What We're Reading: Va. Medicaid Expansion; VA Pick Against Privatization; Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria in Mice

April 18, 2018

Virginia's House of Delegates passes Medicaid expansion and sends bill to Republican-controlled Senate; the president's pick to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) states he opposes privatizing veterans' healthcare; in New York City, some mice carry bacteria that are resistant to 3 common antibiotics.

Another Medicaid Expansion Bill Passes Virginia House of Delegates

Virginia hasn’t given up on trying to pass Medicaid expansion. The House of Delegates has passed a state budget that includes Medicaid expansion. According to The Washington Post, the bill now has to go to the state Senate, which is controlled by Republicans by 1 vote. Expanding Medicaid would extend the program to 300,000 Virginians. The bill also includes a provision to tighten work requirements in the program in a bid to court Senate Republicans and entice some of them into voting for the bill.

VA Pick Would Oppose Privatizing Veterans Healthcare

In meetings with Republican and Democratic senators, Ronny Jackson, MD, President Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has stated he opposes privatizing care for veterans. The previous VA secretary, David Shulkin, MD, had opposed privatization, as well, and there is speculation that his stance led to his firing, reported The Hill. The privatization issue is likely to be a large part of Jackson’s confirmation, as well as his lack of experience managing a healthcare organization.

NYC Mice Carry Antibiotic-Resistance Bacteria

In New York City, the mice carry an array of bacteria and viruses, including some bacteria that are resistant to 3 common antibiotics. The Wall Street Journal reported that a report found 416 mice across the 5 boroughs that were tested carried 36 types of viruses and nearly 40% carried at least 1 potentially disease-causing bacterium. Furthermore, some of the viruses found in the tested mice had never before been seen in mice.