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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.

Proposed $35 Price Cap On Insulin Heads To Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Desk

A proposal by a Bay Area lawmaker that would cap the cost of insulin to $35 is heading to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk after being unanimously approved by state legislators. Senate Bill 90 by State Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) passed the Assembly with a 63-0 vote and the State Senate on a 39-0 vote. The ...

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California Health Care Tax Proponents Go To The Ballot

The coalition that secured a $36 billion tax deal to pump more money into Medi-Cal wants to make it harder for future administrations to spend that revenue elsewhere. The Coalition to Protect Access to Care — an amalgam of monied health care interests that includes representatives for doctors, hospitals, health plans and other key players ...

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California Closes In On $25 Health Care Wage

California health care workers could get a $25 minimum wage as a key labor union and employers close in on a sweeping deal. The emerging agreement between SEIU State Council and health care industry players would secure the $25 pay rate and impose a truce on recurring ballot fights over dialysis clinics. The industry agreed to ...

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California Pharmacies Are Making Millions Of Mistakes. They’re Fighting To Keep That Secret

California pharmacies, including those owned by big chains, make an estimated 5 million errors a year — but they’re not required to report them to state regulators.

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What Impact Will California’s New “Transaction Review” Law Have?

California passed a law last year aimed at controlling rising healthcare costs that gave the state the ability to scrutinize healthcare deals of a certain size involving California companies. What impact can it have?

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Blue Shield Of California CEO: PBMs Need To ‘Fundamentally’ Change

Blue Shield of California shocked a lot of people when it announced it was going to drop CVS Health (CVS) as its main pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) and instead go with companies like Amazon Pharmacy (AMZN) and Mark Cuban's Cost Plus Drugs.

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No Deal Yet On Newsom Mental Health Plan

If Gov. Gavin Newsom was hoping amendments introduced to his mental health overhaul last week would sufficiently appease critics, Tuesday’s back-to-back committee hearings only revealed how much further he has to go to reach a compromise. The big idea: Newsom wants counties to prioritize behavioral health spending on homeless individuals who have serious mental illness or addiction ...

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Blue Shield California Ditches CVS For Amazon And Mark Cuban’s Drug Company

A major California health insurer is shaking up the prescription drug pricing system as it seeks to lower the cost of medication for its 4.8 million members.

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Newsom Makes Concessions On The Way To Mental Health Reform

Gov. Gavin Newsom has spent four years trying to overhaul how counties pay for mental health care, betting his reputation on making a dent on homelessness, substance abuse and mental health problems.

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As a Union Pushes to Cap Hospital CEO Pay, It’s Accused of Playing Politics

The aim is aspirational: Hospital executives shouldn’t make more than the president of the United States. Next spring, Los Angeles city voters will have a chance to put the brake on runaway salaries by capping hospital executives’ pay at $450,000 a year. The measure, proposed by a local union and approved by the City Council in June, ...

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