Happy August! Happy summer! On to what’s going on these days in the world of public health!
Nothing quite says “fun in the sun” like studying changes in Medicaid enrollment. In all seriousness though, great news is emerging about the uninsured rate in the US. As it turns out, Medicaid enrollment increased even in the states that didn’t accept federal funding to expand Medicaid eligibility through the Affordable Care Act. In those states, people who were already eligible for the insurance coverage, but just hadn’t ever enrolled, learned about the online marketplace and other services through media coverage of the ACA and signed up – almost one million people, to be exact. That means fewer uninsured people navigating the healthcare system, which is a win for us all.
How about a nice sunny day enjoying the cool, clear shores of the Great Lakes? By now you’ve probably heard about the toxic Lake Erie algae bloom that is plaguing our Ohio neighbors to the southwest. The dangerous growth turns water into slimy green putty and keeps residents from safely being able to drink their tap water. This has made many worried about our own water here in WNY, which for many residents comes from that very same lake. Good news for now – we’re in the clear, mostly because our eastern end of the lake is colder, deeper, and less friendly to algae growth.