Trending News Today: Uninsured Rate Begins to Climb Again

Top news of the day from across the healthcare landscape.

A mandate in the Senate healthcare bill would increase the number of hospital beds allocated to patients receiving psychiatric care for conditions such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and other mental health issues, according to Kaiser Health News. The provision would amend a Medicaid funding rule that limits the number of beds provided for these patients; however, mental health advocates are wary that a cut in Medicaid spending would result in an insufficient improvement in mental healthcare for low-income patients, according to the article.

Republican Senators may face deeper divides on healthcare reform upon their return to Washington, DC than they experienced before the Fourth of July recess. During the recess, the limited number of senators who hosted town hall meetings were met with criticism over the Better Care Reconciliation Act, according to Politico. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) recently acknowledged that the effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) may not be successful. McConnell has also introduced the idea of working with Democrats to craft bipartisan legislation that has a better chance of making it through the legislative branches, according to the article.

A major new study found that the number of uninsured Americans has increased by 2 million this year. At the end of last year, the uninsured rate hit a historic low of 10.9%, but increased to 11.7% in the second 3 months of 2017, according to The New York Times. While the ACA has successfully driven down the uninsured rate, Republicans aim to replace the law to further reduce the rate.

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