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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Californians will pay an average of 8.7% more next year for health insurance sold through the Affordable Care Act, and many consumers who are willing to switch plans won't see any premium increase at all, the state said today.

Why it matters: California's rates continue a trend of smaller-than-expected premium hikes. The fact that the ACA's individual mandate won't be enforced next year drove up premiums by an average of 3.5%, despite earlier fears of double-digit hikes and dwindling competition.

The big picture: The ACA's insurance markets are looking a lot stronger than many experts predicted after Congress nullified the law's individual mandate. California is just the latest state to report relatively modest premium hikes, and some insurers are expanding their presence — a stark contrast to warnings of double-digit rate hikes and dwindling competition.

Go deeper

Biden explains justification for Syria strike in letter to Congress

Photo: Chris Kleponis/CNP/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden told congressional leadership in a letter Saturday that this week's airstrike against facilities tied to Iranian-backed militia groups in Syria was consistent with the U.S. right to self-defense.

Why it matters: Some Democrats, including Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), have criticized the Biden administration for the strike and demanded a briefing.

2 hours ago - Health

FDA authorizes Johnson & Johnson's one-shot COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use

Photo: Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration on Saturday issued an emergency use authorization for Johnson & Johnson's one-shot coronavirus vaccine.

Why it matters: The authorization of a third coronavirus vaccine in the U.S. will help speed up the vaccine rollout across the country, especially since the J&J shot only requires one dose as opposed to Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech's two-shot vaccines.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

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