Trending News Today: New Customer Sign-Ups for ACA Plans Increased in Last Few Days of Open Enrollment

Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.

In the final days before the end of open enrollment, sign-ups for Affordable Care Act (ACA) health plans boomed, according to ABC News. Officials said that 36% of individuals who enrolled for coverage on HealthCare.gov for 2018 were new customers during the last days before the deadline; however, the overall enrollment is expected to be lower than previous years, which may draw criticism over the shortened period, according to the article.

GOP leaders must pass their tax reform bill before the end of the day on Friday to prevent a government shutdown, a deadline set by President Donald Trump, according to The Washington Post. Republicans said they hope to hold a vote early this week, but they need to gain traction with Democrats to pass the bill through the Senate, according to the article. Democrats have disagreed with the GOP on funding levels, the reauthorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and other issues that may stall the bill.

A bipartisan group of senators is urging Congress to quickly provide funding to fight the opioid epidemic, The Hill reported. The senators—who all come from areas hard hit by opioid abuse—said there is a dire need for new funding in order to deal with the effects of widespread opioid use. Although Democrats have previously called for increased spending for the opioid epidemic, this is the first time the GOP has joined in their efforts, according to the article.