What we're reading, November 3, 2016: gubernatorial races could expand Medicaid in 3 more states; genetic testing wastes billions of dollars; most popular Facebook posts on the Zika virus contained inaccurate information or conspiracy theories.
There are still 19 states that have not expanded Medicaid, but 3 more could switch sides after this election. According to The Hill, gubernatorial races in Missouri, North Carolina, and Utah are all leaning toward candidates that support expanding the program. Missouri and North Carolina have Democratic candidates challenging the sitting Republican governors, but in Utah, the incumbent governor is a Republican who supports a small-scale plan to expand Medicaid.
Genetic testing is often touted as a way to revolutionize medicine, but it can waste a lot of money. A study found that a test for inherited thrombophilia cost taxpayers half a billion dollars without providing any medical benefit to patients, reported STAT. Many patients want to get tests even if they don’t offer a clinical benefit that will result in a chance in treatment. One motivating factor for doctors offering these tests is the fear of litigation.
Research has found that while most posts on Facebook about the Zika virus contained accurate information, they were not very popular. Instead, the more popular posts about the virus either had inaccurate information or conspiracy theories, according to Reuters. The research was conducted May and June 2016, when there was a lot of media coverage of Zika.