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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 Explores Private Insurance for Immigrants Lacking Legal Status. But Is It Affordable?

A doctor found cysts in Lilia Becerril’s right breast five years ago, but the 51-year-old lacks health insurance. She said she can’t afford the imaging to find out if they’re cancerous. Becerril earns about $52,000 a year at a nonprofit in California’s Central Valley, putting her and her husband, Armando, at more than double the ...

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School Districts Can’t Require COVID-19 Vaccines, California Supreme Court Affirms

The state Supreme Court rejected a challenge Wednesday to a ruling that said school districts in California cannot require their students to be vaccinated against COVID-19 because only the state government can issue such a mandate. While public health agencies have recommended the vaccinations for children as young as 6 months old, legislation calling for ...

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Single-payer and the long game

 It looks like California’s single-payer dreams will be delayed at least another year. After suffering a devastating blow in the Capitol last winter, advocates had been eager to reintroduce legislation that would create a first-in-the nation, state-run health care system.

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In California, Democrats Propose $25 Minimum Wage for Health Workers

Union-aligned Democrats were set to introduce legislation Wednesday mandating a statewide $25 minimum wage for health workers and support staffers, likely setting up a pitched battle with hospitals, nursing homes, and dialysis clinics. State Sen. María Elena Durazo’s bill would require health facilities and home health agencies to give raises to many support employees, including ...

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California Requires Hospitals to Turn to a Patient’s Next of Kin, Closing a Longtime Loophole

About four years ago, Dr. Gene Dorio sat on the ethics committee of a Southern California hospital whose administrators insisted they could decide whether to disconnect a ventilator from an unconscious patient — even though the man’s wife and adult children wanted to continue life support. The problem, Dorio told California lawmakers last year, was ...

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California Tops 12 Million Coronavirus Cases As XBB.1.5 Becomes Dominant

The total number of coronavirus cases reported in California has topped 12 million. That milestone — reached last week, according to data compiled by The Times — comes as California is seeing increased circulation of the Omicron subvariant XBB.1.5, which has been described as perhaps the most infectious strain of the coronavirus. But in many respects, the ...

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The Pill Club Reaches $18.3 Million Medicaid Fraud Settlement With California

The Pill Club, an online women’s pharmacy, has reached an $18.3 million settlement with California authorities over claims it defrauded the state’s Medicaid program by prescribing birth control pills without adequate consultation and shipping tens of thousands of female condoms to customers who didn’t want them. Attorney General Rob Bonta announced the agreement Tuesday, a ...

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Important Licensing CE Change For California Agents – Fraud-Prevention Ethics Training

Agents are still required to earn at least three hours of Ethics CE training to renew a license, but under the new requirements, one of those hours must now focus entirely on fraud prevention. The CDI has developed its own one-hour CE course to satisfy this requirement. Taking the CDI course is the only way to earn this hour of CE.

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California Lawmakers Try Again To Cap Insulin Costs

As many diabetics across the Golden State struggle with insulin costs, California’s efforts to make the medication more affordable have yet to yield results. This year, lawmakers will revisit legislation that would address at least one piece of the affordability puzzle.

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California Won’t Require COVID Vaccine To Attend Schools

Children in California won’t have to get the coronavirus vaccine to attend schools, state public health officials confirmed Friday, ending one of the last major restrictions of the pandemic in the nation’s most populous state. Gov. Gavin Newsom first announced the policy in 2021, saying it would eventually apply to all of California’s 6.7 million public and ...

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