Way to go, Washington state! Washington Post WonkBlog writer Sarah Kliff gave our state major kudos today, saying that Washington has one of the best exchanges in the country. She gives a thorough list of the things we did here with HealthPlanFinder that have worked really well; definitely worth a read.
Also got an email today updating the enrollment numbers: So far, almost 350,000 people in Washington have signed up for insurance through the online exchange. The vast majority — 257,087 — are newly signed up for Medicaid, but that still leaves 88,071 who have bought private health insurance. Another 87,524 people have completed their applications for qualified health plans (private insurance) and just need to pay. Kliff notes in her post that 33.1 percent of those eligible to sign up for coverage in the exchange have done so.
Next up on Twitter Tuesday: NPR has a story about new anti-smoking commercials put out by the FDA that appeal to teens’ short-term concerns, rather than haranguing about long-term health risks. One of the ads shows a guy literally yank out a tooth as he goes to pay for his pack of cigarettes. Yeesh. I grew up on the “truth” ads, showing clogged aortas and whatnot, but maybe losing teeth is a more immediate way to show the risks of smoking.
And finally, an in-depth New York Times piece on the ethical questions behind testing embryos in in-vitro fertilization for certain genes. The author tells the story of a woman who had the gene for a horribly painful disease, but was able to pick out embryos without that gene to implant so she and her husband could have healthy children without the risk. This topic always fascinates me. Where do you draw the line on what you should pick or choose when it comes to genetics?
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Read earlier entries on the The Pulse blog.