A selection of health policy stories from Virginia, Wisconsin, Florida, California and Colorado.
The Associated Press/Washington Post: McAuliffe Elected Governor, Defeats Cuccinelli After Pledging To Expand State's Medicaid Rolls
In his emotional concession speech, Cuccinelli also noted the lopsided spending and vowed he would not give up on his fight against Democrats' national health care law. … From the outset, the campaign shaped up as a barometer of voters' moods and a test of whether a swing-voting state like Virginia would elect a tea party-style governor. Republicans bet a deeply conservative candidate would be their best shot at holding onto the governor's office, passing over a lieutenant governor for Cuccinelli, a crusader against the federal health care law (11/6).
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Health Plan Cost Increases Below 7% For Large Area Employers
Employers and employees in the Milwaukee area overall saw larger increases in the cost of health benefits this year than in 2012, with the smallest employers seeing the sharpest increases, according to an annual survey done by HCTrends. The online survey, in which more than 200 employers participated, found that health plan costs increased on average by 8 percent to 10 percent this year compared with an average increases of 5 percent to 7 percent last year (Boulton, 11/5).
Miami Herald: Miami-Dade Voters Approve $830 Million For Jackson Health System
Four months of campaign messages about the long-deferred needs of Jackson Health System and the urgency for the aging public hospital system to more effectively compete against South Florida's private and not-for-profit hospitals paid off Tuesday (Chang,11/5).
The California Health Report: Doctors To Check For Domestic Abuse During Regular Exams
Studies show that the majority of Californians -- as many as two-thirds -- don't know where to turn for help if they, or someone they care about, is a victim of domestic violence. Meanwhile, research shows that 44 percent of adult women suffer domestic abuse at some point in their lives, according to figures from Kaiser Permanente. But a new provision of the Affordable Care Act could change those estimates, and soon. As of Jan. 1, health care providers will begin screening all women during regular checkups for signs of domestic abuse (Bookwalter, 11/6).
California Healthline: New Map Shows Health Technology Reach
California Health eQuality yesterday released a map of health information organizations across the state. It shows a marked increase from last year's tally of counties that have some kind of health information exchange network. "It shows progress," said Rayna Caplan, senior program officer at the UC-Davis Institute for Population and Health Improvement, which oversees the CHeQ program. … The map highlights 35 counties which either have operational or emerging community HIO initiatives. That's well over half of California's 58 counties, and it's a big difference from last year's progress, Caplan said (Gorn, 11/5).
Health Policy Solutions (a Colo. news service): Tepid Recovery Leaves One In Seven Uninsured
The number of uninsured people declined slightly in Colorado over the last two years as the economy began to rebound. But more than 741,000 people -- or one in seven Coloradans -- has remained uninsured while another 720,000 are underinsured, meaning that their out-of-pocket health costs exceed 10 percent of their income. Nearly half of the uninsured said they've gone without health coverage for more than five years and one in 10 have never had it (Kerwin McCrimmon, 11/5).
This article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.