Health Beat: Colorado to vote on single-payer state healthcare system

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 139 views 

Editor’s note: Each Wednesday, Talk Business & Politics provides “Health Beat,” a round-up of health-related topics.

COLORADO TO VOTE ON SINGLE-PAYER STATE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM: Colorado voters will decide next year whether the state should be the first to pay for comprehensive health care for residents, the Denver Post reported. Proponents of a single-payer state system gathered enough signatures to put ColoradoCare on the ballot, the secretary of state’s office announced Monday.

They needed 98,492 valid signatures to put a state-governed health care system to a vote. After reviewing a 5% sample of the 158,831 signatures submitted, the secretary of state projected that the valid total would be 110% of the number required — and certified that Initiative 20, the “State Health Care System,” will be on the 2016 ballot. Residents would choose their own health care providers, but ColoradoCare would pay the bills.

WALGREENS EXPANDS TELEHEALTH SERVICES MOBILE APP TO CUSTOMERS IN 25 STATES: Drugstore giant Walgreens, in collaboration with MDLIVE, announced the expansion of its mobile app that now offers telehealth services to users in 25 additional states. The platform was launched in December 2014 in California and Michigan, and the drugstore chain expanded the program in June to customers in Colorado, Illinois and Washington.

As part of the most recent development, patients in 25 states will now have access to 24/7 access to MDLIVE’s network of U.S. board-certified doctors through the Walgreens mobile app. The telemedicine service are now in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

EPA, PARTNERS ANNOUNCE NATIONAL PLAN TO PREVENT LUNG CANCER DEATHS DUE TO RADON EXPOSURE: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), American Lung Association, and other partners announced Tuesday (Nov. 10) a strategy for preventing 3,200 lung cancer deaths annually by 2020 through radon exposure reduction strategies. Exposure to radioactive radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer in America, the federal agency said.

The goal to save these lives will be achieved by reducing high radon levels in five million homes, apartments, schools and childcare centers. The partnership includes three federal departments and agencies, and nine national organizations. The strategy broadens the scope and reach of the Federal Radon Action Plan by including the health, scientific and technical expertise of the national partners. The new plan can be found here.