Health and Medicine

Health news

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Oregon medical marijuana patients could soon have an easier time getting hold of the drug. The Oregon House Monday narrowly passed a measure that would authorize a system of storefront dispensaries.

More than 53,000 people hold medical marijuana cards in Oregon. Under current state law, they either have to grow their own or find a buddy to grow it for them. This measure would allow growers to sell their goods through authorized dispensaries.

CDC

Oregon lawmakers want to make parents think twice before deciding not to have their kids immunized. The Oregon Senate Thursday approved a measure that would add steps to the way parents can opt out of the requirement.

The Oregon Health Authority says more than six percent of children enter kindergarten without the required number of vaccinations. It has been the highest highest rate in the nation, and it's been climbing.

Oregon Legislature

After last December’s mass shootings in Oregon and Connecticut, Democrats and Republicans in the Oregon legislature called for increased funding for mental health care. Now, there’s a proposal under discussion that would expand such programs in a big way, but it remains caught up in a debate over how to fund it. And for one lawmaker, mental health care is a very personal issue.

Alexandra Kocik / Northwest News Network

Teenagers will have a harder time getting an artificial tan under a bill that won final approval in the Oregon Senate Thursday. It requires teens under 18 to get a permission slip from a doctor if they want to use a tanning bed at a salon.

Supporters said there's an overwhelming link between skin cancer and artificial tans, especially among people who get them when they’re young. Opponents called it a “nanny state” measure and said teens would simply find other ways to tan.

Alexandra Kocik / Northwest News Network

  OLYMPIA, Wash. – Health care advocates are pushing Washington state lawmakers to keep up momentum toward expanding access to Medicaid. About 100 people rallied on the Capitol steps in Olympia Thursday. They argue one group that will especially benefit is people with mental illness.

Inside the Capitol, that’s one of many issues related to the mentally ill. Several measures focus on broadening access to community mental health services as opposed to big institutions. The idea is to get help for mentally ill people before they get into trouble.

Shannon Holman / Flickr

SALEM, Ore. – Some Oregon lawmakers want to make it against the law to smoke in a vehicle when children are present. The Oregon Senate Wednesday approved a measure that would prohibit lighting up when anyone under the age of 18 is riding along.

Opponents called the bill an example of government intrusion. But supporters including Democrat Elizabeth Steiner Hayward say the legislation would protect children from the dangers of secondhand smoke.

SALEM, Ore. – A legislative panel could vote in Salem Tuesday to advance a measure to increase early detection of breast cancer. It would require doctors to tell their patients if their mammograms show dense breast tissue, and make their insurance cover extra testing.

Most women don’t know their breast density, or what that really even means. Dense breast tissue is characterized by a higher than normal amount of connective tissue. Women with the condition can be four to six times more likely develop breast cancer.

Alexandra Kocik / Northwest News Network

SALEM, Ore. – Oregon teenagers could soon find it harder to get an artificial tan. The Oregon House Thursday approved a measure that would bar people under 18 from using a tanning salon, unless they get permission from a doctor.

GOP Representative Mark Johnson knew he was going against his party when he stood up to speak in favor of the bill.

"What's a good Republican like me doing meddling in a private sector industry like this for?"

SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon Senate has given the go-ahead to a bill aimed at reducing the cost of medical malpractice litigation. Lawmakers voted Tuesday to send the measure to the Oregon House. But opponents call it a watered-down compromise.

Here's what the bill would do: Set up a mediation process for patients to meet with doctors when there's a possible case of medical error. The idea is to reach a resolution before a lawsuit is filed.

Here's what the bill would not do: Set a cap on the amount that an injured patient can win in a lawsuit.

Northwest Lawmakers Continue Fight Against Indoor Tanning

Feb 25, 2013
Alexandra Kocik / Northwest News Network

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Research shows if you use a tanning bed before the age of 35, you are more likely to get skin cancer. That’s why legislators in Washington, Oregon and Idaho have been considering proposals to bar teenagers from indoor tanning salons. A bill in the Washington legislature to do this has died for the fourth year. But the idea is still alive in Salem and Boise.

Jessica Hewlett is just 22 years old and already a cancer survivor. Last March, her primary doctor sent her to a dermatologist because of a mole on her stomach.

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