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What We’re Reading: Few Psychiatrists in Medicare Advantage; CDC to Cut Child Vaccine Program Funding; 50% of US Faucets Could Contain PFAS


Medicare Advantage beneficiaries are struggling to find psychiatrists; the CDC plans to cut state funding for child vaccination programs; almost 50% of American faucets could contain forever chemicals.

Medicare Advantage Plans Offer Inadequate Psychiatry Access

Study findings suggest those with private Medicare coverage might not be receiving the mental health services they need because they can’t find a psychiatrist in their plan’s network, according to The New York Times. Over 50% of counties in the study didn’t have even 1 psychiatrist participating in a Medicare Advantage plan, Medicare’s private-sector counterpart. Approximately 30 million people are enrolled in such plans.

CDC Will Cut State Funding for Child Vaccination Programs

The CDC is slashing funding to states for child vaccination programs, according to an agency email obtained by KFF Health News. The reduction was deemed “a significant change to your budget” in the email, signed by 2 CDC administrators. This cut is to a federal immunization grant supporting pediatric vaccination programs that summed to approximately $680 million in the latest year. CDC administrators connected to reduction to the debt ceiling deal struck by the Biden administration and Congress, and the CDC noted it may result in incomplete vaccination reporting.

Almost 50% of US Water Might Contain Forever Chemicals

A government study released Wednesday finds that drinking water from almost 50% of American faucets probably includes “forever chemicals” that might cause cancer and other problems, according to the Associated Press. The manmade compounds per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, widely known as PFAS, are contaminating drinking water across the country, from large cities to small towns and private wells to public systems, said the US Geological Survey. The study is the first domestic effort to test for PFAS in tap water from both private sources and regulated ones, said researchers, and expands on former findings that the chemicals are widespread.

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