KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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State Highlights: Mass. Lawmakers Approve Fees On Business To Help With Health Care Costs; Mo. Bill Would Punish Abortion Clinic Workers For Interfering With Ambulance Lights, Sirens

Media outlets report on news from Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Massachusetts, California, Wisconsin, Florida, Texas and Maryland.

Boston Globe: State Budget Includes New Fees On Businesses To Help The State Pay For Health Care Costs
State lawmakers on Friday approved an annual budget that imposes new fees on businesses to help pay the state’s ever-rising health care costs, but they rejected a controversial series of proposals from the Baker administration to rein in those costs, drawing a rebuke from the business community. Advocates for the poor applauded the Legislature’s decision to leave out policy changes that they said would have hurt families who rely on public health coverage. (Dayal McCluskey, 7/7)

Boston Globe: Baker Proposes Tapping Mental Health Care Accounts To Balance Budget
[Charlie] Baker’s budget chief, in an e-mail to top lawmakers last week, disclosed plans to potentially sweep up to $139 million from a variety of state programs, many of them designated for mental health purposes... A Lepore spokesman said she sent the letter to “preserve the option” to use the funds to bring last year’s spending into balance. (O'Sullivan, 7/7)

Des Moines Register: Iowa Public Health Programs Face Uncertainty As Budget Cuts Take Effect
A round of last-minute funding cuts to state public health programs has left administrators scrambling as they attempt to provide continued services to Iowans while grappling with the realities of dramatically reduced budgets. In all, 10 public health programs saw their funding through the state's Department of Public Health completely eliminated going into the 2018 budget year, including one that has since closed its doors. The cuts, announced in mid-June, took effect July 1. (Pfannenstiel, 7/9)

KCUR: Royals’ Advertising Relationship With Anti-Abortion Group Raises Questions 
An online petition protesting the Kansas City Royals’ relationship with an anti-abortion group has drawn thousands of signatures and raised questions about whether the team is endorsing the group’s views. Royals officials say the team takes no position on “culturally sensitive issues.” But the advertising relationship with the Vitae Foundation, now in its second year, appears to go beyond advertising and lend the Royals’ stamp of approval to an organization that promotes pregnancy centers, which have been widely criticized for disseminating medically inaccurate information. (Tufts, 7/7)

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: ACLU, State File Plans To Reduce Solitary Confinement At Teen Prison
The state Department of Corrections and teen inmates filed plans with a federal judge late Friday to dramatically reduce the use of solitary confinement and pepper spray in Wisconsin's juvenile prison complex. U.S. District Judge James Peterson last month ordered those plans to be written after he found teen inmates' constitutional rights were likely being violated at Lincoln Hills School for Boys and Copper Lake School for Girls. (Marley, 7/8)

Orlando Sentinel: The Center Director Steps Down; Accepts New Position As Communications Director
The executive director of The Center of Central Florida announced this week that he is stepping down from his position and accepting a new role as the head of communications for the LGBT advocacy center... The Center, one of the most prominent advocates for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in Central Florida, offers free legal advice, AIDS and STD testing and support groups to those who need them. (Williams, 7/8)  

The Washington Post: U-Md. School Of Pharmacy To Provide Training For Medical Marijuana
The University of Maryland School of Pharmacy will begin offering training to prepare prospective workers for the medical marijuana industry. The move puts the Baltimore school in league with few other established universities and colleges, including the University of Vermont College of Medicine’s Department of Pharmacology, seeking to bring educational standards to a growing national industry that grapples with evolving science and uncertain legal standing. (Cohn, 7/9)

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