What We’re Reading: 1 in 500 Died of COVID-19; 3 Million Sign Up for ACA During Special Enrollment; Committee Dems Reject Drug Pricing Bill

One in every 500 Americans has now died of COVID-19; nearly 3 million individuals signed up for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) during the recent special enrollment period; Democrats on a House committee vote against Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s drug pricing reform bill.

1 in 500 US Residents Died of COVID-19

According to a report from CNN, 1 in 500 US residents has died of COVID-19 since the country first began reporting infections. As of September 14, 663,913 people in the United States have died of COVID-19. The statistic comes as the Delta variant continues to spread rapidly across the nation and hospitals struggle to keep up with the volume of adult and pediatric patients needing admission. According to NBC News, children represent 15.5% of all COVID-19 cases, 242,000 of which were reported between September 2 and September 9, the second-highest number of child cases in a week since the beginning of the pandemic.

3 Million Sign Up for ACA During Special Enrollment Period

In a report from Reuters, almost 3 Million US residents signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) during the special enrollment period that began on February 15 and ended on August 15. Altogether, 12.2 million Americans are now enrolled in coverage under the ACA and more than 4 in 10 enrollees who gained coverage during the special enrollment period found a plan that costs $10 or less per month. Additionally, 20 states and the District of Columbia saw premiums decrease by more than $75 monthly and out-of-pocket spending declined with the median deductible for new enrollees falling by more than 90%, from $750 to $50.

Moderate Democrats on Committee Reject Drug Pricing Bill

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s aggressive drug pricing bill failed a vote by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, calling into question whether the measure could pass a full House vote, according to STAT News. During the vote, 3 moderate Democrats voted against the bill and Republicans unanimously opposed it as well, leading to a tie vote, which prevents the bill from being able to advance to a full House vote. The bill would create a scaled-back Medicare negotiation scheme that would apply to drugs with expired patents that still face little to no market competition. Opponents of the bill argue that it would stifle funding for drug development and are calling for changes to be made.