Dually Noted from around the web

March 27, 2015 § Leave a comment

Articles, commentary, research, and more from the past week

Health Care for All, Rep. Sanchez advocate for MassHealth
Earlier this month, Health Care for All and Affordable Care Today hosted a legislative briefing on the MassHealth program. At the event, Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez, co-chairman of the Committee on Health Care Financing, reminded lawmakers that “MassHealth serves the poorest and those folks that need it the most.” Responding to calls to cut MassHealth funding, Sanchez acknowledged that the program is “growing unsustainably,” but, he said, “there is a lot of good that happens out of this program, and we have to stay focused on making sure that we live up to the ideals of what MassHealth is about.”

To further demonstrate the importance of the MassHealth program, Health Care for All has launched a new campaign called “I Heart MassHealth.” The organization is asking individuals to share their personal “statements and photos that bring to life why MassHealth is a critical program for the health of millions of the Commonwealth’s residents.” You can follow the campaign on Facebook and Twitter.

Medicaid expansion helps identify diabetes cases
A study by Quest Diagnostics found that in states that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act “the number of Medicaid enrollees with newly identified diabetes rose by 23 percent, to 18,020 in the first six months of 2014, from 14,625 in the same period in 2013.” In states that opted out of Medicaid expansion, diabetes diagnoses increased only 0.4 percent. The findings strongly suggest that Medicaid expansion is helping poor Americans get early treatment for the condition.

New Alzheimer’s drugs raise hopes
Tests on new drugs designed to combat Alzheimer’s disease are raising hopes for patients and families. For example, Boston University and Brigham and Women’s Hospital are among many research centers testing a drug called A4. This is the “first medical trial to test whether a drug can prevent Alzheimer’s disease in people who have no symptoms but are at risk.” At the same time, Biogen released results of its study on a drug that “reduced the levels of abnormal proteins in the brain called amyloid plaques, believed to be markers for the disease.”

In a related post from NBC News, an ethicist examines a number of issues surrounding Biogen’s drug, called aducanumab, including its safety, its cost, and how to decide who gets the drug first.

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