Health Care Workforce

State Senate Passes Bill Promising $25 Minimum Wage For Health Workers: Lawmakers in the California Senate advanced a union-supported bill this week that would raise the minimum wage for health care workers and support staffers to $25 an hour. Read more from the The Sacramento Bee.

Stat: New Survey Shows Racism Is A Huge Problem In Nursing
A family nurse practitioner in New York City, Jose M. Maria has come to expect overt racism from patients. “I’ve been called the N-word, I’ve been called, you name it,” he said. A triple minority in nursing — Black, Latino, and male — he often gets mistaken for a janitor. More subtle racist behavior has come from supervisors and fellow nurses in past jobs, too — uncomfortable looks in the break room, extra questioning from supervisors over narcotics errors he’s responsibly reported and been cleared for. “I’ve felt I’ve had a target on my back.” (McFarling, 5/31)

Roll Call: Dobbs Decision Now A Factor In Med School Residency Picks
When Rose Al Abosy began weighing which obstetrics and gynecology residencies to apply to, she spoke to advisers, considered programs’ academics and evaluated how state laws would affect her ability to train in providing abortions. The Boston University Medical School graduate narrowed down the options to 80 programs in states that had not enacted restrictions on abortion care. (Raman, 5/31)

Debt Ceiling

Vox: The Biggest Policy Changes In The Debt Ceiling Deal, Explained
The cuts are going to land disproportionately on programs that help the poor and on administration, which also affects the people who rely on government programs. Some discretionary spending — on the military and for veterans — is actually going to increase. But the rest, including funding for child care, low-income housing, the national parks, and more, will be subject to a cut for the next two years. (Prokop, Scott, Matthews, Leber, Paz and Zhou, 6/1)

California Healthline: The Debt Ceiling Deal Takes A Bite Out Of Health Programs. It Could Have Been Much Worse.
A bipartisan deal to raise the government’s borrowing limit dashed Republican hopes for new Medicaid work requirements and other health spending cuts. Democrats secured the compromise by making relatively modest concessions, including ordering the return of unspent covid funds and limiting other health spending. (Rovner, 6/2)


The Wall Street Journal: Biden Plans To Name Dr. Mandy Cohen As CDC Director
Cohen, a medical doctor, served in the Obama administration as chief of staff at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. She helped implement the Affordable Care Act and new payment models at the agency. She also served as North Carolina’s health secretary for nearly five years into 2021, helping lead the state through the Covid-19 pandemic. She is an executive at Aledade, a network of independent primary-care practices. (Armour, Restuccia and Toy, 6/1)

CNN: Drug Costs Lead Millions In The US To Not Take Medications As Prescribed, According To CDC
Millions of adults in the United States are not taking their medications as prescribed because of costs, according to a new report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most adults between the ages of 18 and 64 took at least one prescription medication in 2021. But more than 8% of them – about 9.2 million people – said they tried to save money by skipping doses, taking less than prescribed or delaying a prescription fill, according to the CDC data. (McPhillips, 6/2)


Changes to race, ethnicity data collection will impact health

Proposed changes to federal race and ethnicity data collection would affect census forms, public health surveys, benefit applications and more. The changes could also boost health equity.

LGBTQ Health

Public support for LGBTQ+ rights high, even as restrictions grow

Support for LGBTQ+ communities continues to increase despite laws and measures that aim to restrict rights in states across the U.S. More than 470 anti-LGBTQ+ bills have been introduced in statehouses this year.

The 19th: New Anti-Trans Laws Target Autistic Youth And Those With Mental Health Conditions
Three states want to stipulate how, and whether, autistic transgender youth and those with mental health conditions are able to access gender-affirming care — a new tactic aimed at the intersection of two marginalized groups. (Rummler and Luterman, 5/30)


California Healthline: As Medicaid Purge Begins, ‘Staggering Numbers’ Of Americans Lose Coverage
In what’s known as the Medicaid “unwinding,” states are combing through rolls to decide who stays and who goes. But the overwhelming majority of people who have lost coverage so far were dropped because of technicalities, not because officials determined they are no longer eligible. (Recht, 6/1)

KFF Health News: More States OK Postpartum Medicaid Coverage Beyond Two Months
At least eight states this year have decided to seek federal approval to extend postpartum Medicaid coverage, leaving just a handful that have opted not to guarantee at least a year of health care for women during that critical period after pregnancy. The new states on the list include Montana, where lawmakers in the recently ended legislative session voted for a state budget that contains $6.2 million in state and federal funds over the next two years to extend continuous postpartum eligibility from 60 days to 12 months after pregnancy. That would ensure coverage for between 1,000 and 2,000 additional parents in the state each year, according to federal and state estimates. (Volz, 6/1)

The Hill: Millions Had Medicaid Coverage Tied To The Pandemic. Now They Stand To Lose It
Federal legislation passed during the pandemic prohibited states from terminating a Medicaid enrollee’s coverage until the end of the public health emergency, which enabled the federal program to grow and contributed to a record-low national uninsured rate. These provisions have concluded, however, and it’s become apparent that beneficiaries were not made aware of the change. (Choi, 5/29)

Mental Health

Capitol Weekly: The Complicated Birth Of The Lanterman-Petris-Short Act
It is not hyperbole to call the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act of 1967 one of the most impactful pieces of California legislation of the last 60 years. The law, named for its three primary authors, fundamentally changed how this state deals with the mentally ill. The ramifications of those changes are now felt every day in virtually every community across California, for better and worse. In this piece, our Dan Morain offers an unvarnished look at the origins of this historic measure. (Morain, 5/30)

The New York Times: Ketamine Shows Promise For Hard-To-Treat Depression In New Study
A new study suggests that, for some patients, the anesthetic ketamine is a promising alternative to electroconvulsive therapy, or ECT, currently one of the quickest and most effective therapies for patients with difficult-to-treat depression. The study is the largest head-to-head comparison of the two treatments. (Caron, 5/26)

Children’s Health

The Washington Post: Children Die In Hot Cars In Three States, Prompting Grief And Warnings
Three young children — ages 4, 1 and 11 months — died in recent days after being left or becoming trapped in hot cars for hours in Washington state, Texas and Florida, according to authorities. The deaths of the children, two of whom were left in vehicles as their parents went to church and work, increased the number of hot-car deaths among children this year to six, according to, a website that tracks hot-car deaths. The six deaths so far this year are double the total at this point last year, according to California meteorologist Jan Null, who tracks the incidents on the website. (Bella, 5/31)

Food Workers

AP: Food Poisoning Outbreaks Tied To Sick Workers, CDC Says
Food workers who showed up while sick or contagious were linked to about 40% of restaurant food poisoning outbreaks with a known cause between 2017 and 2019, federal health officials said Tuesday. Norovirus and salmonella, germs that can cause severe illness, were the most common cause of 800 outbreaks, which encompassed 875 restaurants and were reported by 25 state and local health departments. (Aleccia, 5/30)

US Births

AP: US Births In 2022 Didn't Return To Pre-Pandemic Levels
U.S. births were flat last year, as the nation saw fewer babies born than it did before the pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday. Births to moms 35 and older continued to rise, with the highest rates in that age group since the 1960s. But those gains were offset by record-low birth rates to moms in their teens and early 20s, the CDC found. Its report is based on a review of more than 99% of birth certificates issued last year. (Stobbe, 6/1)