Iowa Democrats argue that the measure, which is part of a major tax cut, does not guarantee that the state will adequately fund mental health care services in the future. Meanwhile, North Carolina lawmakers are pursuing non-police responses to mental health crises and the San Francisco homeless mental health team is set to work.
Des Moines Registry: Iowa Senate Approves Bill Tax Cut, Shifting Mental Health Care Funding to State
Iowa lawmakers have reached agreement on a comprehensive plan to shift funding to mental health services from state property taxes to state while lowering income taxes, ending inheritance tax of Iowa and increase a number of tax credits for affordable housing and child care. The Iowa Senate passed the bill Monday in a 29-15 vote with all Republicans and gentlemen Kevin Kinney, D-Oxford and Tony Bisignano, D-Des Moines, voting yes and all Democrats voting no. The measure now goes to the House, which is expected to pass it and send it to Governor Kim Reynolds ’desk. (Gruber-Miller, 5/17)
North Carolina Health News: Lawmakers Seek Non-Police Mental Health Interventions
When it comes to dealing with people with mental illness, most people think hospitalization is good and prison is bad, but according to Cherene Allen-Caraco, “both are indicators of system failures.” Allen-Caraco has cared for people with mental illness through Promise Resource Network, a mental health service provider in Charlotte for 16 years. Of the thousands of people she and her team have served, only one person has been involuntarily admitted to a psychiatric hospital. (Knopf, 18/05)
AP: West Virginia will get $ 2.4 million for cancer prevention programs
West Virginia is expected to receive $ 2.4 million in federal funding for cancer prevention programs. U.S. state senators on Monday announced funding from the Department of Health and Human Services. The money will go to the state health department’s cancer control programs. (18/05)
Crain’s New York Business: NY Bill Mandatory Limiting by Email Pharmacy Services for Special Drugs Advances Assembly
A New York Assembly bill that would potentially prevent patients from being forced to use email ordering services for prescription drugs (legislation that has been introduced before), advanced last week . While independent pharmacists praised the development, pharmacy benefit administrators said the bill would not only increase costs for employers and patients, but also compromise patient safety. The bill seeks to amend a 2011 law under which pharmacy benefit administrators cannot make it mandatory for patients with a prescription for “specialty drugs” to be able to get them only by mail from “specialty pharmacies.” The bill also removes the requirement for independent pharmacies to meet certain terms and conditions before they can dispense these drugs. In addition, it defined what a mail-order pharmacy is and included exemptions for collective bargaining agreements. (Sim, 17/5)
Capitol Beat News Service: Workers Advocate Call for Wider Paid Family Leave
Workers’ advocates in Georgia are pushing for further expansion of paid family vacation after state lawmakers passed legislation to give state employees up to three weeks off after the birth of a child. Representatives from several Georgia nonprofits met Friday to request a broader medical and family leave program that offers up to 12 weeks of leave for new parents, medical leave for surgery or severe medical treatment, and that expands eligibility to care for a family member beyond the child. (Evans, 16/05)
Bangor Daily News: Security Concerns Over Debate Over Extension Of Maine Food Sovereignty Laws
Proponents of legislation to amend Maine’s food sovereignty law say the new language will make the state’s local food economy stronger by increasing opportunities for unlicensed food businesses at home, but not everyone participates. Opponents, including the Maine food industry and farming groups, believe the amendment will unnecessarily weaken regulations aimed at preventing unsafe foods from falling into the hands of consumers. (Bayly, 18/05)
AP: Dozens more men are suing the state of Ohio for the doctor’s sexual misconduct
Dozens more men are suing the state of Ohio for the university for not stopping sexual abuse and misconduct decades ago by team doctor Richard Strauss. The claims filed earlier by more than 400 men, many of whom allege that they had been palpated during necessary medical examinations or while seeking treatment for unrelated diseases, are echoed. New claims were filed on Friday by at least 41 plaintiffs in two federal lawsuits and one on Monday, marking two years since a report from an investigation by a law firm concluded that university employees were aware of the concerns about Strauss as early as 1979, but they did not stop. he. (Franko, 18/05)
USA Today: The Texas Senate is once again trying to ban gender-based attention for transgender youth
The Texas Senate, thwarted in two previous efforts targeting young transgender Texans, took a third bite of the apple Monday by taking the initial step, in an online party vote, on a Republican bill that would ban health care. that affirmed gender to people 18 years. Senate Bill 1311 would ban doctors from offering a wide range of treatments to young people, including puberty blockers, reversible medications that are commonly prescribed to delay the onset of physical changes, and provide teens time to decide whether to they want more permanent changes. (Lindell, 5/17)
NBC News: States are eliminating unemployment benefits. Workers fear the choice between health and pay.
For 34-year-old Kelvin Wade, the pandemic is far from over. He recently marked the anniversary of his mother’s death due to Covid-19, a loss that still feels fresh. He and his wife, 23-year-old D’Anna, who live in Ridgeland, Mississippi, are afraid for the safety of their 15-month-old daughter, so Wade goes out to the proceedings alone in hopes of reducing the ‘family exhibition. The couple hesitates to get vaccinated, worried that the shots could carry additional risks. And more than a year after the coronavirus began shutting down companies and displacing people from their workplaces, they both remain unemployed. (Harris and Silva, 05/18)
In the news about homelessness –
San Francisco Chronicle: One of the last major homeless camps in San Francisco has been demolished
At 9 a.m. Monday, front loaders and dump trucks were lined up outside the state-owned abandoned parking lot under Highway 101 in SoMa. A few tired residents living there in tents, trucks, and a small half-built house dragged their belongings to a nearby sidewalk while social workers and California Highway Patrol officers made the final rounds. At the top, traffic thundered as San Francisco continued to wake up for a year in a pandemic-induced limbo. Slowly, tents and tarpaulins and other makeshift structures began to descend. (Hepler, 5/17)
San Francisco Chronicle: SF finally has a new mental health team to respond to homeless people in distress. Is it helping?
The teams, which will start fully this summer, have been hailed as a compassionate way to convince the city’s most vulnerable to care. Mayor London Breed has also made them public as a key element in her roadmap for police reform, which she introduced last year amid national protests over police brutality. The goal is to reduce what supporters claim is the city’s over-reliance on the police, especially in sensitive situations that require a trained mental health professional. (Thadani and Cassidy, 5/17)
CIDRAP: Comorbidities, racial disparity found in homeless hospital COVID patients
Nearly two-thirds of homeless patients hospitalized with COVID-19 were of non-white ancestry and more than 80 percent had at least one comorbidity, according to a descriptive study published yesterday in The Journal of Infectious Diseases. (17/5)
Salt Lake Tribune: Utah audit finds drugs still present in new homeless resource centers
The illegality that once permeated the emergency shelter at The Road Home Center, now closed, is not so rampant in the three new homeless resource centers in the Salt Lake City area. But drug use and crime persist as a problem at the facility, state auditors have concluded. When auditors visited the South Salt Lake Men’s Resource Center, the accompanying police officers noticed the smell of spices, a synthetic drug, had not even entered their doors. Inside, auditors watched as a man fell into a stupor after smoking spices and noticed another resident stealthily dismissing drug paraphernalia after seeing incoming officers, according to the legislative report released Monday. (Rodgers and Stevens, 5/17)
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of the health policy coverage of major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.