State Round-Up: News From California, Colorado And MassachusettsThe Los Angeles Times: The California State Senate Wednesday approved a $196-million plan to tax insurance companies and capture federal dollars to keep about 700,000 children from being dropped from a governmental insurance program for the working poor. "The state Senate passed a measure to create a new tax on insurance companies and bring in federal money to rescue the decade-old Healthy Families program, which had been cut deeply in recent months as lawmakers scrambled to balance the state budget" (Bailey and Mcgreevy, 9/3).
The Denver Post: In Colorado, health clinics for the poor will have to cut nearly $33 million from their budgets to deal with that state's fiscal shortfall. "Gov. Bill Ritter cut the $32.9 million from health clinics in this fiscal year's budget as he sought to close a budget gap. Meanwhile, $16.8 million in federal stimulus money has fueled expansion programs at the same clinics - new buildings, technology and space for mental-health programs" (Sherry, 9/3).
The Boston Globe: In Massachusetts, state officials are increasing oversight at nonprofit health companies to examine pay for employees. "But it broadened its inquiry last year after learning Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts, the state's largest nonprofit health plan, made a $16.4 million lump-sum retirement benefit payment to former chairman and chief executive William C. Van Faasen. First Assistant Attorney General David Friedman said officials want to assure timely and consistent reporting of executive compensation at hospitals and insurers, to understand the rationale for the practice of paying board members at insurers, and to encourage nonprofits to separate the jobs of chairman and chief executive" (Weisman, 9/3). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.