Trending News Today: HIV/AIDS Researcher May Lead CDC

Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.

Robert Redfield, an HIV/AIDS expert from the University of Maryland, may be the next nominee to run the CDC, according to Politico. Redfield is reportedly a favored candidate for the job, which was left empty after it was revealed that former CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald traded tobacco stocks while in office, according to the article. The researcher was previously an advisor for the National Institutes of Health under President George W Bush and served as an HIV/AIDS advisory council member for the administration, Politico reported.

Despite the looming threat of a repeal, multiple insurers reported making money on Affordable Care Act plans in 2017, according to Politico. A new analysis of 29 Blue Cross Blue Shield plans showed that big premium increases accounted for the profitability. The plans hiked premiums by more than 25%, which was enough to cover medical costs for all patients for the first time, according to the article.

Contrary to popular belief, secondhand marijuana smoke may be just as harmful as cigarette smoke, according to results from a recent study conducted in rats. The research showed that secondhand marijuana smoke makes it difficult for rats’ arteries to expand, thus preventing a healthy flow of blood to the heart, according to NPR. With tobacco, these effects last for 30 minutes, but repeated exposure causes damage that can cause blood clots, heart attack, and stroke. These effects were also found in rats exposed to secondhand marijuana smoke, but took 90 minutes to subside, according to the article.