KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

full issue

California’s Health Plan Tax Moves Closer To Gaining Legislature’s OK

The legislation would expand a tax on health care plans while spending hundreds of millions of dollars on services for the developmentally disabled. In other state legislative news, Georgia lawmakers advance bills to support the state's struggling rural hospitals and to prevent companies' health plans from limiting cancer drug coverage. News outlets also report on developments from Wyoming, Utah, Idaho and Missouri.

The Associated Press: California Legislature To Advance Health Plan Tax
A California legislative panel on Monday advanced a compromise plan to restructure taxes on health plans and increase funding for developmental disability services — the first legislative action in a months-long effort to prevent a massive hole in the state health care budget. The move came after influential groups on the right said they would not oppose the tax proposal, giving Republicans political cover to help Democrats reach the supermajority required to pass the legislation. (Cooper, 2/22)

WABE: Ga. Rep. Proposes Tax Credit For Rural Hospital Donations
A state representative from metro Atlanta is proposing a measure to help fund the state's struggling rural hospitals. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Geoff Duncan, R-Cumming, would allow corporations and people to claim a state tax credit when donating to rural health care nonprofits. (Yu, 2/22)

The Associated Press: Utah Lawmakers Advance Broad Medical Marijuana Bill
Utah state senators gave preliminary approval Monday to a medical marijuana proposal that would legalize edible, vapor and topical pot products. Lawmakers voted 15-13 to advance the bill, saying it could help those with certain debilitating conditions who have not found relief through other medications. (Golden and Price, 2/22)

The Associated Press: Idaho Committee Unanimously Backs Rape Kit Legislation
Idaho lawmakers are supporting a bill that would create a statewide system of collecting and tracking the physical evidence in sexual assault investigations. The measure ensures that medical clinics will use rape kits to collect forensic evidence after a suspected sexual assault and will have that evidence sent for DNA testing unless the victim requests otherwise. (2/22)

The Associated Press: Missouri House Votes To Limit Public Access To Farm Data
The Missouri House has passed legislation restricting public access to some government data on farms and ranches. Lawmakers voted 104-49 Monday to exempt state agency data on animal health and the environmental impact of farms from open records laws. The bill now heads to the Senate. Bill sponsor Rep. Jay Houghton said some farmers are reluctant to participate in a government disease tracking program because proprietary information could become public. He said limiting the access to that data would encourage more producers to take part in the program, which would make the food system safer. (2/22)

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