The Washington Post – GOP momentum grows for more modest plan to overhaul Obamacare
The Senate rejected a proposal Wednesday that would have repealed major parts of the Affordable Care Act, but Republican leaders were growing more confident about their chances of passing a more modest overhaul of the health-care law later this week. Republicans appeared to be coalescing around a “skinny repeal” that would abolish the individual and employer insurance mandates and perhaps just one tax in an attempt to sustain their seven-year quest to unwind President Barack Obama’s health-care law. But even if they succeed — and start negotiations with the House — they will face significant obstacles in accomplishing anything more substantial.

Scientific American – Cost of medical care for transgender service members would be minimal, studies show
President Trump on Wednesday announced that the military would no longer allow transgender people to serve, citing both “the tremendous medical costs and disruption” that would be caused by their integration into U.S. forces. But at least two studies in recent years have found that the cost of medical care for transgender service members would be minimal. A June 2016 study from the RAND Corporation estimated that there were between 1,320 and 6,630 transgender active-duty service members — out of 1.3 million service members in total — and noted that not all of them would seek treatment related to gender transitioning. The study also estimated that the cost associated with medical care for gender transition would only increase military health care expenditures by between $2.4 million and $8.4 million each year — an increase of between 0.04 and 0.13 percent.

CNN – Texas reports first locally transmitted case of Zika in US this year
A resident of Hidalgo County, Texas who has now recovered from the Zika virus was probably infected within the county, local and state health officials said Wednesday. This represents the first locally transmitted case of the virus reported in the continental United States this year. “Because the individual has not recently traveled outside the area or had any other risk factors, the infection was probably transmitted by a mosquito bite in South Texas sometime in the last few months,” according to a joint statement from the Texas Department of State Health Services and Hidalgo County Health and Human Services. There is currently no risk of the virus spreading within the community or mosquitoes, they said adding there is no evidence of local transmission anywhere in the state at this time. However, surveillance of individuals and mosquitoes is ongoing.

Reuters – Study links rising U.S. e-cigarette use to rise in smokers quitting
A rise in the use of electronic cigarettes among American adults is linked to a significant increase in the numbers of people quitting smoking, researchers said on Wednesday. In a study published in the BMJ British Medical Journal, scientists from California said their findings were based on the largest representative sample of e-cigarette users to date and provided a “strong case” that e-cigarettes have helped to increase rates of smoking cessation.

Kaiser Health News – Medicaid proves a lifeline for clients of crisis pregnancy centers
Women’s health has been the center of a lot of controversy in the ongoing health care debate, and much has focused on federal funding for Planned Parenthood. While federal funding for abortion is already illegal in most cases, many abortion-rights opponents also want to permanently block Planned Parenthood from receiving federal reimbursement for providing services like contraception. As it turns out, many crisis pregnancy centers like the Hannah Center, alternatively known as pregnancy resource centers, also rely on Medicaid as a tool for helping low-income pregnant women.