What We're Reading: Bipartisan Health Fix; Superbug in Hospitals; Oregon Medicaid Benefits

Bipartisan Healthcare Fix in the Works

A group of 40 Democrats and Republicans in the House of Representatives could unveil fixes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) later today. After the Senate was unable to pass a bill that repealed any part of the ACA, the new bipartisan stabilization bill could gain traction, reported Politico. The coalition includes centrists from both parties and focuses first on stabilizing the markets and ensuring funding for the cost-sharing subsidies. The group is also proposing changes to the employer mandate and the creation of a federal stability fund.

Hospitals Face Particularly Dangerous Superbug

On the growing list of “superbugs,” one of the most difficult to handle is C. auris, which is tougher to eradicate in the hospital setting. According to STAT, the fungus can be transmitted person to person and some versions of it are impervious to drugs. A hospital in the United Kingdom had to shut its intensive care unit in order to get rid of the fungus. So far in 2017, there have been 98 cases in 9 states, with the majority of cases being reported by New York and New Jersey. The CDC is recommending hospitals use bleach to clean rooms that held patients with C. auris.

Unqualified Oregonians Receive Medicaid Benefits

In the past year, more than 37,000 people in Oregon received Medicaid benefits despite not being qualified for them. The Oregonian reported that nearly half of Medicaid recipients whose incomes were checked were found to earn too much money or did not qualify in another way for the program, yet were receiving health benefits. This represents a sharp increase in the rate of people on Medicaid who no longer qualify during annual check-ins. The state estimates that taxpayers paid for as much as $191 million of the benefits provided to unqualified individuals.