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What We're Reading: A Review of Governor Mike Pence's Healthcare Record


Pence's record on Medicaid expansion and an HIV outbreak are getting national attention now that he is nominated for vice president.

Now that he is the Republican nominee for vice president, Indiana Governor Mike Pence’s healthcare record is attracting scrutiny. National Public Radio reported on his unique approach to Medicaid expansion, which is being examined by other Republican governors. Pence was criticized in February 2015 for a slow reaction to an HIV outbreak in one rural county, which was blamed on opioid use and the state’s refusal to enact a needle exchange program. Pence later limited the exchange the county with the outbreak and signed a law requiring counties to ask permission for exchanges.

Louisiana Medicaid expansion had reached the 250,000 mark as of this week. The state’s unique approach, done with almost no money for administration and education, used data from the state’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to identify people likely eligible for health coverage under expansion. Louisiana is well on its way to meeting its goal of signing up 375,000 people under Medicaid expansion within the first year.

Health officials in Miami, Florida, are trying to determine if a woman there is the first to contract the Zika virus by being bitten by a mosquito in the United States. A spokeswoman for the Florida Health Department told the Associated Press that officials have not ruled out the woman getting the virus from sex or travel outside the United States, saying it’s too early to tell.

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