Health Highlights: Nov. 8, 2017

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

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Maine Voters Support Medicaid Expansion

Maine residents rebuked their governor and President Donald Trump by voting Tuesday to expand Medicaid in their state.

Maine now joins 31 other states that have expanded Medicaid under former President Barack Obama's health care law, the Associated Press reported.

This was the first time since the Affordable Care Act took effect that voters anywhere in the country had a chance to decide on expansion of Medicaid, the health insurance program for low income people.

Nationwide, expansion of Medicaid has provided coverage for about 11 million people, the AP reported.

In Maine, Republican Gov. Paul LePage, a Trump ally, vetoed five different attempts by the state legislature to expand Medicaid.

"This is an exciting night in Maine, but also an exciting night for the country," said David Farmer, spokesman for pro-expansion Mainers For Health Care, the AP reported. "Voters have made it clear they want more health care, not less."

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Prescription Drug Take Back Day Sets New Record

A record amount of potentially dangerous expired and unused prescription drugs were brought for disposal to more than 5,300 collection sites across the United States on the latest National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, the Drug Enforcement Administration says.

The 912,305 pounds (456 tons) collected on Oct. 28 was nearly six tons more than was collected at the spring event.

Since the fall of 2010, the event has collected 9,015,668 pounds, or 4,508 tons, of unwanted and unused prescription drugs, according to the DEA.

The next Prescription Drug Take Back Day is April 28, 2018.

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Having unused and unwanted prescription drugs in home medicine cabinets increases the risk of misuse and abuse. Most abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends. The U.S. has high rates of prescription drug abuse and overdoses, the DEA said.


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