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Teen Tan Ban On Its Way To Oregon Governor's Desk

May 9, 2013
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.

Oregon House Votes To Make Teen Tanning Tougher

Mar 7, 2013
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.

Jessica Paterson / Flickr

SALEM, Ore. – An Oregon Senate panel has given the initial go-ahead to a measure aimed at reducing the cost of medical malpractice insurance. The proposal would set up a mediation system aimed at heading off costly litigation between injured patients and their doctors.

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber testified in favor of the plan Thursday. He held up a signed agreement between two long-feuding rival groups.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

SHELTON, Wash. - It’s one of the most vexing problems state lawmakers face: how to curb the rising cost of healthcare. In Washington, there’s one specific line item in the healthcare budget that’s startling, but few at the Capitol are talking about: taxpayers now foot the bill for more than half of all births in Washington. But why is that number is so high?

At Mason General Hospital northwest of Olympia, a newborn baby protests as a nurse checks his temperature and his diaper. Jack arrived three weeks early after his mom – Carly Earles – endured a miserable pregnancy.

A new report finds Latinos in Idaho are struggling with many of the same health problems as the rest of the state’s population … but to an even worse extent. The wide-ranging demographic study is intended to guide policymakers on issues that affect Hispanics.

Overall, the findings paint a picture of a Hispanic population that's young and mostly born in the U.S. About half speak English at home and Latinos in Idaho are more likely to own their home than Latinos in other states.

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