Open enrollment for ACA health plans is extended after glitches on Healthcare.gov; EPA watchdog found that the agency's health monitoring during Hurricane Harvey was lacking; Purdue Pharma splits ties with the lobbying organization PhRMA.
After complaints stemming from website glitches on Healthcare.gov, the federal marketplace for buying individual health insurance, the government restarted enrollment for ACA health plans today and set the new deadline for this Wednesday, December 18, at 3 am ET. NPR reports that consumers who already have an account can shop for plans and find out whether they qualify for subsidies to lower the costs of plans at the marketplace website.A report by the EPA’s Office of Inspector General suggested that state and federal regulators told residents who live in and around Houston, Texas, the nation’s fourth largest city, that there was no public health risks during Hurricane Harvey even though it lacked a full range of data to definitively make that assertion, according to The Washington Post. The report also details that while no instances were found of the EPA relaying inaccurate information during Harvey about air quality, none of the air quality sampling done by the agency proved useful to assessing health risks.Opioid manufacturer Purdue Pharma has split connections with PhRMA, the lobbying organization charged with representing the drug industry in Washington, according to Stat. The move is attributed to keeping a low profile amid multiple lawsuits citing the opioid manufacturer’s marketing of its drug OxyContin, as well as the company filing for bankruptcy. The split adds to the high-profile breakups between Purdue and institutions ranging from the consulting firm McKinsey & Company to JPMorgan Chase.