What we're reading, December 22, 2016: Americans continue to sign up for Obamacare coverage despite Republicans' promise to repeal the law; California is implementing a $3 billion effort to help the state’s neediest individuals; and Zika vaccine shows success.
As Republicans are poised to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Americans are continuing to sign up in record numbers. The New York Times reported that there has already been a 400,000 increase in new sign-ups over the same time last year, plus hundreds of thousands of people are being auto-enrolled into the same or similar plans as last year. Interestingly, the 5 states with the most sign-ups all voted for President-elect Donald Trump, who has promised to make an ACA repeal one of his first acts.
California is implementing a $3 billion effort to help the state’s neediest individuals. Projects include connecting former inmates with health clinics and social services, getting homeless people in housing, and providing a place for homeless patients to stay after they leave the hospital, reported Kaiser Health News. The aim of the effort is to combine physical care, mental health care, and social services for the most complex and costly patients in California.
In an early-stage study, an experimental Zika vaccine evoked robust responses in human volunteers. According to Reuters, the study’s volunteers had Zika-specific immune responses after treatment with no significant safety concerns after 14 weeks. There are still no approved vaccines or treatments for the virus, which has spread to more than 60 countries and territories.