Around the nation
Bite-size hospital and health industry news
June 09, 2011
Connecticut: Gov. Dan Malloy (D) says he will sign a bill passed last weekend by the state Legislature that mandates paid sick days for certain employees, NPR reports. The bill would grant up to one week of paid sick leave, primarily to service workers at companies that employ at least 50 people. According to a Connecticut Working Families representative, the new law is a public health matter. "Nobody wants the person who is serving their food, driving their kids to school, providing their day care or home health care to be going to work with an illness," he said. Some businesses lobbied against the bill and successfully scaled it back to exclude manufacturing, temporary workers, or independent contractors (Ludden, NPR, 6/6).
Florida: The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence has filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court to block a recently passed state law that bars physicians from discussing gun ownership with patients. Opponents of the law, such as the American College of Physicians and the Florida Pediatric Society, say it encroaches on physicians' freedom of speech rights because it prohibits them from discussing a public health issue. After the lawsuit was announced, the National Rifle Association issued a legislative alert defending the new law, saying it keeps "gun ban politics" out of physicians' offices (Carlson, Modern Physician, 6/6 [subscription required]).
Georgia: A newly enacted law now requires Georgia physicians to disclose to the Georgia Composite Medical Board (GCMB) whether they have medical liability insurance, American Medical News reports. Under the law, the GCMB is authorized to publish the information online as part of a physician's public profile. The physicians also have to inform patients about their coverage if they are asked. Failure to do so could result in disciplinary action by the board (Gallegos, American Medical News, 6/6).
Massachusetts: The ratio of Massachusetts residents who support the state's 2006 universal health care law increased by 10 percentage points over the previous two years, according to a recent Harvard School of Public Health/Boston Globe survey. In 2011, 63% of state residents supported the law, while 21% opposed it. However, opposition to the law's individual mandate increased from 35% in 2008 to 44% (Lazar, Globe, 6/5).
Minnesota: Hospitals statewide generated $27.2 billion for the economy in 2009 and supported more than 200,000 jobs, according to a new Minnesota Hospital Association (MHA) report. MHA's president and CEO says state budget cuts would "compromise our ability to maintain jobs and services and prepare for the growing health care needs of our residents." The report was based on data from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (AHANews, 6/7).
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