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What We're Reading: ACA Coverage Expansion; New Heart Failure Guidelines; Poor Air Quality Worldwide


The Biden administration plans to expand Affordable Care Act (ACA) coverage to more families; new guidelines jointly announced by cardiology organizations for the treatment and prevention of heart failure; World Health Organization estimates that 99% of people worldwide are exposed to poor air quality.

Biden Administration to Expand ACA Coverage to More Families

CNN is reporting that the Biden administration will announce a rule today that seeks to address issues regarding affordability of employer coverage for Affordable Care Act (ACA) beneficiaries, which is known as the “family glitch.” Set to be announced during former President Barack Obama’s first public appearance at the White House since he left office, the proposed rule would allow family members of workers who are offered affordable single coverage but unaffordable family policies to qualify for subsidies on the ACA exchanges. The White House estimates that approximately 200,000 uninsured Americans would gain coverage and nearly 1 million people would obtain reductions in premiums. If finalized, the rule would go into effect in January 2023.

New Guidelines Announced for Treatment of Heart Failure

The American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology, and the Heart Failure Society of America jointly announced new guidelines for the management of heart failure this past weekend at the American College of Cardiology's 71st Scientific Session. The new guidelines will revise the 4 progressive stages of heart failure to promote earlier identification of at-risk individuals and provide treatment prior to structural changes or decreased heart function. The use of sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 inhibitors is now recommended in the prevention and treatment of heart failure with the highest-level recommendations among classes of therapy in each category.

Poor Air Quality Affects 99% of World’s Population, WHO Says

The Associated Press is reporting that the World Health Organization (WHO) issued an update yesterday, April 4, to its database on air quality that indicates 99% of people worldwide breathe air that does not meet the quality standards set by the agency. The WHO said that the poorest air quality, particularly exposure to particulate matter 2.5 (PM2.5) and nitrogen dioxide, occurred in the Eastern Mediterranean and Southeast Asia regions, followed by Africa. The agency called for more action against fossil fuel use to address air quality concerns, as well as a massive scaling up of green energy and separating out types of waste.

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