What We're Reading: Long-Term Care Benefits; Predicting Obesity; Montana Reauthorizes Medicaid Expansion

April 19, 2019

Washington is set to become the first state to offer long-term care benefits for those who pay into the program; a genome-wide polygenic score can predict the odds of obesity; and Montana is moving to reauthorize Medicaid expansion with the addition of community engagement requirements.

Washington Poised to Become First State With Long-Term Care Benefit

Washington is set to become the first state to offer long-term care benefits through an employee-paid program. The program will provide benefits for those who pay into the program, with a lifetime maximum of $36,500 per person, according to the Associated Press. Advocates have applauded the measure, saying that it will help an aging population that is likely not prepared for the increasing costs needed for daily assistance. On the flip side, opponents are calling it an unnecessary intrusion by the government and an additional tax on employees who haven’t had a say on the program.

Genetic Test Can Predict Odds of Obesity

Montana Moves to Reauthorize Medicaid Expansion

A genome-wide polygenic score can quantify a person’s inherited susceptibility to obesity, according to a new study published in Cell, which found that the polygenic score effect on weight emerges early in life and increases into adulthood. The researchers validated the predictor, which included 2.1 common variants to determine susceptibility in more than 300,000 individuals ranging from birth to middle age. There was a nearly 30-pound difference between individuals with the highest and lowest scores.After passing in both the House and the Senate, a bill to reauthorize Medicaid expansion in Montana is headed to the governor’s desk for signing. The bill, which reauthorizes expansion until 2025, includes the addition of a required 80 hours of community engagement per month and the removal of a 2.75% tax on Montana State Fund workers compensation programs to help fund the program by taxing hospitals, according to the Great Falls Tribune. More than 96,000 people in the state will benefit from the reauthorized expansion.