Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.
Today, the proposed merger of 2 of the nation’s largest health insurers goes to trial in Federal District Court, reported The Wall Street Journal. Although the Justice Department has recently ramped up its aggression in challenging mergers, none of its efforts have been bigger than the lawsuit challenging Anthem Inc’s $48 billion acquisition of Cigna Corp, according to the Journal. The Justice Department is challenging the merger because they believe it would be bad for consumers, according to the report.
In the United States, 1 in 4 children do not have access to health care, a new study by the Children’s Health Fund found. According to The New York Times, despite the record number of young people who have obtained health insurance, the report revealed that 20.3 million people under the age of 18 in the United States still lack “access to care that meets modern pediatric standards.” The Children’s Health Fund is a nonprofit, New York-based company that works to expand access to health care for disadvantaged children.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared that the Zika virus is no longer a global health emergency, according to The Washington Post. Back in February, the WHO labeled the virus as an international emergency to better understand what was causing the “extraordinary clustering” of microcephaly cases in Brazil, the Post reported. Furthermore, researchers have yet to prove that Zika causes severe birth defects, although studies have since established the link. Despite the change in designation, WHO officials stated that it does not mean the virus is of any less importance, and if anything, it has only escalated in importance. Officials believe the best way to tackle the virus is for the WHO to manage it within the organization, which will allow for sustained focus with more dedicated resources and expertise, reported the Post.