Trending News Today: States Begin Efforts to Preserve ACA Benefits

Top news of the day from across the healthcare landscape.

Treatment can be expensive for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), especially for those on fixed incomes. A patient with COPD may require therapy with an inhaler and an oxygen tank, in addition to drugs for other conditions. On top of Medicare co-payments, living expenses, and other necessary bills, many patients rely on free drug samples from their physician or financial assistance from manufacturers to receive proper treatment, according to Kaiser Health News. Medication non-adherence can result in hospital visits, poor outcomes, and increased costs.

In 2016, overdose-related deaths will likely reach at least 59,000, according to The New York Times. This 19% jump from the rate in 2015 to 2016 is the largest increase in overdose-related deaths since 1980 and largely attributable to the opioid epidemic, according to the article. Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death among younger Americans.

Today, Gov Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) is planning to introduce legislation to protect the state’s residents against a potential repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The measures will require private insurers to provide the 10 essential ACA health benefits and allow the health department to block a company from participating in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program if they have withdrawn from the marketplace, according to The New York Times. The guidance would also prevent discrimination against people based on gender, age, or pre-existing conditions to ensure that all individuals are able to access comprehensive healthcare.