What We're Reading: Congress Deals 3 Blows to the ACA

What we're reading, December 17, 2015: Congress is expected to pass a spending plan that includes 3 changes to the Affordable Care Act; a new analysis estimates 2016 premiums for marketplace plans will increase 11%; and one-third of Americans die from cardiovascular disease.

Republicans are making small progress in their attempt to do away with President Obama’s healthcare law. A spending plan Congress is expected to approve this week includes 3 changes to the Affordable Care Act, including a delay of the Cadillac tax, a suspension of the tax on medical devices, and limits on federal payments to insurers that lose money in the insurance marketplaces, reported The New York Times.

As for the marketplace health plans, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation reported that monthly premiums for the silver-level plans will increase by more than 11% in 2016. USA Today reported that this increase, coupled with expected higher deductibles, could limit the number of people insured under the Affordable Care Act. The gold plans, which have higher premiums but smaller out-of-pocket costs, will see premiums increase nearly 14%, though deductibles dropped just under 1%.

One-third of Americans die from cardiovascular disease and is the number 1 killer around the world, reported United Press International. However, strides to reduce smoking, increase physical activity, and adjust diets have improved risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Still, 69% of American adults are overweight or obese and one-third say they engage in no physical activity outside of work.