KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

full issue

State Highlights: The Hotly Contested Drug Price Transparency Bill In Calif.; Assisted Suicide Advocates Gear Up For Fight In N.Y.

Media outlets report on news from California, New York, Ohio, Kansas, Virginia and Alaska.

San Jose Mercury News: Fate Of Controversial California Drug Price Transparency Bill Up In Air
Senate Bill 17’s goal of moving toward “transparency” in drug prices would enable health insurers to negotiate lower prices for drugs or, in many cases, replace those drugs with cheaper alternatives, its supporters say. They argue that the measure could make a huge difference because when California has required cost transparency in other areas of the health care industry, prices have stabilized or even decreased. (Seipel, 9/8)

The Associated Press: Groups Aim To Renew Doctor-Assisted Suicide Debate In NY
Groups fighting to give terminally ill people the right to physician-assisted suicide in New York state are gearing up for another fight in the Legislature. The state’s highest court on Thursday ruled against terminally ill patients who argued they should be allowed to seek a doctor’s help in ending their lives rather than suffer needlessly.The decision could send the debate back to the Legislature, where bills to permit and regulate physician-assisted suicide have so far failed. (9/9)

The Associated Press: Abortion Clinic Dispute To Be Argued In Ohio Supreme Court
A dispute over whether to shut down Toledo's last abortion clinic is headed to the Ohio Supreme Court Tuesday, in a case both sides view as pivotal. At issue in oral arguments will be the state health department's 2014 order shutting down Capital Care of Toledo for lack of a patient-transfer agreement, which would formally authorize the transfer of patients from the clinic to a local hospital. (9/10)

San Jose Mercury News: Two Cases Of Hepatitis A Linked To Santa Clara County Jails
As other parts of the state contend with a surge in cases of Hepatitis A, Santa Clara County officials are investigating how a jail inmate and staff member contracted the disease. ... The case involving the inmate was reported to the county Public Health Department at the end of August, and on Tuesday the agency received word that a jail staff member also had contracted the disease. (Green, 9/8)

Richmond Times-Dispatch: Initiatives Underway To Combat Richmond's Food Deserts
In 25 corner stores in Richmond neighborhoods, primarily low-income areas with limited availability of supermarkets, Tricycle Gardens’ Corner Farm initiative brings fresh produce to the people. In a few weeks, for instance, locally grown kale and collard greens will be in season and among the fresh produce on the shelves at the Clay Street Market at North 30th and East Clay streets in Richmond’s Church Hill neighborhood. (Smith, 9/10)

Sacramento Bee: California Dialysis Center Bill Shelved For The Year
Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, introduced Senate Bill 349 earlier this year at the behest of the Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West. ... The measure would have required dialysis centers to provide one nurse for every eight patients and one technician for every three patients, among other new standards. (Luna, 9/8)

The Associated Press: Alaska Gold Rush Town Struggles With Hard-Drinking Legacy
The old Gold Rush town of Nome on Alaska's western coast is trying again to address hard drinking that's deeply entrenched there — this time with a proposed law prohibiting intoxication in public places like the city's main street, where people can be seen stumbling along or passed out near tourist shops. The measure would for the first time outlaw intoxication in public rights of way, such as Nome's Front Street and its sea wall. It targets those with a blood-alcohol content of at least 0.08 percent — the same threshold for driving while intoxicated. (9/10)

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