The big online media story of the year is almost here, and it’s about health care.
Here’s what we know about how it all began.1.
How did health care become a big story in 2018?
In 2018, the health care industry was in the midst of a major upheaval.
The Trump administration announced it would phase out funding for Medicaid and other health care programs, leading to mass closures of doctors’ offices and hospitals, along with a slew of new rules that were aimed at curbing opioid abuse and addiction.
These restrictions, which were meant to prevent patients from accessing the medications they needed, have been met with an explosion of opioid-related deaths.
And a growing number of states have taken the opposite tack, expanding Medicaid coverage to cover opioid-dependent people who are unable to afford their prescriptions.
As a result, the national death toll has spiked to nearly 1,000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The opioid crisis also helped create a narrative about health disparities.
The media has often described the healthcare industry as a place where doctors are paid better than nurses or dentists, and a woman on Medicaid who gets her first prescription in a hospital can walk into her office and get her first dose.
While this is true in part, it’s not the whole story.
The opioid epidemic has also led to a shift in how the public perceives health disparities: The media tends to focus on disparities in income, race and gender, rather than health disparities in the broader population.2.
Who’s at fault for the opioid crisis?
The opioid epidemic and its aftermath have largely been blamed on a wide array of individuals and organizations, including politicians, insurers, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies.
But a growing body of evidence suggests that the underlying problems that led to the opioid epidemic are far more complex and widespread.
While many factors, including the growing availability of opioids, have contributed to the crisis, they are far from the only factor.
The United States has more than a dozen opioid-producing countries, including Afghanistan, India, Indonesia, Mexico and Pakistan.
In 2018, according the U.S. Centers for Diseases Control and the Prevention, more than one-quarter of deaths from opioid-induced opioid overdoses were among people who were not insured.3.
Who is at fault?
The main culprits in the opioid crises are not the people who administer the drugs, but the people buying them.
In a paper published last year in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers at Johns Hopkins University found that consumers who received opioids at pharmacies were more likely to be prescribed opioids than those who purchased them online.
They also found that the amount of opioids purchased online was significantly higher than that in stores, which may have led to more people buying the drugs than in the stores.4.
What does this mean for insurance companies?
Insurers have been quick to step in to cover the cost of the crisis.
In September 2018, Anthem, the nation’s second-largest insurer, agreed to cover nearly a quarter of the opioid-overdose deaths in the United States, including those that occurred in hospitals.
And last week, Anthem said it would expand coverage to people who live in nursing homes, which is a particularly big deal given the opioid addiction crisis.5.
What do these policies mean for the health insurance market?
The Trump administration’s new rules have given insurers more leeway to decide who is responsible for coverage of patients with opioid-addicted conditions, but some health insurers have also raised concerns about the new rules.
Anthem and other insurers are already raising questions about the scope of the new policies, and there are also concerns about how the plans will affect people who need insurance in the long run.
And many of the insurance companies that have taken a more active role in the health coverage market are struggling to keep up.
In August 2018, U.K. insurer Ullsley Group announced it was cutting more than 6,000 jobs, a sharp reduction from the 6,500 it had planned to cut.
The company said it was trying to find more money to pay for the losses.6.
How are the insurers reacting?
A growing number are taking a more aggressive stance.
Anthem has announced it will pay all of the first-responder opioid-treatment prescriptions it can, regardless of who provides them.
This is a key change that will help it avoid some of the risks that have already been associated with opioid prescriptions.
And Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana announced in January that it would pay all first-response opioid prescriptions to doctors, regardless if they are patients or not.7.
Will this be enough to offset the losses?
The new insurance policies are expected to add to the insurers’ costs for the short-term, but they may not be enough in the short run.
The vast majority of the patients who receive opioid treatment at hospitals, according a study published last month in the American Journal of Psychiatry, will likely receive coverage from