Trending News Today: 4 Steps Could Stabilize the Insurance Marketplaces

Top news of the day from across the healthcare landscape.

A new analysis suggests that taking action to stabilize the individual insurance marketplaces could get 2 million more Americans insured and lower premiums by 20%, according to NPR. The authors report that the Trump administration could accomplish this by continuing subsidies, creating a reinsurance program, strongly enforcing the individual mandate, and repealing the health insurance tax. Importantly, the analysis suggests that these steps would be revenue neutral, which is important since many insurers have withdrawn from the market due to financial losses, according to the article.

Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary David Shulkin, a holdover from the Obama administration, has made significant progress in rebuilding trust among veterans and improving care, according to Politico. Shulkin has revamped regulations to let go of potentially incompetent VA employees, publicized VA clinic waiting times, gotten funding to expand private healthcare, and used telemedicine for isolated veterans. He has also promised to close more than 400 vacant buildings and speed up benefits for veterans. These actions are only the beginning to address the larger issue of providing optimal care for veterans without bankrupting the system, according to the article.

While New York City is seeking to require chain restaurants to publish calorie counts on their menus, health experts are unsure whether it would result in individuals choosing the healthier option, according to The New York Times. The first-in-nation rule—implemented in 2008, but significantly delayed—is set to finally take effect in 2018. Critics say that the rule only appears to impact the food choices of certain individuals in certain settings and may change restaurants’ recipes, according to the article.