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What We're Reading: 4-Year High Uninsured Rate; Trump Takes On Surprise Medical Bills; Measles Outbreak

AJMC Staff
The uninsured rate in the United States rose to a 4-year high of 13.7% in the fourth quarter of 2018; President Trump has instructed administration officials to tackle surprise medical billing; and a measles outbreak has hit Washington State.

Uninsured Rate at Highest Level Since 2014

In the fourth quarter of 2018, the uninsured rate in the United States landed at 13.7%, the highest level since the first quarter of 2014. According to Gallup, while still below the uninsured rate of 18% prior to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, the rate is still well above the 10.9% mark in 2016. The increase represents about 17 million people without health insurance.

 

Trump Vows to Tackle Surprise Medical Bills

As patients and doctors joined President Donald Trump in the White House on Wednesday to share their experiences with surprise medical bills, Trump instructed HHS Secretary Alex Azar and Labor Secretary Alex Acosta to find a solution, reported Kaiser Health News. The 10 guests each shared their stories of unexpected bills, including a retired doctor whose family received a $17,850 bill for a urine test.



Measles Outbreak in Washington State

Washington State has become the latest state to experience a measles outbreak, with 23 people falling ill with the disease this month. The outbreak has mostly affected children under age 10, according to The Wall Street Journal. In response, local officials in Clark County, near Portland, Oregon, declared a public health emergency. The outbreak, along with the one that began in Brooklyn, New York, last year, is largely due to a drop in vaccination rates in some communities.

 
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