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What We're Reading: Tennessee Block Grant Proposal; Abortion Rates Hit New Low; NY Bans e-Cigarette Sales


Tennessee has unveiled its proposal to turn the state's Medicaid program into a block grant; the number of abortions across the country have dropped to the lowest levels since the procedure became legal nationwide; New York has temporaily banned the sale of e-cigarettes and nicotine e-liquids.

Tennessee Unveils Proposal for Block Grant

Months after Governor Bill Lee, R-Tennessee, signed legislation requesting approval from the Trump administration to transition the state’s Medicaid program to a block grant, the state has unveiled its proposal. The proposal needs to be submitted to CMS, and if approved, the state will become the first in the nation to implement the model. The administration has drafted a guidance that would make is easier for states to apply for blocks grants, which has been under review by the White House Office of Management and Budget for months but could be released at any time, according to The Hill.

Number of Abortions in US Hits New Low

The number of abortions across the country have dropped to the lowest levels since 1973, when they became legal nationwide, according to a report from the Guttmacher Institute. The report showed that there were 862,000 abortions in the United States in 2017, which is down from 926,000 in 2014 and slightly more than 1 million in 2011. The declines in abortion rates are coming from all parts of the country, and according to the Associated Press, one reason for the decline is that fewer women are becoming pregnant.

New York Temporarily Bans Sale of Flavored e-Cigarettes

New York state health officials have passed an emergency regulation temporarily banning the sale of flavored e-cigarettes and nicotine e-liquids. The members of the states’ Public Health and Health Planning Council that approved the ban argued that it would help mitigate the risk in e-cigarette use among minors, calling it a public health crisis. However, some members of the council said they were torn on the regulation and some said it should have included a ban on menthol e-cigarettes, reported The Wall Street Journal.

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