California voters will have an opportunity on the November 2014 ballot to approve Proposition 45 requiring that the state insurance commissioner approve proposed increases in health insurance rates. The campaign for the proposition is led by Consumer Watchdog, a group that has taken on the automobile and home insurance industries previously.

In 35 other states,...

Hunger affects millions of children every year in the U.S. and is linked to greater rates of absenteeism and school disciplinary problems. Those behaviors are, in turn, associated with lower academic achievement and greatly increase the chance a child will drop out of school – which comes with a huge price tag for tax payers. 

WASHINGTON, D.C.—State Medicaid programs increasingly are depending on managed care arrangements, Julia Paradise, associate director of the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, told state legislators attending the CSG Medicaid Leadership Policy Academy in Washington, D.C., Sept. 15-17. “States see managed care as a strategy to extract savings,” she said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in a 2014 study, report 259,000 preventable deaths each year. The study examined the top five leading causes of death - heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases, strokes, and unintentional injuries - that account for two-thirds of all deaths every year. The rates for these preventable deaths varied enormously across states. Where an individual lives in the United States has a direct effect on their health and, ultimately, their life span. The CDC made several recommendations to states to decrease the number of preventable deaths.

The New York Court of Appeals in June 2014 overturned New York City's highly publicized soda ban that limited purchases of fountain drinks to 16-ounce cups in an attempt to reduce constituents' consumption of soda.  Most states have levied taxes on soda purchase intending to influence consumer choices, promote public health and generate revenue. 

Skin cancer is caused by excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation and results in about 13,000 deaths annually. Melanoma, an aggressive form of skin cancer, is responsible for 9,700 deaths each year. The American Cancer Society estimates 76,000 new cases of melanoma in 2014. Because tanning beds increase the risk of developing skin cancer, the FDA has recently reclassified tanning beds and states have enacted legislation limiting minors’ access to tanning beds.

Twenty-one state legislators from 14 states gathered in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 15-17, 2014, for a CSG-led Medicaid Leadership Policy Academy. Almost 50 percent of the attendees were chairs or vice-chairs of health committees in their home states. Nearly half were health care professionals outside their legislative duties. 

The meeting was a follow-up to the Medicaid Policy Academies CSG has held in 2012, 2013, and 2014 for legislatos who have been newly elected...

Today, NPR reported that federal funding for innovative medical research has declined in recent years, putting potentially important research projects and labs in jeopardy. In turn, the discoveries made by research completed at universities are the basis for new treatments and technologies marketed by private sector companies to cure disease and improve health. 

According to the report, the National...

The Associated Press is reporting today that the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia will have all its full panel of judges re-hear the challenge to granting subsidies for health insurance purchase in the states that have not implemented state-based health insurance exchanges.

The initial ruling had come from a three-judge panel and called...

The federal government has approved a waiver from Pennsylvania that will move the state forward on expansion of Medicaid to low income residents starting Jan. 1, 2015. Pennsylvania becomes the 27th state to expand Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act. 

In a press release, Gov. Corbett says, “From the beginning, I said we needed a plan that was created in Pennsylvania for Pennsylvania − a plan that would...

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