What We're Reading: Lowering Age of Medicare; Depression Drug Endorsed; Limiting Chemicals in Water

Democrats have introduced a bill that would allow anyone over age 50 to buy into Medicare; an FDA advisory panel has endorsed a ketamine-like depression drug; and the EPA is set to limit the amount of manmade chemicals allowed in drinking water.

Democrats Propose Medicare for Americans Over Age 50

On Wednesday, House and Senate Democrats introduced legislation that would allow anyone over age 50 to buy into Medicare. According to POLITICO, the bill sponsors said that the plan will pay for itself with the premiums from new enrollees and more of the money collected would pay for patient care because of “the relative lack of overhead and profit requirements in Medicare compared to the private insurance market.”

FDA Panel Recommends Depression Treatment

An FDA advisory panel has endorsed the experimental medication esketamine for depression. Determining that the benefits outweigh the risks, the panel voted 15-2 in favor of the ketamine-like drug. If the drug, manufactured by Johnson & Johnson, is approved, it would be the first major depression treatment approved in decades, according to STAT News. Some experts have expressed concern that the drug has a high potential for abuse because ketamine is often abused.

EPA to Limit Chemicals in Drinking Water

The EPA is expected to announce today that it will limit how much toxic chemicals from cookware and carpeting are allowed in drinking water, reported Reuters. The group of chemicals, known as PFAS, have been linked to cancer, liver and thyroid damage, and other health effects. HHS’ Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry said the risk level for exposure to these chemicals should be at least 7 to 10 times lower than the threshold currently recommended by the EPA.