Photo: Aytug Can Sencar/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Medicare is considering paying for acupuncture, which would be a controversial move, the Washington Post reports.

What's happening: The change would be part of a push to provide alternative, non-pharmacologic ways to address chronic pain amid the opioid crisis. Coverage would be only for chronic low-back pain.

  • Acupuncture proponents note its safety and say that it's worth covering even if it only works for some people.

Yes, but: There's research showing that in many cases, acupuncture isn't much more effective than a placebo.

  • "The whole thing is a big scam," Steven Novella, an assistant professor at the Yale School of Medicine, told the Post.

Go deeper: The states using medical marijuana for opioid substitutes

Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
27 mins ago - Technology

Facebook removes Trump ads tying refugees to COVID-19

Photo Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Facebook said Wednesday that it was removing a series of ads from President Trump's campaign that linked American acceptance of refugees with increased coronavirus risk, a connection Facebook says is without merit.

Why it matters: The ads were pulled after they received thousands of impressions and are a sign that the Trump campaign continues to test the limits of social media rules on false information.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8 p.m. ET: 33,832,124 — Total deaths: 1,010,642 — Total recoveries: 23,507,536Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8 p.m. ET: 7,227,779 — Total deaths: 206,859 — Total recoveries: 2,840,688 — Total tests: 103,155,189Map.
  3. Education: School-aged children now make up 10% of all U.S COVID-19 cases.
  4. Health: The coronavirus' alarming impact on the body.
  5. Business: Real-time data show economy's rebound slowing but still going.
  6. Sports: Steelers-Titans NFL game delayed after coronavirus outbreak.

Over 73 million people watched the first debate on TV

Data: Nielsen; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

More than 73.1 million people watched the first presidential debate on television on Tuesday night, according to Nielsen ratings.

Why it matters: While that's a sizable audience for any American TV program, it's down more than 13% from the record number of TV viewers who tuned in for the first debate of the 2016 election. The chaotic nature of the debate and the overall uncertainty around this year's election may have pushed some viewers away.

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