A selection of health policy stories from California, Texas, Oklahoma, Florida, Maryland, North Carolina and Oregon.
NPR: For Tea Party Activists In Florida, The Health Care Battle Goes On
Even in Florida, where Republican leaders led the legal battle against Obamacare, there's recognition now that the state has to act fast to comply with the new law. ... After Nov. 6, [Gov. Rick] Scott had a change in tone. "Gov. [Mitt] Romney did not win the election. So, it's not an option to repeal Obamacare," he said. "So, my goal now is to focus on what's good for our citizens." But Republicans are having trouble convincing Tea Party activists that the fight is over (Allen, 12/4).
The Associated Press: 'Obamacare' Foes Vent Anger To Fla. Sen. Committee
Dozens of Tea Party activists and conservative religious leaders flooded a state Senate meeting on the Affordable Care Act on Monday, calling the law a gross overreach by the federal government and begging lawmakers not to implement it. The first meeting of the Senate Select Committee on Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, chaired by Republican Sen. Joe Negron, was a fiery one (Kennedy, 12/5).
The Associated Press: Oklahoma Court Rules Anti-Abortion Laws Pertaining to Ultrasound, Drugs Are Unconstitutional
Oklahoma laws requiring women seeking abortions to have an ultrasound image placed in front of them while they hear a description of the fetus and that ban off-label use of certain abortion-inducing drugs are unconstitutional, the state Supreme Court ruled Tuesday (Talley, 12/4).
The Miami Herald: DCF Wants Its Kids Out Of Nursing Homes
With Florida under heavy fire for funneling sick and disabled children into nursing homes designed for elders, child welfare administrators have quietly enacted a new policy aimed at keeping sick foster kids in community settings. The Department of Children & Families has distributed a new agency policy that requires high-level approval before any child in state care can be admitted to a nursing home, or move from one institution to another. DCF also will ramp up its efforts to recruit foster parents who are specially trained to care for children with significant special needs (Miller, 12/4).
California Healthline: Suit Seeks Changes In-Home Support Services Disability Rules
A lawsuit filed yesterday in U.S. District Court in Sacramento urges state health officials to alter California's limit on adult in-home supportive services. The limit doesn't make sense, the Disability Rights California lawsuit said, because a higher limit would allow some beneficiaries to remain home, which would cost the state less than the price of institutionalization. DHCS officials said the department has a policy of not commenting on pending litigation (Gorn, 12/5).
Los Angeles Times: Changes To California Children's Healthcare Won't Be Delayed, Official Says
A top official in Gov. Jerry Brown's administration said Tuesday that California will begin transferring poor children into a cheaper healthcare plan on Jan. 1, despite concerns from some lawmakers and advocates that the state's plan is inadequate (Megerian, 12/4).
The Dallas Morning News: Texas Again Fines Parkland Memorial Hospital For Patient-Safety Breakdowns State regulators have again fined Parkland Memorial Hospital for patient-safety breakdowns. Dallas County's troubled public hospital failed to investigate two sudden, unexpected deaths this summer and a third case in which a patient "was suspected of having blood transfusion complications," the Texas Department of State Health Services said. Such internal investigations are legally required. None of these failures "put any patient at clinical risk," Parkland spokeswoman April Foran responded in an email Tuesday. She stressed the hospital had reported all the problems to the state (Egerton, 12/4).
The Oregonian: Gov. John Kitzhaber Wants To Add Roughly 200,000 To Oregon Health Plan
Not having health insurance was making Tamica Kent sick. ... Her lupus-related kidney disease is life-threatening, and three or four times she was forced to seek treatment in hospital emergency rooms. ... The waiting period for people like Kent could end if Gov. John Kitzhaber gets his way on a proposal to add at least 160,000 people to the Oregon Health Plan – but his budget has to get through the Legislature first (Budnick, 12/4).