Obama’s gun violence recommendations request the involvement of doctors in efforts against gun violence; cases of the flu are decreasing in the east, south and midwest but increasing in the west; and governors express what Medicaid expansion could mean for their states. Read these and more public health news stories for Jan. 28, 2013.

American Medical News – Obama enlists doctors for gun violence prevention
President Obama’s multifaceted plan to reduce gun violence calls on physicians to play an important role in decreasing shooting deaths and injuries in communities nationwide.
The initiative, which was unveiled Jan. 16, one month after 20 first-graders and six adults were massacred at a Connecticut school, encourages doctors to talk to patients about gun safety and warn law enforcement about threats of violence.

Kaiser Health News – Retiring Medicare actuary reflects on the politics of spending and why he almost quit
Richard S. Foster is retiring this week after 18 years as the chief actuary for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. His duties included projecting Medicare and Medicaid spending and the cost of health care legislation to help policymakers weigh the impact on the federal budget. Some of those estimates got him into hot water with members of both parties. Foster recently sat down to discuss the highs and lows of his career with KHN’s Mary Agnes Carey. What follows is an edited transcript of that conversation.

USA Today – Flu waning in East and South, still gaining in West
Although the flu appears to be leveling off in the East, South and Midwest, numbers are still rising in the Southwest and Northwest, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.
The flu is widespread now in Washington state, said Donn Moyer of the Washington State Department of Health in Olympia.

Kaiser Health News – Medicaid expansion raises possibilities, problems for states
California Gov. Jerry Brown describes implementing the expansion as “incredibly complex,” while Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder sees it an opportunity to address gaps in the mental health system. In Arizona, meanwhile, the expansion is framed as an immigration issue.