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Jim Cole/AP

A popular GOP idea — allowing insurers to charge older people more compared to Obamacare — would increase federal spending and lead to double-digit premium increases for older adults on the individual market, a new AARP-sponsored report finds. It'd also cause 18,000 to lose coverage.

Insurers have criticized Obamacare's rule that only allows plans to charge older people three times the amount they charge young people. They've recently been pushing to change the ratio from 3:1 to 5:1, and the House Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing on a bill doing so last week.

Why this matters: The AARP is a powerful lobbying force. If it campaigns against raising the ratio, that could easily kill one of the main Obamacare replacement policies the GOP is currently putting forward.

Key findings:

  • Premiums for adults 60 and older would increase by 22 percent.
  • Premiums for adults 50-59 would increase by 13 percent.
  • Young adults 20-29 would see a 15 percent reduction in their premiums.
  • Enrollment would increase by only 2 percent.

Go deeper

House passes $1.9 trillion COVID relief package

Photo: Screenshot via C-SPAN

The House approved President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID relief package on a 219-212 vote early Saturday morning, sending it to the Senate for a possible rewrite before it gets to Biden's desk.

The big picture: The vote was a critical first step for the package, which includes $1,400 cash payments for many Americans, a national vaccination program, ramped-up COVID testing and contact tracing, state and local funding and money to help schools reopen.

10 hours ago - Health

Biden says it's "not the time to relax" after touring vaccination site

President Biden speaking after visiting a FEMA Covid-19 vaccination facility in Houston on Feb. 26. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday that "it's not the time to relax" coronavirus mitigation efforts and warned that the number of cases and hospitalizations could rise again as new variants of the virus emerge.

Why it matters: Biden, who made the remarks after touring a vaccination site in Houston, echoed CDC director Rochelle Walensky, who said earlier on Friday that while the U.S. has seen a recent drop in cases and hospitalizations, "these declines follow the highest peak we have experienced in the pandemic."

Updated 11 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Most COVID-19 survivors can weather risk of reinfection, study says — "Twindemic" averted as flu reports plummet amid coronavirus crisis
  2. Vaccine: FDA advisory panel endorses J&J COVID vaccine for emergency use — About 20% of U.S. adults have received first vaccine dose, White House says — New data reignites the debate over coronavirus vaccine strategy.
  3. Economy: What's really going on with the labor market.
  4. Local: All adult Minnesotans will likely be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine by summer — Another wealthy Florida community receives special access to COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.