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What We're Reading: Virginia Tries for Medicaid Again; Women Are Focus of Mesh Surgeries; Azar Hospitalized

AJMC Staff
A Virginia Republican-led House Appropriations Committee agreed to expand enrollment in the state’s Medicaid program, imposing tougher work requirements on recipients in an attempt at gaining acceptance in the state Senate; there’s a growing industry that makes money by coaxing women into having surgery to remove their vaginal mesh implants, sometimes unnecessarily; HHS Secretary Alex Azar was admitted to a hospital after suffering "a minor infection."

Virginia Tries Again to Expand Medicaid

A Virginia Republican-led House Appropriations Committee agreed to expand enrollment in the state’s Medicaid program Friday, imposing tougher work requirements on recipients in an attempt at gaining acceptance in the state Senate, and adding new provisions aimed at shoring up the individual insurance market, The Washington Post reported. State budget talks collapsed last month over a Medicaid standoff. The House wanted to let an additional 400,000 low-income Virginians enroll, but the Senate was opposed.

 

Women Are Ensnared in Vaginal Mesh Lawsuits, Surgeries

There’s a growing industry that makes money by coaxing women into having surgery to remove their vaginal mesh implants, sometimes unnecessarily, so that they are more lucrative plaintiffs in lawsuits against medical device manufacturers, The New York Times reported over the weekend.  At the center are marketing firms, which drum up women on behalf of lawyers. The marketers turn to finance companies to provide high-interest loans to the clients that have to be repaid only if the clients receive money from the case. Those loans are then used to pay for surgery performed by doctors who are recruited by the marketers. The Times said the system is backed by banks, private equity firms, and hedge funds. The women are often left with physicial or mental problems post surgery.

 

Azar Hospitalized With Infection

HHS Secretary Alex Azar was admitted to a hospital after suffering "a minor infection" and was treated with intravenous antibiotics, HHS told Politico Sunday night. Azar was admitted "out of an abundance of caution" to undergo observation. HHS would not disclose the hospital or additional information, citing privacy concerns. 

 
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