What We're Reading: Prepping for Nuclear War; Hospital Shortages; Idaho to Loosen ACA Rules

CDC to hold workshop that prepares for a public health response to a nuclear detonation; hospitals face shortage of intravenous bags after Hurricane Maria damages production in Puerto Rico; Idaho's governor signs executive order to loosen the Affordable Care Act's rules on health coverage requirements.

CDC Starts Prepping for Nuclear Fallout

Although the CDC believes a nuclear detonation is “unlikely,” it is preparing for the worst. According to The New York Times, the CDC is presenting a workshop on the public health response to a nuclear detonation, aimed at doctors, government officials, and emergency responders. One message of the event is likely to be that people should stay where they are in the event of a nuclear blast. CDC officials started planning for this workshop in April 2017.

Hospitals Face Shortages After Hurricane

After Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico and caused production problems for medical companies on the island, hospitals across the country are facing a shortage of intravenous (IV) bags. The shortage comes as flu cases in the United States accelerate, causing some hospitals to use alternative methods of administering drugs, reported The Wall Street Journal. Hospitals are instead using syringes to administer medications, which is more time consuming and has more side effects. The shortage of IV bags has also caused hospitals to delay elective procedures and clinical trials.

Idaho Seeks to Loosen ACA Rules

The governor of Idaho has signed an executive order to loosen the Affordable Care Act (ACA)’s rules and allow health plans that do not meet the ACA’s requirements. The Hill reported that the order would mean insurers in Idaho would not have to cover the essential health benefits that the ACA requires, but it is unclear if the executive order is legal. Governor Butch Otter, a Republican, argued that Congress’ repeal of the individual mandate means that people will no longer be penalized for buying plans that do not meet the ACA’s rules, which means states can allow these skimpier insurance plans.