What We're Reading: Work Requirement Medicaid Plan in Georgia; New Alzheimer Therapy; California Vaccination Law Impact

November 5, 2019

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp released a Medicaid plan with a work requirement of 80 hours a month; a new Alzheimer drug derived from seaweed was given conditional approval in China; a study says California's vaccination law will have modest effect on childhood vaccination rates.

Georgia Governor Releases Medicaid Plan With Work Requirement

Yesterday, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp released a plan to expand Medicaid to the state’s poorest able-bodied adults with added work requirements to receive benefits, according to The Associated Press. The plan will assist citizens on the condition that they work, volunteer, receive job training, or attend school. The proposal, which is more limited than other states, will qualify uninsured adults in Georgia who make no more than the federal poverty level for Medicaid assistance if they spend at least 80 hours a month on the work requirement. In addition, these individuals would pay monthly premiums.

New Alzheimer Therapy Approved in China

Chinese regulators granted conditional approval this past weekend to an Alzheimer drug derived from seaweed, after years of clinical failures involving experimental therapies from major drug companies, according to STAT News. The announcement comes with eagerness and caution among clinicians to see the full data on the treatment studies conducted by the drug maker, Shanghai Green Valley Pharmaceuticals, as the company said its drug, oligomannate, improved cognitive function in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer disease compared to placebo in a phase 3 trial. Benefits were reported in patients as early as week 4 and persisted throughout the 36 weeks of the trial. The approval comes after nearly 2 decades in which no new Alzheimer drug has been approved.

Study Says California Vaccination Law Will Have Modest Impact

A study published yesterday by the Annals of Internal Medicine found that the strict childhood vaccination law imposed by California regulators in 2016 will only provide a “modest” impact on increasing vaccination rates by 2027. The Los Angeles Times reports that supporters of the law, known as SB 277, contested the findings of the study citing the law as having already pushed up the state’s kindergarten vaccination rate to never-before-seen levels. SB 277 disallowed parents from referencing personal beliefs as a reason for not vaccinating their children. Researchers projected that under SB 277, the percentage of children who would remain unvaccinated in 2027 due to law exemption will be 1.87%, compared to 2.36% without the law.