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What We're Reading: CHIP Extended; Uninsured Rate Drops; Kaiser Medical School Dean


Deal Extends Funding for CHIP

The Senate Finance Committee has reached a deal to extend funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which was slated to run out of funds at the end of this month. According to The New York Times, the deal provides additional funding for 5 years and increases state flexibility in how the program is administered. Nearly 9 million children receive their health insurance through CHIP, which the federal government spends $14 billion on each year.

US Uninsured Rate Falls to Record Low

In 2016, 28.1 million Americans, or 8.8% of the population, were still without health insurance 3 years after the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The number of uninsured and the percentage are both record lows. Kaiser Health News reported that the uninsured rate was nearly 17% (50 million) when President Barack Obama took office in 2009. While the ACA has played a role, the improving economy, which had been in a recession in 2009, has also played a large role in the decline of uninsured. More than half of Americans still get their health insurance through their jobs.

Kaiser Names Dean of New Medical School

The Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine, set to open in 2019, has named its founding dean. Mark Schuster, MD, a health policy expert and pediatrician, has a history of creativity and innovation in patient care, which led Kaiser Permanente to appoint him, according to California Healthline. The school will not be affiliated with a university and will provide students with immediate hands-on clinical training that emphasizes teamwork. Schuster begins work in October, taking over from Christine Cassel, MD, who has been the planning dean of the medical school.

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