Today the EPA released its proposed update to the air quality standards for ground-level ozone.  The proposal lowers the ground-level ozone standard from 75 parts per billion, where it’s been since 2008, to a range of 65 to 70 parts per billion.   EPA estimates most areas will be in compliance with the standard by 2025. 

A revised ozone standard of 70 to 60 parts per billion was recommended by the Clean Air Science Advisory Committee, a scientific panel that advises EPA in setting the national ambient air quality standards...

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Michigan has become the fourth U.S. state — and first in the Midwest — to pass a law giving terminally ill patients the right to try experimental medications.
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Minnesota has become the second state in the Midwest to prohibit anyone under the age of 18 from using indoor tanning beds. Under HF 2402, tanning-bed owners and operators will be charged with a misdemeanor for violating the state statute. Illinois’ under-18 ban (HB 188) was signed into law last year.
 

On Tuesday, California voters defeated Proposition 46 with a 67.2 percent majority.  Proposition 46 would have required drug and alcohol testing of doctors, reporting of positive tests to the California Medical Board, and an increase in medical malpractice caps. 

On November 4, 2014, citizens in two California cities—San Francisco and Berkeley—voted on proposed soda tax initiatives. As expected, San Francisco voters did not pass the measure. However, the initiative in Berkeley, known as Measure D, passed with 75% of the vote, making Berkeley the first city in the nation to tax soda and sugary drinks.

California voters rejected by a nearly 60 percent majority Proposition 45 that would have required the state insurance commissioner to approve proposed increases in health insurance rates for small groups and individuals.

On Nov. 4, 2014, South Dakota voters approved Initiated Measure 17 that would require health insurers to allow patients to choose any legitimate medical provider. The measure was approved by 62 percent of those casting a vote.

The question, to allow “any willing provider,” seemed simple on its face – a matter of allowing patients to choose their doctors and hospitals rather than force a selection from a list of in-network providers.  Any provider could join a health insurance company’s network, assuming that they agree to the company’s terms (such as reimbursement levels) and that they work within the geographic coverage area.

On November 4, 2014, Arizona became the fifth state in the nation to allow terminally ill individuals to get access to medicines that are still undergoing clinical trials. Proposition 303 was overwhelming approved by voters, 78 percent voting yes and 22 voting no.

Now drugs not yet approved by the Federal Drug Administration could be made available to terminally ill individuals. The drugs would have to be prescribed by a doctor and the risks of taking the drugs could not be more than the risk of the disease. The measure is intended to give more options to patients with terminal diseases who must now wait for months to get federal government clearance for non-FDA approved drugs under the FDA compassionate use program.

On Election Day, South Dakota voters will vote on Initiated Measure 17 that would require health insurers to allow patients to choose any legitimate medical provider.

The question, to allow “any willing provider,” seems simple on its face – a matter of allowing patients to choose their doctors and hospitals rather than force a selection from a list of in-network providers.  Any provider could join a health insurance company’s network, assuming that they agree to the company’s terms (such as reimbursement levels) and that they work within the geographic coverage area.

After election day, Arizona could become the fifth state in the nation to allow terminally ill individuals to get access to medicines that are still undergoing clinical trials. Proposition 303 is on the ballot and if approved by the state's voters, manufacturers of drugs not yet approved by the Federal Drug Administration could be made available to terminally ill individuals. 

The drugs would have to be prescribed by a doctor and the risks of taking...

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