Sunny Kaplan

99’s Top State Health Issues: Tobacco, HMOs, Eldercare

By: - December 6, 1999

State lawmakers spent much of 1999 wrestling with how to spend their portion of the whopping $206 billion settlement with the tobacco industry, enacting patient-protection legislation and considering how to provide more services for the elderly. States were also busy getting their Children’s Health Insurance Programs off the ground and signing up uninsured kids. Highlights […]

State Laws Allow Adoptees To Unlock The Past

By: - October 25, 1999

Last month, the Tennessee Supreme Court upheld a law giving adoptees 21 and older access to their birth certificates and adoption records. In Oregon, a first-of-a kind ballot initiative guaranteeing the same right is bottled up in a state appeals court. Over the years, requests to open these records have spawned pitched battles involving adoptees, […]

New Mexico Gov Finds Few Takers For Drug Stance

By: - October 11, 1999

In a visit to Washington last week, New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson got red carpet treatment from drug policy reform advocates because of his call for drug legalization. Johnson’s views are not resonating politically however, and he is the first to admit that this issue is “politically a zero for anyone holding office.” Although one-third […]

Alaska Household Income Tops, Census Bureau Says

By: - September 30, 1999

WASHINGTON — Reflecting the current economic boom, median household incomes have shot up four years in a row, and in 1998, the United States had the highest income levels ever recorded, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. At the same time, it said, the number of people living below the poverty level dropped to 12.7 […]

Mega-Stores Hitting Political Flak In Several States

By: - September 28, 1999

Preventing mega-stores such as Wal-Mart and Costco from chewing up competitors is on the agenda of more than just anti-growth groups and environmentalists these days. Communities in several states are considering restricting so-called “big-box” stores. The battle pits unions and supermarket chains and their political allies against the influential goliaths that sell goods more cheaply […]

State Prison Costs Up 83 Percent In Six Years, Report Shows

By: - August 24, 1999

WASHINGTON — In its first analysis of state prison expenditures since 1990, the federal government’s Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that correctional costs rose from $12 billion in 1990 to $22 billion in 1996, an 83 percent increase. The state prison population rose 52 percent during the same time period. On a per capita basis, […]

Telemedicine Spans States, But Policy Slow To Follow Suit

By: - August 19, 1999

A 21st Century doctor’s house call might consist of a “virtual” consultation between you and your physician via computer or videoconference. Instruments that already exist such as digital gloves or electronic stethoscopes could transmit data electronically, so that medical conditions could be diagnosed without ever setting foot in a doctor’s office. But the practice of […]

States Fight For Federal Law To Redress Balance of Power

By: - August 11, 1999

WASHINGTON — States say Congress oversteps its authority, sometimes unwittingly, with lawmaking activity that tramples on state prerogatives. Some recent examples include proposals to protect the privacy of medical records that would preempt stronger state laws, or declare the Internet a tax-free zone, which could cause the evaporation of important state revenue streams. Legislation that […]

States Forging Ahead On Healthcare Measures

By: - July 22, 1999

States are way ahead of the U.S. Congress when it comes to setting standards for managed care. Forty three states and the District of Columbia have passed comprehensive Patients’ Rights legislation and three states Texas Georgia and Louisiana have given health insurance customers the right to sue their HMO. Ohio is the latest state to […]

Doctors Call For Moratorium On Hepatitis B Vaccine

By: - July 15, 1999

WASHINGTON — An Arizona group of physicians has called for a moratorium on controversial hepatitis B immunizations¬†for schoolchildren pending further research about dangerous side effects from the vaccine, and accuses school districts that require the shots of “practicing medicine without a license.” Forty-one states and the District of Columbia mandate that children receive the hepatitis […]

States’ Children’s Health Insurance Programs Get Good Report

By: - June 17, 1999

WASHINGTON — Nearly one million children from low-income families are getting healthcare benefits under states’ Children’s Health Insurance Programs, or CHIPs, according to the first government report on the massive program created by Congress in 1997. In the report, which was released on Monday, The General Accounting Office said states and the federal government have […]

Alabama Legislature Finishes Up, Connecticut Sets Special Session

By: - June 11, 1999

WASHINGTON – As the summer heats up, two more legislatures — Alabama and Connecticut — finished their 1999 sessions, leaving just 15 still at work. Alabama lawmakers agreed to let the voters decide if the state should sponsor a lottery and finally approved legislation that requires all drivers to have auto liability insurance. Two hundred […]