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What We're Reading: Repaying Lost Federal Funds; Puerto Rico Death Toll; STD Infections Hit Record High

AJMC Staff
New York and Minnesota will receive lost federal funding for programs they created under the Affordable Care Act; the government has officially increased the death toll in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria to 2975 people; after years of controlling the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, the United States has seen the number increase 4 years in a row to a new record high in 2017.

Trump Administration to Repay New York and Minnesota for Lost Funds

New York and Minnesota will receive lost federal funding for programs they created under the Affordable Care Act. The Trump administration will pay the states close to half a billion dollars to make up for lost funding, according to The Washington Post. When the administration ended cost-sharing reduction payments, the majority of states got around the lost funding by increasing premiums on plans that would result in larger government subsidies. New York and Minnesota are the only 2 states that created Basic Health Programs, through which most enrollees eligible for subsidies get insurance. As a result, the states were not able to use the same workaround as the other 48 states.

 

Puerto Rico Death Toll After Hurricane Maria Climbs to Nearly 3000

The government has officially increased the death toll in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria to 2975 people. The New York Times reported that the hurricane had devastating impacts on water, electricity, communications, and medical care in the 6 months after the storm. According to Puerto Rico’s governor, the island will establish a registry for the most vulnerable. Older men and people living in poorer municipalities had a higher risk of death during the time studied after the hurricane. Research has indicated that the official death toll remained so low for so long because of the process of completing death certificates, which didn’t consider the indirect impacts of a natural disaster, such as delayed access to healthcare.

 

STD Infections Reach Record High

After years of controlling the spread of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), the United States has seen the number increase 4 years in a row. The CDC reported nearly 2.3 million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis in 2017, which represented a record high, according to NPR. David Harvey, the executive director of the National Coalition of STD Directors, said STDS should be declared a public health crisis in America. He blamed the increase on a reduction in federal funding for the prevention and control of STDs over the past 15 years.

 
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