An LGBT ‘caucus’ for Capitol staff

A gathering of gay rights activists at the state Capitol. (Photo: Karin Hildebrand Lau)

Bish Paul descended into Empress Tavern’s basement downtown and was greeted with a surprise. Over 50 capitol staffers mingled beneath the brick arches a block from the state Capitol. LGBT aides and allies drank and chatted, discussing Sacramento’s LGBT community and shared Capitol connections.

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Opinion

Oil industry politics ruled cap-and-trade deal

Smokestacks on a geothermal power plant near the Salton Sea in Southern California's Imperial Valley.(Photo: Tom Grundy, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: Over 35 years ago, I came to pick up my fifth and third grade sons from school and found them making “Santa beards” out of the foaming toxic waste that flooded their playground. Later that night, I watched my youngest have a seizure at the dinner table as a result. Ever since, my Inland Valley community and I have been fighting for our right to live and breathe without getting sick.

Opinion

Questionable move: Limiting drug makers’ gifts to doctors

A pharmacist checks the inventory. (Photo: Tyler Olson)

OPINION: Economist Noreena Hertz once said “We typically focus on anything that agrees with the outcome we want.” And certainly SB 790’s desired outcome – limiting any overprescription of more expensive drugs – seems to be what we – including myself – “want.” Unfortunately, the strict limits on “gifts” to providers from pharmaceutical manufacturers that it would impose seem a “solution in search of a problem.”

Letters

Letter to the Editor

A recent article, (“In health care, PBMs are crucial — but not regulated” — Capitol Weekly, July 14),” inaccurately claims the pharmacy benefit management (PBM) industry is somehow unregulated. The reality is this: PBMs are a highly regulated industry at the federal and state level.

At the state level, mail-service pharmacies, operated by PBMs are regulated by Boards of Pharmacy, and PBMs acting as third-party administrators register with the Department of Insurance.

News

Childhood trauma a crucial public health issue

A fearful child seeks to protect herself. (Photo: 271 EAK MOTO, via Shutterstock)

Preventing childhood trauma should be one of the top goals of California policymakers, a coalition of child advocates say. In California alone, more than 1.5 million children have had two or more adverse childhood experiences, according to advocacy group Children Now, another co-sponsor of the policymaker education day.

News

The staying power of Nancy Pelosi

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi at a Capitol news conference in February. (Photo: Albert H. Teich)

In the end, it all comes down to following the money – about $568 million and counting. Nancy Pelosi, the minority leader of the House and former speaker, is no stranger to criticism and this year is no different. But this time, the attacks are coming from fellow Democrats who are calling for the longtime House leader, who turned 77 in March and is a California political icon, to step down. So far, she’s not budging.

Opinion

An effort to curb ‘puppy mills’

A pair of dogs in a cage, awaiting freedom.(Photo: Kitsananan, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: Bringing a new puppy or kitten home should be a wonderful and rewarding experience, but consumers who purchase their new family member from a pet shop may not be getting the dog or cat they’ve been promised. Despite enticing claims that they only source from humane, small-scale breeders, pet stores across the country supply unsuspecting consumers with animals from puppy and kitten “mills.”

News

In health care, PBMs are crucial — but not regulated

A pharmaceutical worker examines drugs at a dispensary. (Photo: i viewfinder, via Shutterstock)

The PBMs originated in the 1960s to help health plans, self-insured employers and government entities, among others, to negotiate prescription drug prices and efficiently distribute medications. Since then, they have evolved into a money-making industry without regulations, experts say. By one estimate, three major PBM companies had a staggering $270 billion in revenues in 2014.

Opinion

Housing: Low inventory, high prices, too much regulation

An aerial view of an affluent suburban housing tract in California. (Photo: Lightspot, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: Either reduce the torrent of regulatory burdens on California home builders or face a future of high housing costs and stunted economic growth. So concludes Loren Kaye, president of the California Foundation for Commerce and Education, who penned one of several articles issued last month through the Center for California Real Estate (CCRE).

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