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California Watch

News stories in this section spotlight activities in California, including actions by the state Assembly and state Senate; proposed legislation; regulators like the Department of Managed Health Care and Department of Insurance; and the state ACA exchange, Covered California.

California Governor Signs Bill To Allocate $150M To Struggling, Closed Hospitals

California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation creating a $150 million loan program for financially distressed hospitals into law May 15.

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California Has Tried To Cut The Cost Of Insulin For Years. Why It Might Finally Succeed

Prices for the 100-year-old drug have increased more than 600% in the past 20 years, and stories of patients rationing doses abound. Even the most conservative economists point to it as an example of a market gone sour.

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Superior Court Upholds CMA Legislation Mandating Reimbursement For COVID-19 Testing And Vaccination

In a ruling issued this week, the Los Angeles Superior Court upheld the constitutionality of a state law requiring health plans to fairly reimburse health care providers for the costs of COVID-19 testing during the COVID-19 state of emergency.

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CEO Mark Bertolini: Oscar Health To Exit California’s ACA Exchange In 2024

Oscar Health will pull out of California’s individual market for the 2024 plan year, CEO Mark Bertolini told investors Tuesday. “We’re announcing today that we have decided to pause our participation in the California individual market for plan year 2024, as the plan has not met our targets,” Bertolini said on the insurtech’s earnings call. ...

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California’s Governor Says State’s Budget Deficit Has Grown To Nearly $32 Billion

California's budget deficit has grown to nearly $32 billion, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Friday, saying the state's challenges are partly due to high federal inflation rates and the state's decision to let some people delay filing their taxes after winter storms.

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Union Workers At 5 California HCA Hospitals Vote To Strike

About 3,000 union healthcare workers have authorized a strike for May 22 across five HCA Healthcare facilities in California, according to an announcement from their union released Friday afternoon. The demonstrations are scheduled to run for five days at HCA Good Samaritan Hospital and HCA Regional Medical Center, both of which are in San Jose; ...

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California Lawmakers Greenlight $150M Of Emergency Loans For Struggling Hospitals

The bill, passed Thursday in California’s senate and assembly, AB-112, would establish a Distressed Hospital Loan Program through Jan. 1, 2032. The program would provide interest-free loans to nonprofit and public hospitals “in significant financial distress,” as well as to “governmental entities representing a closed hospital to prevent the closure or facilitate the reopening of a closed hospital.”

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Newsom Breaks Deal To Lower Price Of Covered California. Lawmakers Move To Hold Him To It

In 2019, Gov. Gavin Newsom proposed and the Legislature approved a tax penalty on Californians without health insurance. That money was supposed to be used to lower costs for those insured through Covered California, but that has only happened once.

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Proposed Work Requirements Could End Federal Medicaid Coverage for 1.7 Million People

A new KFF analysis finds that an estimated 1.7 million Medicaid enrollees could become ineligible for federal Medicaid under proposed work requirements and presents state-by-state projections, based on estimates of coverage loss from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). States could continue to provide Medicaid to those enrollees but would not receive federal matching funds for doing so. ...

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Kaiser Permanente To Acquire Geisinger Health In Bid To Launch Multisystem VBC Platform

Kaiser Permanente is acquiring 10-hospital Geisinger Health in a deal described as the first step toward a new multisystem value-based care organization, according to a Wednesday announcement.

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