KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

State News: Study Finds Economy Hurt By Mass. Health Law

News outlets report on a variety of state health policy issues.

The California Report/KQED: Taking HIV Testing To The Streets
The Centers for Disease Control says 20 percent of Americans with HIV don't know they're infected, and those people are responsible for about half of all new infections. A new effort in San Diego is trying to reduce those numbers by making HIV testing more widespread. (Goldberg, 9/15). 

WBUR: Study: Mass. Health Law Has Harmed State Economy
The report, from the conservative Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University, found that the Romney plan has not only meant fewer jobs for Massachusetts, but also less investment in state businesses and less money in the pockets of residents. The study found that health care reform has slowed the amount of investment in state businesses by as much as $29 million (Breslow, 9/15). 

The Texas Tribune: More Texas Schools Teach Safe Sex With Abstinence
In the spring, public school students in Midland will cross what until very recently was the political third rail of sex education. For the first time, they will be taught about contraception — and how to practice safe sex. ... Midland is just one of a number of schools, from West Texas to the suburbs of Houston, that are moving toward "abstinence-plus" education at the urging of their health advisory committees made up of community members (Smith, 9/16).

McClatchy: Munger, Stanford Physicist And GOP Donor, Seeks To Moderate California Platform
Charles T. Munger Jr. isn't your run-of-the-mill Republican donor. The wealthy Stanford physicist is gaining prominence in California's Republican Party, now constantly in search of money needed to win in blue California. But Munger's involvement in the state GOP goes beyond writing checks. His influence will be on display this weekend as California Republicans begin discussing a Munger-inspired platform that downplays traditional GOP positions on gun rights, abortion and same-sex marriage (Van Oot, 9/15).

Denver Post: Denver Sick-Pay Supporters Stress Public Health
Supporters of mandatory sick pay for Denver-based employees make public health a cornerstone of their argument, saying the proposal would protect restaurant patrons, nursing-home residents and day-care kids from employee-borne illness. But health leaders are not universally on board, with the Colorado Hospital Association prominent among those speaking out against the measure's imposition on private businesses. The split surfaced again this week when sick-pay proponents held a news conference on the sidewalks of Uptown's hospital row, just outside HealthOne Presbyterian/St. Luke's Medical Center (Booth, 9/16).

Chicago Sun-Times: City To Workers: Join Wellness Program Or Pay $50 A Month More
City employees would see their monthly health insurance premiums rise by $50 unless they participate in a "wellness program" to manage chronic health problems such as obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure, under a private sector-style plan to be unveiled Friday. After a standoff on work-rule changes, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has forged an agreement with city unions on a plan to use what he has called the "carrot-and-stick approach" to drive down the city’s $500 million-a-year health care costs by as much as $240 million over four years (Spielman, 9/15).

Associated Press/San Francisco Chronicle: Calif. Bill Aimed At Breast Cancer Worries Docs

About 40 percent of women over 40 have breast tissue dense enough to mask or mimic cancers on mammograms, but many of them don't know it. Mammogram providers in California will be required to notify those patients, and suggest that they discuss additional screenings with their doctors based on their individual risk factors, if Gov. Jerry Brown signs a bill that the Legislature passed this month. ... The California Medical Association ... said there isn't enough evidence to support the idea the extra money spent on additional screenings will save more lives (Kumar, 9/15).

Kansas Health Institute News: Cuts In Tobacco-Funded Children's Programs Proposed
State budget officials expect Kansas in the next fiscal year will get between $15 million and $20 million less than this year from its ongoing legal settlement with the nation's major tobacco companies. That reduction in state revenue could mean cuts get passed along to a variety of programs intended to benefit children. ... The programs range from parent training and child care to newborn health screenings (Ranney, 9/15). 

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