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March 26, 2024

Passage of Health Care Facility Permitting Bill in GA, IN Sues Drug Makers and PBMs over High Insulin Prices & More

GA Lawmakers Pass Health Care Facility Permitting Bill Georgia lawmakers gave final approval for a bill ( HB 1339 ) aimed at expanding health care coverage for lower-income individuals, sending the measure to Gov. Brian Kemp (R). Among other things, the bill would eliminate the certificate-of-need requirement for hospitals that open in rural communities where former hospitals have been shut down for a year or more....

March 26, 2024

Antitrust Suit Against Apple, Proposed Ban on ‘Mommy Run’ Social Media Accounts in MN & More

DOJ and State AGs Sue Apple over iPhone Practices The U.S. Department of Justice and the attorney’s general of 16 states filed a lawsuit accusing Apple of violating antitrust laws by engaging in practices designed to keep iPhone customers from switching to competing devices and stifle competition from app developers and rival companies. If successful, the Justice Department could seek to break up the company....

March 25, 2024
Potentially Big Year for Prescription Drug Affordability Boards

Potentially Big Year for Prescription Drug Affordability Boards

The number of states with prescription drug affordability boards could more than double this year if pending legislation is approved. Maryland became the first state to authorize a prescription drug affordability board, or PDAB, in 2019. Since then, 10 other states have established their own boards: Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon and Washington. Now 13...

March 19, 2024

U.S. House Passes Potential TikTok Ban, World’s First Comprehensive AI Law & More

U.S. House Passes Bill to Force Chinese Owner’s Divestiture of TikTok On a 334-60 vote, the U.S. House passed a bill ( HR 7521 ) that would require TikTok’s Chinese owner, ByteDance, to sell the popular video app or have it banned in the United States. The measure, titled the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act, is now in the Senate, where members are more divided on the...

March 19, 2024

Bad Faith Insurance Claims Bill in VA, Record Growth of CA’s Insurer of Last Resort & More

VA Lawmakers Pass Bad Faith Insurance Claims Bill The Virginia legislature passed a bill ( SB 256 ) that, if signed by Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R), would require auto insurance companies that refuse to pay a loss of income, medical expense or property damage claim submitted by a policyholder and are found by a court to have acted in bad faith to pay the policyholder double the amount of the judgment plus interest and attorney...

March 19, 2024

Health Insurance Reform Legislation in IL, MD Aims to Improve Undocumented Residents’ Access to Health Insurance & More

IL House Takes Up Gov’s Proposed Health Insurance Reforms The Illinois House Human Services Committee heard testimony last week about changes to the state’s health insurance industry that Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) proposed in his State of the State address in February. The proposed reforms, contained in an amendment to HB 5395 , would ban prior authorization requirements for in-patient treatment at psychiatric...

March 18, 2024
State Lawmakers Look to Keep Utilities Out of Politics

State Lawmakers Look to Keep Utilities Out of Politics

Utility companies are so unpopular in America these days that some headline writers don’t even bother trying to be objective about them anymore. “ The simple reason most power utilities suck ” was the headline of a 2017 Vox story. “ Why Your Utility Company Sucks ” read the headline of a 2022 article in The New Republic . It might be kind of funny if not for the serious reasons why Americans...

March 05, 2024

Legislative Scramble to Protect IVF in AL, AL IVF Ruling Sidelines FL Bill & More

AL Lawmakers Scramble to Address Supreme Court’s IVF Ruling Alabama’s House and Senate have fast tracked legislation ( HB 237 and SB 159 ) that would grant civil and criminal immunity to providers of in vitro fertilization procedures. Several providers in the state paused IVF procedures after the Alabama Supreme Court issued a decision granting “personhood” status to frozen embryos and making...

