More than 12.2 million people have signed up for coverage through the Affordable Care Act. Many consumers returned to the program despite fewer choices, a spike in premiums, rising deductibles and the uncertainty surrounding the exchanges. Although initial enrollment is about 4% lower than last year, the sizable number of sign-ups illustrates the risk Republicans face as they begin moving to dismantle the ACA and put in its place a yet-to-be-defined conservative approach.
ACA enrollment is 4% lower than last year, and other briefs
The Government Accountability Office released a report last week faulting the current system of reporting adverse events as contributing to failures to regulate devices that spread cancer. Power morcellators were supposed to be used only to remove cancer, but doctors might not have considered incidental cancer-spreading as an adverse event to report to the Food and Drug Administration. The agency received 285 reports of adverse events from power morcellators, of which the vast majority were mandatory reports from manufacturers. The agency's efforts, with the private sector, to develop a more comprehensive, digital surveillance system might help detect unsafe devices quicker.
Troubled insurance and human resources startup Zenefits is laying off nearly half of its staff. The San Francisco-based company will lay off 430 employees, which is about 45% of the staff, a spokesman confirmed. Zenefits will centralize its operations in Arizona and build out product and engineering teams in Vancouver, British Columbia; and Bangalore, India. The news came just days after Jay Fulcher was named the company's new CEO and chairman of the board. He replaced David Sacks, Zenefits' former COO who stepped up to lead the company after the firm's former CEO, Parker Conrad, resigned under pressure last February. Zenefits faced accusations that it allowed unlicensed employees to handle insurance transactions and failed to meet insurance agent education requirements. It eventually paid $3.7 million to settle the charges.
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