Daily Briefing: BBQ Bristles, Medicaid Politics, Medicaid Science and Methadone

Published on
July 4, 2012

Independence Day Hazard:  The CDC wants to make sure you don’t swallow any bristles from the brush you use to clean your grill. When people accidentally eat a bristle with their hamburger, the effects can be really nasty, reports Anahad O’Connor for the New York Times.

Politics: The governors of Iowa, North Carolina, Florida and Louisiana have said that they will not accept money from the federal government to enroll more low-income people on Medicaid. Other states, including Texas, may opt out of this Obamacare provision as well, N.C. Aizenman and Sandhya Somashekhar report for the Washington Post.

Medicaid : A new study sheds light on whether Medicaid actually makes people healthier. Comparing the self-reported health status of people in Oregon who participated in the Medicaid lottery to receive insurance found that those who were accepted into the program where 25 percent more likely than those denied to be in good or better health. NPR’s Alex Blumberg has an update and a nice explainer on the significance of this study.

Methadone: A new estimate from the CDC suggests that methadone is responsible for 30 percent of painkiller overdose deaths, though it accounts for only 2 percent of the painkillers prescribed. Methadone is used to help addicts stop using heroin, but this problem has to do with the methadone prescribed as a painkiller, reports Ryan Jaslow for CBS News.

Jehovah’s Witnesses: In some situations refusing a blood transfusion can be deadly. But a study found that there was no increased risk—and some benefits—for Jehovah’s Witnesses that refused transfusions during cardiac surgery, reports Denise Mann for Health Day.

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Photo by Nic Stage via Flickr