Trending News Today: VA Facing $1 Billion Budget Gap

Top news of the day from across the healthcare landscape.

Michigan health officials have received felony charges of involuntary manslaughter, misconduct, and obstruction of justice over the Flint water crisis, NPR reported. The state’s Attorney General said that health officials failed to protect the citizens of Flint and have caused significant health consequences, including the outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease. Nick Lyon, director of Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services, is said to have known about the outbreak, but did not alert the public, according to the article. As a result, more than 70 people became sick and 12 people died from Legionnaires’ between 2014 and 2015.

Yesterday, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) warned that they were facing an unexpected budget gap of $1 billion. Specifically, the VA is running low on money for the program that allows veterans to receive private healthcare, which will force the agency to hold back on treatments, according to The New York Times. The VA is urging Congress to allocate additional funds to the program to fill the gap. While VA Secretary David Shulkin said the gap will not affect healthcare for veterans, lawmakers have expressed concern over the fate of the program.

Insurers are taking a low-key approach to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) repeal and replace debate, The Wall Street Journal reported. Although insurers will be significantly affected by the fate of the ACA, a split among the companies have prevented the overall industry from picking a side. The division among insurers has resulted in silence from the industry that played a role in forming the ACA, according to the article.