The Alaska Senate Education Committee moved Gov. Sean Parnell’s omnibus education bill Friday after rejecting amendments offered by the committee’s lone Democrat.Download AudioSen. Berta Gardner, a Democrat from Anchorage, offered two amendments to Senate Bill 139 in attempt to prevent the forcing of a charter school upon a local school district by the state school board. Her third amendment attempted to raise the per-pupil allocation rate by $404 in the first year and tie it the inflation rate for the following years.All three amendments failed by a four to one vote along party lines.Gardner raised objections over the bill saying it does not improve the quality of pre-school programs nor support affective, highly effective teachers.The bill moves to the Senate Finance Committee.
Apple is launching a group of health clinics called AC Wellness for its own employees and their families this spring, according to several sources familiar with the company’s plans. The company quietly published a website, acwellness.com, with more details about its initiative …. This new primary care group will initially only serve Apple’s employees in Santa Clara County, where its headquarters are located. At present, it includes only two clinics. (Farr, 2/27) Bloomberg: Buffett-Dimon Health Venture To Go Beyond Just Squeezing The Middlemen Buffett Sees Lower Costs, Better Care With New Initiative, But Warns ‘Don’t Expect Any Miracles Out Of Us’ “This is not easy,” Warren Buffett said about the new health initiative between his company, Amazon and JPMorgan. “If it was easy, it would have been done.” CNBC: Apple Is Launching Medical Clinics To Deliver The ‘World’s Best Health Care Experience’ To Its Employees Wearable device maker Fitbit Inc on Monday forecast current-quarter profit and revenue below Wall Street estimates and predicted lower revenue from newly launched products such as Ionic and Alta HR. Fitbit shares fell 11.2 percent to $4.92 in after-market trading after the company’s fourth-quarter results also missed estimates due to an about 17 percent drop in sale of its fitness trackers in the holiday quarter. (Khan, 2/26) Reuters: Fitbit Sees Lower Revenue From New Devices In First Quarter, Shares Fall Health-care spending is taking up an increasing proportion of the U.S. economy, and a goal of the venture is to “at least” halt that, [Warren] Buffett said, adding that he hopes “we could find a way where perhaps better care could be delivered even at somewhat lesser cost.” The venture is initially being guided by three senior executives from the companies: Berkshire’s Todd Combs; Marvelle Sullivan Berchtold, a managing director at JPMorgan who previously worked at drugmaker Novartis AG; and Beth Galetti, a senior vice president for human resources at Amazon. (Tracer and Chiglinsky, 2/26) In other news from the health industry — This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.