What We're Reading: Trump's Immigrant Health Insurance Rule Blocked; Tips to Choose a Health Plan; FDA Advises Zantac Recalls

November 4, 2019

The Trump administration's requirement for immigrants to prove their ability to afford or obtain health insurance for visas has been blocked; 6 tips in choosing a health plan; FDA advises heartburn medication manufacturers to recall pills.

Oregon Judge Blocks Trump’s Health Insurance Rule for Immigrants

Tips for Choosing a Healthcare Plan

FDA Claims Zantac Does Not Form Carcinogens, But Maintains Recalls

US District Judge Michael Simon of Portland, Oregon, suspended the Trump administration’s rule requiring immigrants to prove they will have health insurance or can pay for medical coverage prior to obtaining a visa, according to The Associated Press. Simon granted a temporary restraining order that prevented the rule from being implemented yesterday, but it is not yet known when he will rule on the merits of the case. Last Wednesday, 7 US citizens and a nonprofit organization filed the federal lawsuit citing the rule as blocking nearly two-thirds of all prospective legal immigrants. The lawsuit additionally said the rule would greatly reduce or eliminate the number of immigrants who enter the United States with family-sponsored visas.NPR published an article providing tips for choosing a healthcare plan, with open enrollment having gone into effect on November 1. The 6 tips were as follows: figure out where and when you need to enroll, review plan options even if you like your current coverage, compare not just monthly premiums but also estimated yearly costs, consider how much healthcare you use, beware of too-good-to-be true plans, and get free help from professionals. The tips provides individuals assistance in finding the right healthcare plan for them. As Katie Turner, a trained navigator with the Family Healthcare Foundation, said, “There is a lot of confusion out there. All we can do is continue to be here and provide the resources that we’ve been providing for the last 7 years to help people enroll in coverage."The FDA said that, after conducting simulated testing, it has not found evidence that Zantac and similar heartburn medication form a possible carcinogen in a patient’s stomach or small intestine, but the agency asked manufacturers who sell medications that contained higher than acceptable levels of N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) to voluntarily withdraw pills, according to Stat. NDMA is an organic chemical that was once used to make rocket fuel and is an unintended byproduct of certain chemical reactions. The World Health Organization says the substance is a possible carcinogen, raising concerns about medications linked to heightened exposure. The move, which follows a probe several weeks ago, marks the first time that the FDA has suggested drug makers recall their heartburn medicines.