds before the end of the year, if Congress fails to extend federal funding for the program, according to a survey of state Medicaid officials by the Kaiser Family...

Lou Cannon: The Pluses and Minuses of Obamacare | 06-10-2016

The Affordable Care Act, often called Obamacare, has provided health insurance for millions of Americans who previously lacked coverage and flocked to hospital emergency rooms in times of medical crisis. But six years after its enactment on a party-line...

Raimondo Looks to 'Reinvent' RI Medicaid | 03-06-2015

Citing rapidly growing per-patient costs, Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) issued an executive order last month (15-08) to create a commission to examine and overhaul the state’s Medicaid program. “The brutal fact is we have a Medicaid...

Wolf Shifts PA to Traditional Medicaid Expansion | 02-13-2015

Moving quickly to act on a campaign pledge, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) began dismantling predecessor Gov. Tom Corbett’s (R) private-option “Healthy PA” in favor of extending traditional Medicaid to hundreds of thousands of newly...

Walker Reveals AK Medicaid Expansion Plan | 02-13-2015

Saying it will save the state $6 million dollars a year, Alaska Gov. Bill Walker (I) announced plans to expand Medicaid coverage to around 41,000 more Last Frontier State residents. Walker said doing so would do good well beyond helping the state’s...

Health & Science - Volume XXIII No. 4 - February 9 2015 | 02-06-2015

The ARKANSAS Senate approves legislation that would authorize the continuance of the state’s so-called “private option” Medicaid expansion plan for another year. That program uses federal funding to pay for private health care insurance...