Trending News Today: California's Hepatitis A Outbreak May Have Lasting Effects

Top news from across the healthcare landscape.

California health officials have said that the hepatitis A outbreak could plague the state for years, according to the Los Angeles Times. Since November, more than 569 patients have been infected with the virus and at least 17 patients have died in San Diego, Santa Cruz, and Los Angeles. Even with the implementation of prevention strategies, hepatitis A may be a concern for California residents for up to 2 years, the LA Times reported. This projection has concerned officials throughout the state, even where there have yet to be confirmed cases of the infection.

Yesterday, the House passed a $4.1 trillion budget plan that may lead to significant cuts to funding programs and may facilitate rewriting the tax code, The Washington Post reported. The budget includes a funding cut of more than $5 trillion over the next 10 years. The 2018 budget would change Medicare into a voucher-like program and take additional action against the Affordable Care Act, according to the Post. However, GOP lawmakers have no plans to implement the cuts, but instead are using it to be a catalyst for tax reform, according to the article.

Health advocates and industry stakeholders are patiently waiting to see whether California Gov Jerry Brown will sign a bill that aims to end prescription drug price gouging, Kaiser Health News reported. Under the proposed legislation, manufacturers would be required to give 60 days’ notice before they raise drug prices 16% or more over 2 years and they would have to justify the increases. Additionally, insurers would be required to report how drug cost increases affect premium increases, according to Kaiser. If approved, this bill may cause other states to pursue similar legislation.

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