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This Week In Public Health: Indiana Asks To Extend Medicaid Expansion Despite Repeal Threat

Sriram Bala/via Flickr
There's a new "gray" market for diabetes supplies around the U.S. where the products are often cheaper, but lack oversight -- and the accompanying quality guarantees -- from the FDA.

This week - Apparently unfazed by Republican threats to repeal Obamacare, Indiana is asking the federal government to extend its Medicaid expansion. ... Have you seen those ads looking to buy diabetic test strips? Turns out reselling the supplies is not illegal, but is part of a huge 'gray' market. ... Read on ...

Expensive Diabetes Care Drives 'Gray Market' For Supplies

Why would you spend $1 per diabetes test strip when you could buy 50 for $12? That question is creating a "gray" market for the supplies around the U.S. where they are often cheaper, but lack oversight -- and the accompanying quality guarantees -- from the FDA. And, as Side Effects' Bram Sable-Smith reports, "If someone orders too many supplies through Medicare and flips the extras, the government just subsidized that profit. That’s fraud."

Indiana Asks To Extend Medicaid Expansion Despite Obamacare Repeal Uncertainty

Side Effects reporter Jake Harper writes that the request, if approved, would extend the program for three more years, add a surcharge for tobacco users and add incentives for addiction treatment. It would even add chiropractic benefits. Amid the uncertainty of the Affordable Care Act, Indiana's move “shows that the state is trying to stay the course,” says Susan Jo Thomas, director of health care advocacy group  Covering Kids and Families.

Elsewhere in Indiana this week: 

Bill To Curb Smoking In Indiana Clears First Hurdle

A bill working its way through the legislature aims to lower the state's high smoking rate, in part by raising the cigarette tax by $1.50 per pack.

Quick Hits

New grants in Kansas are aimed at helping people in rural Kansas get access to fresh produce.

The CDC could get new powers to quarantine people to stop the spread of infectious diseases.

What's at risk for women's health if Obamacare is repealed?

Cervical cancer is killing more black women than officials thought. Why?

Evzio, it is used to deliver naloxone, a life-saving antidote to overdoses of opioids. It's cost has gone up to $4,500 from $690 in 2014.