What We're Reading: Government Doesn't Owe Insurers ACA Money; Hep A Outbreak; Risky Teen Behaviors

The federal government does not have to pay insurers money as part of an Affordable Care Act (ACA) program that enticed them to participate in the markets; there is a hepatitis A outbreak among drug users and the homeless occurring in 6 states; teenagers in the United States are not only exhibiting less risky behaviors, such as smoking and doing drugs, but they are also drinking less milk.

Court Rules Government Doesn’t Owe Insurers Money

The federal government does not have to pay insurers money as part of an Affordable Care Act (ACA) program that enticed them to participate in the markets. A federal appeals court ruled the insurers are not owed the more than $8 billion they claimed as part of the ACA’s “risk corridors” mechanism, reported The Wall Street Journal. The program was put in place to encourage insurer participation by helping to cover their financial risks. Insurers have filed approximately 2 dozen lawsuits on the issue.

Hepatitis A Outbreak in 6 States

There is a hepatitis A outbreak among drug users and the homeless occurring in 6 states: California, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Utah, and West Virginia. According to The Hill, the CDC has received more than 2500 reports of hepatitis A infections in the states from January 2017 to April 2018. Hepatitis A can be prevented with a vaccine, and there have not been any large outbreaks of hepatitis A infection in the United States among drug users since 1996. No outbreaks among the homeless population have ever happened in the United States.

Survey Shows Teens Engage in Less Risky Behaviors

Teenagers in the United States are not only exhibiting less risky behaviors, such as smoking and doing drugs, but they are also drinking less milk. STAT reported that researchers compared the results of a survey on a wide range of health topics to similar questionnaires going back more than 25 years. Milk consumption started dropping after World War II, and kids are shifting from drinking milk to more energy drinks. The survey also found fewer teens are having sex—40% said they had had sex compared with 48% a decade ago.