State and territorial attorneys general have made it a priority to combat the epidemic of prescription opioid abuse and to protect military service members from predatory lenders. Their efforts include law enforcement operations, state drug monitoring programs and education campaigns. 

As the reports on the spread of Ebola flood in from West Africa, and now from our own country, many state leaders are asking whether their states are prepared to handle a possible epidemic. In this blog, CSG presents some background on preparedness planning and funding in the states.In 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued national standards for state and local planning for public health preparedness

     Supporters of Proposition 46 call it the Troy and Alana Pack Patient Safety Act of 2014 after two children who died at the hands of a driver under the influence of prescription drugs and alcohol.  This alone sets a deeply personal cord with Proposition 46 advocates.

Two cities in California—San Francisco and Berkeley—will be presenting voters with soda-tax initiatives in the upcoming November election. Soda and sugar-sweetened drinks such as sports drinks and energy drinks would be taxed, although infant formula, nutritional drinks, and diet drinks would not be taxed. Michael F. Jacobson, the executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, said in an article in the New York Times that the soda industry has spent over $117 million since 2009 to combat soda taxes in the United States and is now paying attention to San Francisco and Berkeley.

Since 1997, states have been able to bill for Medicaid-enrolled inmates who leave prisons or jails longer than 24 hours for health treatment in a hospital or nursing facility. That provision is an important but little-known exception to the federal prohibition on spending Medicaid funds for health services to inmates of state prisons and local jails, according to Dr. Nicole Jarrett, who spoke at September’s CSG Medicaid Leadership Policy Academy.

Pennsylvania and New Hampshire are the latest states to expand Medicaid eligibility, securing federal approval of their states' waiver proposals. Those two states join Arkansas, Iowa and Michigan that also have implemented Medicaid expansion outside of the traditional Medicaid program model. Indiana has a pending waiver application. 

It is likely that some of the 22 states that so far have not expanded Medicaid may still do so. To keep up with...

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.

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