Now on Kaiser Health News' blog, Phil Galewitz reports on a new 50-state Medicaid budget survey: "Enrollment is expected to surge by nearly 12 percent next year in states expanding the program under the health law, but even states that will not expand eligibility project a 5 percent jump in the number of people enrolled in the state-federal health insurance program for the poor, according to a new report issued Monday" (Galewitz, 10/7).
Also on the blog, Ankita Rao reports on state efforts to curb abuse of painkillers and other prescription drugs: "About 50 Americans die every day from a prescription drug overdose — a tally that, in most states, turns out to be more than deaths from car accidents. In a new report, 'Prescription Drug Abuse: Strategies to Stop the Epidemic,' researchers at the Trust for America’s Health found that rates of overdose and addiction doubled since 1999 in most states. In West Virginia — the state with the highest number of drug overdose deaths — the rate was six times higher than fourteen years ago" (Rao, 10/7).
In addition, Galewitz also reports on an emerging issue between veterinarians and the health law: "The law's 2.3 percent medical device tax, which started this year, was meant to have device manufacturers and their buyers contribute to the cost of expanding health coverage because they would benefit from having more business from insured patients. But some devices used on humans are also used for animals, including ultrasound machines, laboratory and X-ray equipment. So as a result, veterinarians have to pay the extra tax as well" (Galewitz, 10/8). Check out what else is on the blog.