Health

The Health Policy Group provides policy analysis and innovative programming for state health policy leaders in the legislative and executive branches. This group also develops many publications and health forums for state leaders.

State leaders need access to critical and timely health policy information. CSG staff works to provide officials with best practices and policy analysis, helping lawmakers identify the best health solutions for their states.

The Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether medical providers receiving federal funds may be prevented from referring patients for abortions. In California v. Azar the Ninth Circuit held the federal rule at issue is lawful. In Cochran v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore the Fourth Circuit reached the opposite conclusion.

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According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, approximately 4.3 million Americans receive Home and Community Based Services (HCBS). Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has made providing HCBS far more difficult. Consequently, state governments have used Appendix K waivers to adjust HCBS to best support individuals who are elderly or disabled during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a unanimous decision the U.S. Supreme Court held in Rutledge v. Pharmaceutical Care Management Association that states may regulate the price at which pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) reimburse pharmacies for the cost of prescription drugs without violating the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).  

PBMs act as an intermediary between prescription-drug plans and pharmacies. When a pharmacy fills a prescription the PBM reimburses...

Today the Supreme Court heard oral argument in California v. Texas. In this case it is possible the Supreme Court could rule that a portion of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is unconstitutional and strike down the entire law.

Predicting the outcome of Supreme Court cases based on oral argument is a risky proposition. Nevertheless, it appeared at...

Illinois Summer Youth Employment Program

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a massive increase in unemployment throughout the United States. Many youth transitioning into the workforce struggled to find summer employment. Youth with disabilities transitioning into the workforce were hit especially hard by the economic downturn brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, the unemployment rate among youth with disabilities ages 16-19 reached 31.2% in July, compared to the 18.8% unemployment rate of all youth ages 16-19, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office...

CSG Midwest
After 18 months of negotiations, the state of Michigan agreed in August to pay $600 million to individuals and businesses affected by the water crisis in the town of Flint, with close to two-thirds of the money going to children age 6 and under at the time of their first exposure. The crisis in Michigan's seventh-largest city began in 2014, when the town's supply of water was switched to the Flint River, leading to toxic levels of lead in drinking water. The consequences included an uptick in deaths from Legionnaires' disease and lead poisoning among children.

Every year, state leaders, policymakers and advocates recognize September as National Suicide Prevention Month. According to data from the Suicide Prevention Resource Center, suicide is the second leading cause of death for Americans ages 10-34, the fourth leading cause of death for ages 35-54 and the eighth leading cause of death for ages 55-64. As suicide rates continue to climb, states across the country have taken steps to reduce...

CSG Midwest
Reduced federal and state investments in public health over the past decade.
Fewer workers in state and local health departments.
Growing numbers of people with diabetes, obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and other underlying conditions.
Inequities in the types of services and health infrastructure needed to keep individuals and whole communities well.
They all added up to a country vulnerable to being hit hard by a transmissible disease such as COVID-19, two public health experts said to legislators during a July webinar of The Council of State Governments’ Midwestern Legislative Conference.
Their message: Learn the hard lessons taught by the COVID-19 pandemic, and embed them in future policy decisions about public health. “We’re willing to spend a lot of money without question when people get sick, but we don’t spend very much money to stop people from becoming sick,” John Auerbach, president and CEO of the Trust for America’s Health, said to legislators participating in the webinar.

In a 7-2 decision in Little Sisters of the Poor v. Pennsylvania the Supreme Court held that religious employers and employers with moral objections may be exempted from the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) contraceptive mandate.

The State and Local Legal Center (SLLC) filed an amicus ...

In a 5-4 decision in June Medical Services v. Russo the Supreme Court struck down Louisiana’s admitting privileges law. Five Justices agreed that Louisiana’s law created an unconstitutional “substantial obstacle” to women obtaining abortions.

A Louisiana law requiring abortion providers to hold admitting privileges at a nearby hospital was nearly identical to a Texas law the Supreme Court struck down 5-4 in...

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