The Washington Post – A stronger Medicaid emerges from GOP health overhaul debate

Medicaid, a 1960s Great Society pillar long reviled by conservatives, seems to have emerged even stronger after the Republican failure to pass health overhaul legislation. Medicaid has grown to cover about 1 in 5 U.S. residents, ranging from newborns to Alzheimer’s patients in nursing homes, and even young adults trying to shake addiction.  Increased participation — and acceptance — means any new GOP attempt to address problems with the Affordable Care Act would be unlikely to achieve deep Medicaid cuts.

Los Angeles Times – Despite California’s strict new law, hundreds of schools still don’t have enough vaccinated kids

Even with a new law that has boosted kindergarten vaccination rates to record highs, hundreds of schools across California still have so many children lacking full immunization that they pose an increased risk of disease outbreaks, according to a Times analysis of state data. At nearly 750 schools, 90% or fewer kindergartners had been fully vaccinated last year, the analysis found. Experts say the rate should be at least 95% to prevent the spread of highly contagious diseases such as measles.

Wall Street Journal – Rural America’s childbirth crisis: the fight to save Whitney Brown

Whitney Brown was in labor with her first baby when suddenly she couldn’t breathe. Convulsions shook her body. Ms. Brown’s blood pressure and oxygen levels dropped, and the baby’s heart rate plunged. Since the start of the century, it has become more dangerous to have a baby in rural America. Pregnancy-related complications are rising across the U.S., and many require specialized care. For some women, the time and distance from hospitals with the resources and specialists to handle an obstetric emergency can be fatal.

ABC News – Fleas are testing positive for the plague in parts of Arizona

Officials in two Arizona counties are warning the public after fleas in the region tested positive for the plague, the infamous infectious disease that killed millions during the Middle Ages. Navajo County Public Health officials confirmed on Friday that fleas in the area have tested positive for the rare disease. The public health warning follows a similar notice from Coconino County Public Health Services District in Arizona warning of the presence of plague in fleas found there too.

NPR – From Alaska to Florida, states respond to opioid crisis with emergency declarations

Public health officials and others concerned about the nation’s opioid crisis are hailing President Trump’s decision to declare it a national emergency. A Presidential commission on opioids said in its interim report that an emergency declaration would allow the administration to take immediate action and send a message to Congress that more funding is needed. But while the Trump administration prepares the presidential order, governors in six states have already declared emergencies to deal with opioids.