March 05, 2024

Musk’s Lawsuit Against OpenAI, DeSantis’ Veto of Youth Social Media Ban & More

Elon Musk Sues OpenAI for Putting Profits Ahead of Humanity Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk filed a lawsuit in Superior Court in San Francisco accusing ChatGPT creator OpenAI and its CEO, Sam Altman, of breach of contract for placing commercial interests ahead of the public good in its development of artificial intelligence. Musk’s suit claims the company, which he helped found in 2015, was established as a...

March 03, 2024
States Embracing New Form of Gambling: iGaming

States Embracing New Form of Gambling: iGaming

Never before has gambling been more accepted in the United States. Today, 38 states —more than three-fourths of the union—permit some form of sports betting. About half allow some form of casino gaming. Forty-eight states have lotteries. Just last month, America’s biggest sporting event, the Super Bowl, was held in Las Vegas, after years of gambling being the NFL’s biggest enemy . According...

February 27, 2024

Controversial AL Court Ruling on IVF, FL Lawmakers Pass Health Care Workforce Bills & More

AL High Court IVF Ruling Draws Backlash Alabama’s Supreme Court ruled in a wrongful death case that frozen embryos used for in vitro fertilization are people, bringing IVF procedures at several state hospitals to a halt and drawing widespread disapproval, including from some Republican governors. New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R) called the IVF ruling “scary,” taking particular issue with the concurrence...

February 27, 2024

FL Lawmakers Pass Youth Social Media Ban, Broad AI Bill Introduced in CT & More

FL Legislature Passes Social Media Ban for Minors Florida lawmakers gave final approval to HB 1 , which would bar those under 16 from having a social media account and require social media platforms to confirm the age of new and existing users. The measure is likely to face legal challenges, as it goes significantly further than legislation passed last year in Arkansas ( SB 396 ) and Ohio ( HB 33 ), requiring minors...

February 26, 2024
State Lawmakers’ Interest in Psychedelic Drugs Not Waning

State Lawmakers’ Interest in Psychedelic Drugs Not Waning

Just three months after we wrote about states’ slow embrace of psychedelic drugs like psilocybin (the hallucinogen found in magic mushrooms), you’d be forgiven for thinking the issue was petering out. After all, the effort to decriminalize psychedelics has noticeably struggled in California—the first state to legalize marijuana for medical use—after notching wins in Oregon and Colorado , two...

February 21, 2024

Youth Social Media Access Bills Keep Coming, OpenAI’s Foray into Video & More

Legal Challenges Not Stopping Youth Social Media Access Bills Legislation that would require social media companies to obtain parental consent before allowing access to minors has been introduced in 14 states, despite legal challenges from the tech industry to youth social media access laws passed in Arkansas, California and Ohio. A federal judge just issued a preliminary injunction blocking Ohio’s law from taking...

February 21, 2024

State Prescription Drug Affordability Review Boards, Weight Loss Drug Insurance Coverage & More

States Addressing High Drug Costs with Prescription Drug Affordability Review Boards Since 2017 at least 11 states have passed laws creating prescription drug affordability review boards, some of which have the authority to implement cost-cutting measures for high-cost drugs for both private- and public-sector consumers, according to the National Academy for State Health Policy . Last year Colorado’s board,...

February 21, 2024

Pro-Labor Bill in WA, Anti-Union Bill in GA & More

WA House Passes Bill to Give Striking Workers Unemployment Benefits Washington’s House passed a bill ( HB 1893 ) that would allow striking workers to receive unemployment insurance benefits. Sen. Karen Keiser (D), chief sponsor of companion legislation in her chamber ( SB 5777 ), said she expects that measure to reach the Senate floor, although she said she needed to review amendments made to the House version...

February 21, 2024
State Lawmakers Wade Into Third-Party Litigation Funding

State Lawmakers Wade Into Third-Party Litigation Funding

In a world where it seems that just about everything is for sale these days, is it any wonder that there’s a burgeoning market for investment in lawsuits? The practice, known as “ third-party litigation funding ” is a growing concern for insurers and other businesses, as well as state lawmakers. TPLF Potentially $5B Industry in America Third-party litigation funding, or TPLF for short, is exactly...

