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, […]

Western State Reporters Say Taxes, Education Top 2000 Agenda

BY: - October 25, 1999

Reporters from eight Western states identified tax policy, education funding, health care reforms and apportionment of the states’ tobacco settlement funds as the most pressing issues likely to be addressed by their states in the next legislative year. Over 50 journalists from Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming repeatedly mentioned those topics […]

Ohio Politicians Merge State Agencies, New Hampshire Tackles School Funding

BY: - October 22, 1999

Lawmakers in Ohio spent the week grappling with issues ranging from state agency mergers to education vouchers, while New Hampshire legislators confronted a funding crisis after the state’s highest court deemed a new method of funding public schools unconstitutional. In Ohio, the General Assembly approved a merger of the Department of Human Services and the […]

California Might Set HMO Patients’ Rights Trend

BY: - October 14, 1999

California, which boasts the sixth largest economy in the world, is often a national trailblazer in making public policy. So its new laws regulating managed health care will be examined closely by other states. The patients-rights package sailed through the Golden State legislature even as the U.S. Congress in Washington remained deeply divided on HMO […]

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 […]

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 […]

Utah Boy Mows State Capitol Lawns, Grows Organ Donor Awareness

BY: - June 9, 1999

Coming to a state capitol near you soon is “Lawn Mower Boy.” Fourteen-year-old Ryan Tripp from Parowan, Utah – also known as Lawn Mower Boy – is out to set a new Guinness Book World Record by cutting the grass at each state capitol. But setting records is second to his desire to increase awareness […]

Critics Question Safety Of Hepatitis B Vaccine

BY: - June 1, 1999

WASHINGTON – Five-week old Lyla Rose Belkin died within 16 hours of her hepatitis B vaccination in 1998. Nurse Betty Fluck has severe physical exhaustion and uses leg braces and crutches due to chronic joint and leg pain she believes is caused by the same vaccine. Lindsay Kirshner, 16, has daily headaches, nausea, joint pain, […]

New Federal Organ Transplant Policy Runs Into Resistance

BY: - April 26, 1999

WASHINGTON – Randy Creech of Houston, Texas was told eight years ago that he had a year to live after his doctor diagnosed a viral infection in his heart that was quickly depleting its ability to function. Six months later he received a heart transplant from a 19-year-old boy who died in a hospital in […]

States, Congress Weigh Medical Privacy Safeguards

BY: - March 11, 1999

WASHINGTON – Personal medical information, once thought to be safely tucked away in a manila folder in your doctor’s office, is increasingly stored in large, linked computer databases where insurance companies, drug manufacturers, courts, and in some instances employers can access it without your consent or knowledge. Currently, no federal law exists that protects the […]

Health Care Review Infrequently Used in Many States

BY: - February 19, 1999

Consumer clamor for health care reform has state and federal lawmakers scrambling to enact pateint protection legislation before the year is out. But in over one-third of the states, laws have already been enacted that have established an independent, impartial process for appealing denials of coverage. The programs are quick, hassle-free and inexpensive, and patients […]

Health Care in America – Outlook For Change

BY: - February 11, 1999

The nation’s economic outlook is bright – unemployment is at an all-time low. income are rising, the poverty rate has declined, interest rates have plummeted – yet the number of Americans without health insurance is rapidly increasing. In 1997, an estimated 43.4 million Americans, 16 percent of the population, had no health insurance. That is […]