On Tuesday, the Glendale City Council unanimously moved to ban smoking in all new apartments and condominium units. Under the ban, developers could apply for an outdoor smoking permit by paying about $200, along with a $50 annual fee, and establishing a space that is approved by city officials. Council members say that they do not seek to extend the ban to existing multi-unit facilities because it would be too difficult to enforce. Los Angeles Times.
On Thursday, the House approved legislation to fully repeal the Affordable Care Act. The legislation marks the 37th time that congressional Republicans have sought to repeal, defund or dismantle the ACA. The bill is not expected to pass in the Senate. Washington Post et al.
More than 80% of surveyed transit-dependent riders in Alameda County said they have more difficulty getting to their jobs, doctors' offices, schools or social activities, according to a new report from the Alameda County Public Health Department. The survey -- which examined the effects of public transportation cuts -- found that 6% of respondents, most of whom were seniors and people with disabilities, reported less access to health care appointments. KQED's "State of Health".
In a Capitol Weekly opinion piece, Martin Gallegos -- senior vice president and chief legislative advocate for the California Hospital Association -- applauds an Assembly panel's decision last week to move AB 975 -- which would have increased the level of charity care not-for-profit acute care facilities must provide and tightened hospital reporting requirements -- to the Suspense File, noting that the committee recognized "the many negative impacts, including the high unnecessary costs to the state." He concludes, "The demise of AB 975 means we can continue the real work of implementing the [Affordable Care Act]." Capitol Weekly.
Lawyers for inmates have asked federal judges to find Gov. Brown and prison official Jeffrey Beard in contempt of court for not meeting a prison population cap. Earlier this week, Brown filed a notice of appeal in the U.S. Supreme Court over a decision to uphold the cap. Contra Costa Times.
On Thursday, UC-San Diego launched the Center for Brain Activity Mapping. The center is designed to be a focal point for the Obama administration's Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies Initiative, which could become a long-term, multibillion-dollar effort to develop tools for scientists to simultaneously see and study upward of one million brain cells. U-T San Diego.
Gov. Brown's administration has filed a notice of appeal in the U.S. Supreme Court over a prison population cap designed to improve inmate health care. State officials say such care now exceeds constitutional standards. AP/U-T San Diego et al.
A Los Angeles Times editorial supports a proposal by Health Access and other not-for-profit groups that would let counties keep funds from sales taxes and vehicle fees while the federal government covers the full cost of the Medi-Cal expansion. Under the plan, counties after three years "would receive a set amount per indigent person they enroll in a HMO-style health care network, with any leftover dollars reverting to the state," the editorial notes. It concludes that the "proposal offers a better approach to public health, while leaving counties free to decide who should be eligible for the benefits," adding, "The state should embrace it." Los Angeles Times.
Several newly funded California programs aim to reduce stressors for individuals with mental illnesses or their families. For example, the Del Oro Caregiver Resource Center seeks to reduce the likelihood that caregivers of patients with dementia will develop mental health issues themselves by providing them a temporary break from their circumstances, according to program officials. The programs are funded by the Respite Partnership Collaborative, a private-public partnership of the Sierra Health Foundation, Center for Health Program Management and the Sacramento County Division of Behavioral Health Services. Sacramento Bee.
Santa Cruz County officials say that the number of children without vaccinations for whooping cough, or pertussis, has decreased over the past few years. Officials attribute the downward trend to a 2011 state law that required incoming seventh grade students to obtain booster shots for whooping cough starting with the 2011-2012 school year. Santa Cruz Sentinel.
An Orange County Register editorial argues that a proposal in Gov. Brown's plan to reduce California's prison population that would "house several thousand inmates in California's privately run prisons" deserves support. It notes that "seven private prisons incarcerated state inmates" until about 10 years ago when the state cancelled its contracts with the private facilities "in a bow to the ... state prison guards union." It concludes that Brown should think about sending inmates to private prisons "manned by nonunionized guards" to reach a federally mandated prison population cap. Orange County Register.
During a White House Mother's Day-themed event today, President Obama will promote certain Affordable Care Act provisions. Obama is expected to discuss provisions that benefit women and families, such as no-cost cancer screenings. The Hill's "Healthwatch" et al.
A Sacramento Bee editorial argues that Brown's pledge to appeal a court-ordered reduction to the state's prison population to help improve inmates' medical care might "delay the reckoning" but is "unlikely to end federal oversight." It adds, "All this fighting is sidetracking everybody from the real task -- which should be finding common ground around durable remedies to reduce [the] prison population." Sacramento Bee.
Gov. Brown has proposed a plan to reform Proposition 65, which aims to block businesses from exposing residents to harmful chemicals. Critics say the law allows unscrupulous lawyers to file claims against businesses that have done nothing wrong. KPCC's 'KPCC News" et al.
Debate continues over a bill that would remove unhealthy food from vending machines in state facilities. Proponents say the state should not contribute to rising health costs, while opponents argue that elected officials should not govern what people eat. Los Angeles Times.