What We're Reading: 24 Sponsor Bipartisan ACA Deal; Deadly Pollution; New Bird Flu Strain

Bipartisan ACA Stabilization Deal Has 24 Co-Sponsors

The bill presented by Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, and Patty Murray, D-Washington, to stabilize the Affordable Care Act (ACA)’s insurance markets now has 24 co-sponsors. According to The Hill, 12 Democrats and 12 Republicans have signed on to the bill. The deal, which does not currently have support of the White House, would guarantee the insurer subsidies, which President Donald Trump recently cancelled, for 2 years and grant more flexibility to states. Alexander expects the bill to pass by the end of the year, but it is already facing opposition in the House.

Pollution Takes Huge Toll on Human Health

More than 9 million premature deaths in 2015 were caused by diseases driven by pollution. Poor and marginalized nations are disproportionately impacted by pollution, with more than 90% of pollution-related deaths occurring in low- and middle-income countries, reported STAT. Pollution-related diseases account for 2% of health spending in wealthy nations and 7% in developing countries, and investments in addressing air pollution can produce savings for countries.

New Strain of Bird Flu Emerges

In China, a new strain of the H7N9 bird flu may be easily transmitted among animals. Reuters reported that the new strain might be able to trigger a global human pandemic. While the H7N9 virus has been in China since 2013, it recently split into 2 strains that are resistant to current vaccines. One of the strains is lethal to infected birds, and scientists determined that it spread easily among animals, likely transmitted by respiratory droplets caused by coughing or sneezing.

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