Trending News Today: Fate of ACA Provisions May Be Decided on State Level

Top news of the day from across the healthcare landscape.

Two Republican Senators recently proposed legislation that would allow states to keep Affordable Care Act (ACA) provisions if they are viewed as necessary. This provides an alternative option for states who have leaned heavily on the ACA and Medicaid expansion through the law, according to California Healthline. However, Democrats have voiced opposition to this plan, since it did not include federal funding.

A federal judge recently blocked the Aetna-Humana merger on antitrust grounds, which supported the opinion of the Justice Department, according to The New York Times. This $37 billion merger between the 2 health insurance companies is said to not be beneficial to consumers. However, the insurance companies view mergers as a way to increase negotiation power with hospitals and physicians.

Individuals with substance use disorders may now turn to veterinarians to seek access to painkillers. While relatively uncommon, these instances show how the opioid epidemic is not only threatening humans, but also animals who are being purposely injured for prescription medications, according to The Washington Post. Drugs such as ketamine, tramadol, and diazepam are all prescribed to both animals and humans, and can elicit a high when taken alone or in combination with other drugs.