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$25 Minimum Wage for Healthcare Workers in CA, Push for Prescription Drug Price Controls in MD & More

September 22, 2023 (1 min read)

CA Legislature Approves $25 Healthcare Worker Minimum Wage

On the last day of this year’s regular session, California lawmakers passed a bill (SB 525) that would phase in a nation-leading $25 minimum wage for workers at hospitals, nursing homes, and other medical facilities. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) has until Oct. 14 to act on the measure. (KFF HEALTH NEWS, STATE NET)

Push in MD to Control Prescription Drug Costs for Privately Insured

At a virtual townhall last week Maryland Del. Joseline Pena-Melnyk (D), chair of her chamber’s Health and Government Operations Committee; U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD); and the advocacy groups Healthcare for All! and AARP announced their support for legislation next year to establish upper payment limits on some prescription drugs covered by private insurance plans. The planned measure would expand the authority of the state’s Prescription Drug Affordability Board, which is now working on establishing payment limits for drugs covered by public insurance plans. (WYPR)

U.S. Employers Facing Big Jump in Healthcare Costs

Benefit consultants from Mercer, Aon and Willis Towers Watson are forecasting U.S. employer healthcare costs to jump 8.5% next year—the largest increase in a decade—due to medical inflation, high demand for expensive weight-loss drugs and expanded access to costly gene therapies. But with the tight labor market, most employers aren’t planning to shift that cost increase onto workers. Beth Umland, Mercer’s director of health & benefits research, said employers “don’t want to add more financial stress on employees who are also coping with inflation, especially in this time where they’re really relying on their health benefits as a way to keep employees working for them.” (REUTERS)

—Compiled by SNCJ Managing Editor KOREY CLARK

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