Posts Tagged: negotiations

Analysis

‘Junior’ budget bills slip into view

The Assembly chamber in the state Capitol, Sacramento. (Photo: Felix Lipov)

ANALYSIS: During the budget negotiations in September, there was talk in the Capitol about whether it was proper – or even legal – for California lawmakers to pass two measures amending the state budget that had been adopted three months earlier. These two bills, known as “junior” budget bills, were approved along with a half-dozen budget trailer bills making numerous policy changes in state law for the 2017-18 fiscal year.  Gov. Brown signed them all.

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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.

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Drug industry clout, Medicare costs

Prescription drugs displayed across a counter top. (Photo: Motorolka, via Shutterstock)

FairWarning: When the Republican-controlled Congress approved a landmark program in 2003 to help seniors buy prescription drugs, it slapped on an unusual restriction: The federal government was barred from negotiating cheaper prices for those medicines. Instead, the job of holding down costs was outsourced to the insurance companies delivering the subsidized new coverage, known as Medicare Part D.

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State Bar asks CA Supreme Court for bailout

Photo illustration of Lady Justice. (Kaspars Grinvalds)

Blocked by lawmakers at the 11th hour and facing a fiscal emergency, the State Bar of California went directly to the state Supreme Court seeking authority to levy dues on thousands of attorneys. The Bar, which filed the request Friday, said it would go out of business early next year without the money generated by the dues.

Recent News

Advocates push to ban ‘surprise’ hospital bills

A nurse pushes a gurney along a hospital corridor. (Photo: Spotmatik Ltd., via Shutterstock)

Major surgery or a stay in the hospital can be stressful enough, even when you have insurance. But Californians with health care coverage who seek treatment at a clinic or hospital that is in their insurance plan’s network must often also deal with the anguish caused by huge unexpected costs.

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Online poker bill emerges from committee — a first

Internet gambling, an illustration. (Photo: Pedro Sala)

The Legislature made history of sorts Monday when it recorded its first-ever committee vote on a bill to legalize internet poker in California, but the measure is light on details and remains a focus of intense negotiations. Assemblyman Adam Gray, D-Merced, introduced the bill, AB 431, earlier this year.

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New push for online gaming

An illustration of an online poker player. (Photo: photosani)

Three months after attempts to reach an agreement to establish internet poker in California fell apart, a major California gaming tribe says it has joined a coalition to push for new legislation to bring online gambling to the state.

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As clock ticks, online poker folds

A computer keyboard flanked by the elements of traditional poker. (Photo: Pedro Sala)

An attempt to establish internet poker in California foundered this week in Sacramento, with rival interests – including tribes, horse racing, card rooms and others – unable to reach agreement on legislation during the final weeks of the legislative session.

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Pérez, Steinberg: A tense relationship — but productive

State Capitol, Sacramento. (Photo: David Monniaux)

ANALYSIS: Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg of Sacramento and Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez of Los Angeles are both Democrats, but the two are hardly friends. The events of the last week captured the uneasy, though often productive, working relationship between the two leaders.

News

Key piece of online poker parley gets airing

A critical sticking point in private negotiations over authorizing internet poker in California became public Thursday when a tribal chairman announced his intention to bring in an international online gaming firm as a subcontractor to conduct operations in California – but only if the state approves the new legislation.

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