State Roundup: Conn. Gov. Says No ‘Public Option’ This Year
The Times-Picayune: Gov. Bobby Jindal's Plan To Sell State Health Insurance Plan To Private Company
Gov. Bobby Jindal's chief budget adviser defended the administration's plan to sell a state-run health insurance plan to a private company, rebutting a chorus of critics Tuesday who said the move would result in higher premiums and lower benefits for state workers and retirees. ... Louisiana is currently the only state besides Utah that operates its own health insurance plan, [Commissioner of Administration Paul] Rainwater said. ... Debate has taken on a partisan tone in recent weeks, as defeating the plan has become a political priority for the Louisiana Democratic Party (Moller, 4/26).
The Connecticut Mirror: Malloy Only Closing The Door To A 'Public Option' This Year
As supporters of Sustinet prepare to rally at the State Capitol Wednesday, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is adamant that a state-run insurance program will not happen this year. "If you're asking do I think this year we could move into a Massachusetts model, the answer is no," Malloy said Monday (Rabe, 4/26).
The Boston Globe: House Votes To Repeal Pharma Gift Ban
Several states in recent years have tightened controls over the relationship between physicians and manufacturers of drugs and medical devices. Massachusetts joined the trend in 2008 with a law that banned gift-giving from the companies. For the second year in a row, however, House members have voted to repeal the ban, saying it hurts the economy. With a bipartisan vote of 128-22, the repeal was added to the House's 2012 budget proposal today. Supporters argued that the ban has not helped to control health care costs as expected but has hurt convention centers and restaurants where companies typically have hosted physician events and dinners (Conaboy, 4/26).
Minnesota Public Radio: One-On-One Debate: Would Outsourcing Government Services Save Minnesota Money?
As the debate over how to balance the state budget continues, Republican lawmakers are pushing for more outsourcing of government services. GOP legislators say hiring private companies to do work currently done by state employees can save money, but DFLers disagree. MPR's Morning Edition invited two guests to debate the issue on Monday. Representative Keith Downey (R-41A) is the Republican point man on government reform in the Minnesota House. Senator Barb Goodwin (DFL-50) sits on the state government innovation committee in the Minnesota Senate (Wurzer, 4/26).
California Healthline: Series of Proposals for Community Health Improvement
When it comes to improving the health of a large pool of Californians, small steps can yield big cumulative results. That's the idea behind a series of proposed laws that are coming before committees in the next two weeks - and part of an overarching plan to get health considerations included in land-use and other policies on the Capitol's daily agenda (Gorn, 4/26).
Kansas Health Institute News: Telehealth Program's Future Uncertain
Legislators are considering whether to continue funding a program that uses Internet-based technology to help frail seniors avoid having to move to nursing homes. ... "It's kind of a weird situation," said [Kansas Department on Aging] spokeswoman Sara Arif. "Both the House and Senate appropriated the money for the program last year, but (then-) Secretary (Martin) Kennedy used the money to pay for other HCBS (home and community based services) services" (Ranney, 4/26).
Georgia Health News: Safety Effort Seeking To Reduce Hospital Errors
A public-private partnership led by the Obama administration aims to reduce medical errors and the enormous costs associated with them. The Partnership for Patients proposes to unite hospital systems, employers, insurers, medical providers and patients to help make the health care system safer. The goals: to lower hospital-acquired conditions by 40 percent in three years, saving 60,000 lives; and to reduce patient readmissions to hospitals by 20 percent over that same time period. ... Georgia organizations signed up for the safety effort include the Georgia Hospital Association; Tenet Healthcare and HCA hospitals in Georgia; WellStar Health System; and Visiting Nurse/Hospice Atlanta (Miller, 4/26).
Denver Post: House Panel Advances Bill To Opt Colorado Out Of Federal Health Law
A Republican-backed bill allowing Colorado to opt out of the federal health law moved forward Tuesday after a hearing that featured division among Tea Party activists and talk of "death lists" and "microchips." The House Health and Environment Committee approved House Bill 1273 on a 7-6, party-line vote, sending it to the House Appropriations Committee, which must approve it before it can go to the full Republican-led House. House Majority Leader Amy Stephens, R-Monument, and Rep. B.J. Nikkel, R-Loveland, co-sponsored the bill and said it would allow Colorado to join an interstate compact to opt out of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that became federal law last year (Hoover, 4/27).
Honolulu Star Advertiser: Nurses In Sole Group To Reject New HGEA Deal
Six of seven bargaining units of the state's largest public-sector labor union yesterday ratified a new two-year contract that will mean a 5 percent pay cut, an increase in their health care premium payments and an increase in time off. But the 1,561-member Unit 9 of registered professional nurses rejected the proposed contract in a 509-392 vote. The split vote does not affect the ratification of the contract by each of the other bargaining units, Hawaii Government Employees Association spokes-woman Jodi Endo Chai said (Fujimori, 4/26).