Trending News Today: AHCA Amendment Would Provide Federal Funding for Costly Customers

Top news of the day from across the healthcare landscape.

In 2016, approximately 75% of Massachusetts residents who died from an overdose had fentanyl in their system, which increased from 57% the year before, Kaiser Health News reported. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is significantly more powerful than opioids and has caused overdoses throughout the country, especially in the New England and Rust Belt states, according to the report. The synthetic drug can cause a patient to turn blue within seconds and causes paralysis, which can present a challenge to individuals administering CPR due to chest paralysis, according to the article. To combat potential overdoses, injection drug users are recommended to carry naloxone to potentially save themselves or others, the article concluded.

Yesterday, GOP legislators proposed an additional amendment for the American Health Care Act (AHCA) that would provide $15 billion in federal funding to insurers to pay for their costly customers. The lawmakers hope that the latest addition to the failed bill would unite the party and show President Donald Trump they are moving forward to approve the law, according to The New York Times. Republican leaders say that the new risk sharing program would lower premiums and increase enrollment in plans.

Aetna has announced they will withdrawal from Iowa’s Affordable Care Act exchanges in 2018 over financial risks and uncertainty over the future of insurance. Many insurers have been contemplating exiting the exchanges due to the proposed changes under the AHCA, such as repealing the individual mandate and subsidies, according to The New York Times. Health insurers are currently drafting 2018 premium proposals, and many may follow Aetna and leave the marketplace over cost concerns, according to the article.