KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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State Highlights: Minn. Gov. Reappoints 2 Members To State Insurance Marketplace Board; Calif. In-Home Care Program In Budget-Cut Crosshairs

Outlets report on news from Minnesota, California, Oregon, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Kansas and Texas.

Pioneer Press: Mark Dayton Reappoints Two MNsure Board Members 
Two members of MNsure’s board of directors will get another four years leading the state-run health insurance marketplace — provided it continues to exist. Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton on Monday reappointed MNsure board chair Pete Benner and board member Phil Norrgard to new four-year terms. Their terms were previously scheduled to expire next month. Dayton appointed the original six members of MNsure’s board in 2013. (The seventh spot is automatically filled by the state’s Human Services Commissioner.) Four of the original six have since left the board, replaced by new appointees as their terms expired. Benner and Norrgard are the first board members Dayton has reappointed. (Montgomery, 4/17)

Los Angeles Times: An In-Home Care Program For California's Elderly And Disabled Is Constantly At The Heart Of Budget Battles. Here's Why
California’s program to provide in-home care for its low-income elderly and disabled residents finds itself once again at the heart of a state budget standoff. It is familiar territory for the workers, advocates and administrators of the In-Home Supportive Services program. The current flare-up — between the state and county governments over how to divvy up IHSS costs — is the latest example of how California’s signature program, meant to keep people in their communities and out of nursing homes, has continually been the source of budget friction in recent years. (Mason, 4/18)

East Oregonian: Massive Health Care Cuts On Possible Budget Reduction List 
With about a month to go before a critical revenue forecast, Oregon’s budget writers released a more detailed list of cuts Monday to address the state’s approximately $1.6 billion budget gap if new revenue isn’t raised. The cuts are across the board and intended to show what it would take to balance the state’s budget. For example, about 350,000 Oregonians would no longer be eligible for coverage under the recent Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion, and a ballot measure to require the state to pay dropout prevention, college readiness, and career and technical education for high school students would only be partially funded. (Withycombe, 4/17)

ProPublica: California Group Home Liable For Millions In Case Of Abused Boy
A jury in Sacramento, California, last week awarded more than $11 million to the family of a 16-year-old-boy who had been sexually assaulted by a peer at his group home in Davis. The jury found that operators of the group home failed to look after the boy as the facility for troubled youngsters descended into a prolonged period of chaos and violence. (Sapien, 4/17)

The Star Tribune: Minnesota Confirms 9th Measles Case, All Children Unvaccinated 
Minnesota health officials have confirmed a ninth case of measles in the Hennepin County outbreak that began last week, and they expect the count to rise as additional lab specimens are tested. The patients, all children, were not vaccinated. Most of the cases have occurred in the Twin Cities Somali-American community, where vaccination rates have been relatively low. (Howatt, 4/18)

The New York Times: A California Court For Young Adults Calls On Science
Researchers have long known that the adolescent brain is continually rewiring itself, making new connections and pruning unnecessary neurons as it matures. Only recently has it become clear that the process stretches well into early adulthood. Buried in that research is an uncomfortable legal question: If their brains have not fully matured, how responsible are adults ages 18 to 24 for their crimes? (Requarth, 4/17)

Nashville Tennessean: Vanderbilt University Medical Center Among Tops For NIH Funding
For Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, 2016 was a banner year: It netted its largest ever amount of grant funding from the National Institutes of Health. The medical school received $340 million in 2016 — placing it eighth in the country for grants awarded to a medical school. The school moved up two spots on the ranking from the year prior in part because it received a five-year $71.6 million grant to establish in Nashville a key component of the national initiative to further research and use of precision medicine. (Fletcher, 4/17)

The Philadelphia Inquirer/Philly.com: U.S. Ordered To Pay Half Of Temple Hospital's $8 Million Birth Injury Settlement
A federal judge has ordered the U.S. government to contribute half of Temple University Hospital’s $8 million settlement of a birth injury lawsuit. The hospital sued the government seeking exemption from legal responsibility, or indemnity, arguing that the obstetrician liable for the birth injuries was a federal employee — even though that doctor was also working in labor and delivery at Temple. (McCullough, 4/17)

Los Angeles Times: L.A. County Seeks To Strengthen The Safety Net For Its Neediest Residents With Funding For The Homeless, Social Workers And Healthcare
Los Angeles County pressed forward with an effort to strengthen the safety net for its most vulnerable residents Monday with a budget plan that carves out significant allotments for social services, healthcare and other support for the poor. The proposed budget is a slight increase from last year, and officials said they are trying to channel some of that money toward helping those who rely on county government for critical services. (Agrawal, 4/17)

San Francisco Chronicle: Berkeley Couple’s Mysterious Deaths Raise Public Health Fears 
No one knows how a young Berkeley couple and their two cats were fatally poisoned with carbon monoxide during a storm one night in January... But three months, one lawsuit and a procession of experts later, the source of the carbon monoxide remains a mystery. Toxicology professionals say that’s not just bizarre, but a possible danger to public health. (Veklerov, 4/17)

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