What we're reading, May 18, 2016: Senate and House Zika funding is mismatched while CDC shifts funding from local departments for Zika, and the uninsured rate in the United States fell to 9.1% in 2015.
The Senate may have easily passed the $1.1 billion Zika funding compromise, but it is less money than the president requested. In addition, the funding is in contrast with a plan from House Republicans that reallocates just $622 million from other programs, reported The New York Times.
Meanwhile, the CDC reported it is short on funding to combat the virus and as such has shifted $44 million from local health departments to Zika preparation, according to USA Today. The CDC tapped into the Public Health Emergency Preparedness program, which helps communities deal with emergencies ranging from hurricanes to flu pandemics. Ironically, a survey of local health staff found that 60% believe the cuts will harm their ability to prepare and respond to Zika.
The uninsured rate in the United States fell below 10% for the first time in 2015. However, while the Obama administration is celebrating the figures as proof of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)’s success, critics view the success as not enough for the amount of work and money needed, reported The Wall Street Journal. In 2015, just 28.6 million Americans (9.1%) did not have insurance, which is down from 16% in 2010, the year the ACA was enacted and 11.5% in 2014, the year in which major provisions kicked in. According to estimates, the largest share of people remaining uninsured are those who could get coverage under the ACA, but are choosing not to.