January 15, 2006  Legislation



California Health Laws


The Rhode Island legislature overrode a gubernatorial veto and made the state the 11th to pass a medical marijuana law.  The people can grow up to 12 plants or buy 2.5 ounces of the weed to relieve symptoms.  The people need to register with the state.  The Office of National Drug Control Policy stated the vote showed the state is misguided and out of touch views on the harms of marijuana.  I believe the Office is the one out of touch.        Top


In a fascinating article the AP has shown that about half of all federal spending is on entitlement programs.  This includes Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.  There will be more spending with the beginning of Medicare Part D that just started.  In two years the baby boomers will hit the magic age for early social security benefits and then watch out.

In a slightly later article the Washington Post came out with a story that health care now is 16% of the GNP, the highest of all time.  The story also shows that minorities are getting less health care.  The high percentage is in spite of the wondrous health care revolution of mangled health care.  I ask, is there anything more important to people than their health?  I believe the answer is no.  Therefore in my opinion the amount of the GNP spent on health care is too low, not too high.  If more money was spent, the minorities or low income patients could become the same as those with regular health insurance.  The study showed the Black patient was getting better health care but the Hispanic patient was getting worse.  The definition of what represents good or bad health care is very narrowly and artificially defined so it can be measured.  In other word the studies are flawed.

The People's Republic of Massachusetts has stepped in and ordered the state's pharmacies to dispense drug to low income seniors, disabled on Medicaid and those on the state's Prescription Advantage program.  The state is to be billed by the pharmacies and will pay.  The state will then try to get the money from the various insurance companies.  The reason for the state doing this is the problems its citizens are having getting their eligibility verified under the Medicare Part D program. This will cost the state $1.4 million to $2 million per day.        Top

California Health Laws

A bill was introduced in the legislature that would increase state hospital inspections for problems.  This bill is a grand stand by the local legislator from San Jose because of the rash of Kaiser negligence cases.  The bill will never pass since there are not enough inspectors and there is no money for new ones.  The bill would also post the results on the internet.

Some of the new laws that took effect January 1 are AB 1676 requires the Department of Health and the Attorney General to post on its websites the information about end of life medical directives.  

AB 929 requires mandatory QA standard for all radiological equipment in the state to ensure the lowest possible x-ray doses to patients.  This will take effect in 2008 after the regs have been promulgated.  

AB 356 requires health insurers to give specific reasons the patient was denied health insurance coverage or were given higher than normal rates.

AB 522 forbids the use of any erectile aids to registered sex offenders.

AB 800 requires hospitals and clinics to put in the medical record the patient's primary spoken language.

AB 1586 Prohibits denying coverage on the basis of changed sex.

SB 644 is to help women get emergency contraception.        Top


DISCLAIMER: Although this article is updated periodically, it reflects the author's point of view at the time of publication. Nothing in this article constitutes legal advice. Readers should consult with their own legal counsel before acting on any of the information presented.