What We're Reading: Republicans, Democrats Unite Against Medicare Part B Proposal

What we're reading, May 6, 2016: Both Democrats and Republicans are pushing back against the recent Medicare Part B proposal; medical overdose risk is high among people ages 45 to 64; and the Cayman Islands are releasing genetically modified mosquitoes to combat disease.

Both Republicans and Democrats seem unhappy with CMS’ recent Medicare Part B proposal. Dozens of Republicans are demanding the proposal be withdrawn and Democrats have raised their own concerns, according to The Wall Street Journal. The Medicare Part B demonstration also faces opposition from the pharmaceutical industry and patient-advocacy groups. However, there are supporters of the proposal. AARP and Kaiser Permanente with other groups told the administration they thought the test could be a success.

The risk of medical overdose is highest for people between the ages of 45 and 64. NPR reported that for people in this age group, it can be easy to overdose on an opioid if their body has built up a tolerance to the drug and they feel they need to take more to get relief. People in this age group are particularly at risk because of another factor: they may live alone or be isolated due to divorce and adult children moving away.

In the Cayman Islands, the government will release millions of genetically modified mosquitoes to fight against the spread of diseases, such as the Zika virus. The modified mosquitoes have been deployed in Brazil to fight Zika, and tests have already been tested in the Cayman Islands and Panama, reported The Washington Post. Oxitec, the company promoting the use of modified mosquitoes as a safe way to combat mosquito-borne illnesses, and officials in the Florida Keys have proposed testing there as well.

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