The Washington Post – Obama unveils anti-heroin strategy
President Obama is traveling to Atlanta today in a high-profile effort to combat the epidemic of heroin addiction and prescription-drug abuse.
He will use his appearance before the National Rx Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit to demonstrate the priority this has for his administration and to push his $1.1 billion proposal to fight the epidemic.

Modern Healthcare – HHS pushing Medicaid expansion to curb opioid abuse, depression
HHS wants to capitalize on bipartisan interest to address opioid addiction and lack of access to behavioral health services by releasing a new report that shows Medicaid expansion could address the crises. The goal is to convince Republican holdout states to expand coverage.
An estimated 1.9 million uninsured people with a mental illness or substance use disorder live in states that have not yet expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act and had incomes that could qualify them for coverage, according to the report released Monday.

CBS News – Premature births linked to air pollution cost U.S. billions
A number of studies have found evidence that air pollution may contribute to the problem of preterm births, raising babies’ risk of health complications. Now for the first time researchers are putting a price tag on the impact. According to a new report, the economic cost of preterm births linked to air pollution in the United States totals over $4 billion a year.
The study, published in journal Environmental Health Perspectives, estimated that almost 16,000 premature births across the country in 2010 — about 3 percent of the nationwide total of 475,368 — were related to exposure to high levels of air pollution. This leads to about $4.33 billion in additional costs, including $760 million spent on prolonged hospital stays and long-term use of medications, as well as $3.57 billion in lost economic productivity due to physical and mental disabilities associated with preterm birth.

MedPage Today – Fewer Ear Infections for U.S. Babies
Increases in breastfeeding, decreases in parental smoking, and vaccination against pneumonia and influenza were linked to the reduced incidence of ear infections among U.S. babies in their first year of life, researchers said.
Rates of acute otitis media (AOM) have dropped significantly since the 1980s and 1990s, reported Tasnee Chonmaitree, MD, of the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, and colleagues.