Ohio Fills Gaps in ACA Coverage
Counties in Ohio that had been at risk of having no insurers selling Affordable Care Act plans in 2018 will now have options. According to The Washington Post, Ohio’s insurance director has worked with 5 companies so that all but 1 county in the state will have options on the insurance exchanges next year. This brings the number of counties across the country that will have no insurers selling exchange plans down to 19, accounting for roughly 12,000 people, or just 0.1% of enrollees. However, many counties have just 1 insurance option.
Opioid Commission Recommends Declaring National Emergency
A commission created by President Donald Trump to handle the opioid crisis is asking him to declare the situation a national emergency. The commission also proposed expanding access to medication that help treat opioid addiction and doing away with a federal rule that limits the number of Medicaid beneficiaries who receive residential addiction treatment, The New York Times reported. The purpose of declaring a national emergency is to make Americans view the epidemic more urgently and draw more attention to it.
Few Countries Ready for Global Pandemic
Just 6 countries in the entire world have evaluated their readiness for dealing with a global pandemic. The United States is one of just 3 wealthy nations to have gone through 2 external evaluations; the other 2 are Finland and Saudi Arabia. In addition, 3 poor countries—Eritrea, Pakistan, and Tanzania—have undergone evaluations and outlined how they would find money to rectify their weaknesses. A recent report highlighted the economic consequences of epidemics: in the United States, a major flue pandemic would cost $248 per citizen, and even though the SARS epidemic only killed 774 people, it shrank China’s gross domestic product by 0.5%.