Debra Miller

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced $25 million will be available to states for Zika preparedness. States must apply by June 13, 2016; the estimated award date is August 1, 2016. This funding is not part of the $1.9 billion emergency funding that President Obama has requested from Congress.  

Puerto Rico (to date, the only jurisdiction with locally acquired Zika cases ), Texas, Florida and Hawaii will each be eligible for...

In recent years, state increasingly have looked at state-sanctioned and operated gambling as a source of revenue, primarily through four main categories: lotteries, casinos, racinos and pari-mutuel wagering. Here is a look at state gambling revenues in 2014 based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government.

On May 5, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued final rules to regulate all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes. Many of the rules will go into effect on August 8, 2015. Some will have a longer phase-in timeline. 

According to April 27, 2016 data from the CDC, all cases of Zika virus in the 50 states and the District of Columbia are related to travel to affected areas. The CDC reports 496 cases confirmed by laboratory testing in the U.S. In just six states no case of Zika has yet been reported.  

There is another story in the U.S. territories. Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and American Samoa report 596 cases of locally acquired Zika virus. In February, the first U.S. death from Zika virus was recorded. A 70 year old man in...

The benefits of e-cigarettes outweigh their potential harms the British Royal College of Physicians concluded after a comprehensive review of the current scientific research on e-cigarettes. The college's April 28 report, reported in Britain by the BBC and in the U.S. by the New York Times, concludes e-cigarettes are "much safer" than smoking conventional cigarettes and can be an important aid to quit smoking.

Yesterday at CSG the Red Cross donation bus visited. I noticed a new question about travel to countries where mosquitos carrying the Zika virus live. My curiosity clicked in and here is what I learned.

In mid March the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued guidelines to safeguard the nation's blood supply and the new question is a result of that guidance. The Red Cross released a statement on March 14 explaining how it would comply with the guidelines.

CSG Midwest

After some bumps along the way, the Iowa Medicaid program — and some 560,000 Iowans — transitioned to a managed-care model of care in April. Iowa now joins the majority of U.S. states nationally, and within the Midwest, that depend on private entities called managed-care organizations — or MCOs — to deliver Medicaid services to most enrollees in their public insurance programs for low-income families and individuals.

Two years ago, Colorado reported success in dramatically reducing the state’s teen birth and abortion rates by 48 percent from 2009 to 2014 through a privately funded initiative that provided long-acting reversible contraception, known as LARCs. LARCs—intrauterine devices, or IUDs, and subdermal contraceptive implants—are highly effective forms of birth control, with a pregnancy rate of less than 1 percent within the first year according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For comparison, oral contraceptive pills have a pregnancy rate of 9 percent and male condoms have a pregnancy rate of 18 percent in the first year. The LARC devices are effective for three to 10 years. In the last days of budget negotiation in Colorado in early April, legislators approved $2.5 million in state funding to provide LARCs to low-income women.

"Based on observational, cohort and case-control studies there is strong scientific consensus that Zika virus is a cause of GBS [Guillain-Barre syndrome], microcephaly and other neurological disorders," the World Health Organization said in a Situation Report dated March 31, 2016. 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced yesterday it will require “black box” warnings on all immediate-release opioid pain medications. The target of the warning is prescribers.

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