February 06, 2024

Abortion Pill Case Coming to SCOTUS in March, New Anti-Transgender Approach in AZ & More

SCOTUS Sets Date for Abortion Pill Case The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a case that could limit access to the abortion drug mifepristone on March 26. The FDA initially approved the drug for terminating pregnancies through seven weeks gestation in 2000 and extended that period to 10 weeks in 2016. U.S. District Judge Matthew Joseph Kacsmaryk stayed FDA approval of the drug last April, but that decision...

February 06, 2024

Youth Social Media Bills in CA, NY; States Receive Failing Grades for Data Privacy Laws & More

CA, NY Target Social Media Addictive Feeds, Youth Data Collection California Attorney General Rob Bonta (D), Sen. Nancy Skinner (D), and Assemblymember Buffy Wicks (D) introduced a pair of bills last month aimed at protecting youth online. SB 976 would allow parents of users under 18 decide whether they receive a chronological feed from users they follow or an algorithmic feed, the current default. The measure would...

February 06, 2024
State Lawmakers Continue to Tackle Health Care Workforce Shortage

State Lawmakers Continue to Tackle Health Care Workforce Shortage

We told you at the end of December that the nationwide healthcare workforce crisis would remain a top issue for state lawmakers in 2024 . And indeed it is, as evidenced by a spate of new bills addressing the issue pending in state capitols across the country. States Approach Issue from Several Angles As of Feb. 1 there were over 100 measures referring to health care workforce pending in 25 states, according to the...

January 30, 2024

Stronger SEC Oversight of SPACs, IA’s Renewed Effort to Ban State ESG Investing & More

SEC Strengthens Oversight of SPACs The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission voted to increase oversight of special-purpose acquisition companies, which have taken hundreds of companies public in recent years. The SEC’s new rules will require more disclosure about conflicts of interest, equity dilution, fees, and insider compensation in SPAC deals, as well as prevent SPACs from benefiting from a legal safe harbor...

January 30, 2024

‘First Comprehensive AI Legislation’ of 2024, FL’s Aggressive Children’s Online Safety Bill Passes House & More

VA and VT Introduce ‘First Comprehensive AI Legislation’ of 2024 Legislation has been introduced in Virginia ( HB 747 ) and Vermont ( HB 710 ) that would set standards for developers of “high risk”—meaning designed to make consequential decisions—or generative artificial intelligence systems. Among other things the bills would require developers to take steps to avoid “algorithmic...

January 30, 2024

CA Close to Requiring Insurers to Cover PrEP, Bill with Medical Malpractice Caps Emerges in FL & More

CA Legislature Passes Bill Requiring Insurers to Cover PrEP California’s Legislature passed a bill ( SB 339 ) that would require health insurance companies to cover the cost of pharmacist-filled orders of PrEP medications, which prevent the transmission of HIV. A bill passed in the state in 2019 made PrEP drugs available without a prescription, but pharmacists said they were still having difficulty filling orders...

January 30, 2024
State Legislatures Turn Attention to Citizens’ Crushing Medical Debt

State Legislatures Turn Attention to Citizens’ Crushing Medical Debt

Medical debt is crushing Americans across the nation. Recent surveys have found that roughly a third of working-age Americans are struggling with medical debt , while more than half of Americans have been unable to pay medical bills on time or in full . Indeed, the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found that $88 billion in debt was reported on consumer credit records as of June 2021. In September, the...

January 23, 2024

FL’s Aggressive Children’s Online Safety Bill Advances, UT Revising Children’s Online Safety Laws & More

FL House Panel Advances Aggressive Children’s Online Safety Bill Florida’s House Judiciary Committee approved a bill ( HB 1 ) that would prevent those under 16 from having a social media account and require social media platforms to confirm the age of new and existing users. The measure—which goes significantly further than legislation passed last year in other states, including Arkansas ( SB 396 ...