February 24, 2017

Around the nation: Calif. lawmakers push for small step toward a single-payer health care system

Daily Briefing
    • California: State Sen. Ricardo Lara (D) introduced legislation last week to move California toward a single-payer health care system. The bill would establish as the "intent of the Legislature" to enact a law that would "establish a comprehensive, single-payer health care program for the benefit of everyone in the state," Kaiser Health News/Health Leaders Media reports. The bill does not detail any specifics for a single-payer plan, nor does it provide a timeline. Advocates for a single-payer system in the state said such a system would make care more affordable and efficient while opponents argue it would burden taxpayers and give the government too much power (Gorman, Kaiser Health News/Health Leaders Media, 2/22).

    • Georgia: Seven-hospital system Piedmont Healthcare will take over and operate 27 Walgreens in-store clinics in the Atlanta area, the two companies announced Wednesday. Piedmont, which expects to fully take over the clinics by Aug. 1, plans to rebrand them as Piedmont QuickCare at Walgreens. Piedmont officials said the clinics will be open for up to 12 hours per day, at least initially, and they will usually be staffed by nurse practitioners who are monitored by remote physicians (Barkholz, Modern Healthcare, 2/22).

    • Kansas: The Kansas House voted 81 to 44 yesterday to pass a bill that would expand the state's Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act. The bill, which now heads to the state Senate, would extend coverage to state residents who make up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level. The bill now goes to the state Senate, but if it passes, Gov. Sam Brownback (R) is expected to veto the measure (Woodall, Kansas City Star, 2/23; Salazar, Wichita Eagle, 2/23).

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