What We're Reading: Preterm Birth Blood Test; VA Medicaid Expansion; Over-the-Counter Birth Control

Researchers have developed an inexpensive blood test they say can predict a pregnant women’s due date and potentially identify women at risk for of preterm birth; Virginia's governor has expanded Medicaid in the state; and the American Medical Association is expected to take a stance on over-the-counter birth control this weekend.

Blood Test to Predict Due Dates and Preterm Birth

Scientists have developed a blood test they say can be used to predict a pregnant woman’s due date and potentially identify women at risk for giving birth prematurely. The New York Times reported that the research, which is still in preliminary stages, detects changes in RNA in a pregnant woman’s blood and can estimate due dates within 2 weeks in nearly half the cases. According to researchers, the inexpensive test is as accurate as ultrasound, the current and more expensive method.

Virginia Medicaid Expansion Signed Into Law

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has signed off on a budget that includes Medicaid expansion for the state. According to The Hill, the expansion is estimated to provide health insurance to up to 400,000 people. The expansion includes work requirements for Medicaid recipients and marks the 33rd state to expand Medicaid.

AMA to Vote on Over-the-Counter Birth Control

As pressure mounts for drug makers to sell birth control over the counter, the American Medical Association (AMA) is expected to take a stance on the issue during its annual meeting in Chicago this weekend, reported STAT News. According to the news outlet, delegates from nation’s largest physicians group are expected to vote on a resolution to encourage birth control manufacturers to submit applications to the FDA to switch the status of their pills from prescription to over the counter.