Top news of the day from across the healthcare landscape.
While a repeal of the Affordable Care Act seems inevitable, signing up for a health plan through the marketplaces remains important. Republican lawmakers previously said if the health law gets repealed, there will be a transition period so individuals will not lose coverage. However, if individuals opt not to enroll in a plan, they will be unable to receive insurance for the whole year unless they qualify for special enrollment, Kaiser Health News reported.
Numerous veterans groups are now encouraging President-elect Donald Trump to keep President Barack Obama’s secretary of veterans affairs. Despite criticism of the current secretary, Robert A. McDonald, leaders from various veterans groups are concerned with the potential candidates, who may be inexperienced or do not have the proper ideals to improve the agency. Among the names floated for the position thus far are former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and former Massachusetts senator Scott Brown, neither of whom served in the military. Some of the proposed candidates have expressed support for changes that allow federal workers to lose their jobs more easily, and for the privatization of veterans’ healthcare, while the veterans groups favor the reform currently seen under McDonald, according to The New York Times.
As the opioid epidemic continues to affect Americans throughout the country, it is also affecting newborn babies. A new study found that the number of drug-dependent newborns is increasing disproportionately in rural areas, according to The New York Times. This epidemic is due to a large increase in opioid misuse among pregnant mothers, and women in general, according to the report.