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This Week In Public Health: Immigrants staying away from Medicaid ... States Grapple With Opioids

Office of the Indiana Governor/via Flickr

This week - Indiana says its Medicaid expansion is working, but now it has to prove it. ... A military veteran has a new idea about how therapists should talk to vets about gun safety. ... And drug overdose deaths aren't just a problem for white, middle-age people anymore ... Read on ...

Prove It: Examining Indiana's Medicaid Gains Claims

Indiana hopes the federal government will approve its request to renew its Medicaid expansion experiment. But first they have to argue it is working. Side Effects' Jake Harper reports a "close reading of the state’s application reveals misleading and inaccurate information being used to justify the extension."

How To Talk To Vets About Gun Safety? Facilitate, Don't Necessarily Intervene

April Dembosky of KQED reports on Jay Zimmerman, a former Army medic who is now a peer counselor at a Veterans Affairs center, who says making sure veterans have someone to talk to outside the therapy office could be key to helping them feel better and avoid suicide, one of the leading killers of veterans returning from war.

Can Medical Weed Help Stop America's Opioid Epidemic?

"In the midst of an opioid crisis, some medical practitioners and researchers believe that greater use of marijuana for pain relief could result in fewer people using the highly addictive prescription painkillers that led to the epidemic," reports Stateline's Christine Vestal. Indiana this week: 

Needle Exchanges Could Soon Be Approved, But Lack Funding

Some local leaders are signing on to a promise from the governor to widen the exchanges, but roadblocks still persist, namely finding the money.

Quick Hits
The nasal flu vaccine might not be back for several years.

Virginia's governor signed new measures aimed at stopping the opioid epidemic there.

Drug overdoses in the U.S. aren't just a white, middle-aged problem anymore.

Fearful of President Trump's immigration enforcement orders, some immigrants in California are shunning Medicare coverage.

Should people be barred from using food stamps to buy junk food?

To test new Zika virus vaccines, scientists say they need a new outbreak.

Roses are red
Violets are blue
Maybe a little poetry
Is really good for you?