Aug 2, 2018

Trump's effect on ACA premiums

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and Democratic senators conduct a news conference about the Supreme Court nominee's threat to the ACA. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images

ACA premiums would probably be going down next year if the Trump administration and congressional Republicans had simply left it alone, Brookings' Matt Fiedler says in a new analysis this morning.

The big picture: Insurers are raking in money this year, largely thanks to the very large premium hikes they enacted. They'll likely see a profit margin north of 10% on their ACA business this year, up from just 1.2% last year and losses in the years before.

  • Fiedler estimated what would happen if the regulatory status quo at the beginning of 2018 had carried over into 2019. In that world, cost-sharing payments would still be gone, but the individual mandate would remain in place and the expansion of short-term plans wouldn't have happened.
  • In that hypothetical policy environment, insurers probably would have reduced their premiums by an average of 4.3% next year, he found.

Premiums are actually falling in a few markets.

  • Louisiana is the latest. ACA premiums in the state will drop by an average of 6.4%, according to The Advocate.
  • Average premiums in Minnesota are also set to decline next year, largely thanks to the state's reinsurance program.

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Mass shooting in Milwaukee: What we know

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in 2012. Photo: John Gress/Corbis via Getty Images

Six people died in a shooting at the Molson Coors Brewing Company in Milwaukee on Wednesday, including the gunman, Mayor Tom Barrett told reporters at a Wednesday evening press conference with local police.

Details: All of the victims worked at the brewery complex, as did the shooter who died of "an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound," police confirmed in a statement late Wednesday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus updates: South Korea case count tops 2,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

33 people in California have tested positive for the coronavirus, and health officials are monitoring 8,400 people who have recently returned from "points of concern," Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,850 people and infected over 83,000 others in some 50 countries and territories. The novel coronavirus is now affecting every continent but Antarctica, and the WHO said Wednesday the number of new cases reported outside China has exceeded those inside the country for the first time.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 4 hours ago - Health

Syria's darkest chapter

Family room without a family, in Idlib. Photo: Muhammed Said/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The worst humanitarian crisis of Syria’s brutal civil war is colliding today with what could be the war’s most dangerous geopolitical showdown, after at least 29 Turkish troops were killed in an airstrike.

The big picture: The fighting is taking place in Idlib in northwest Syria, where a ferocious Syrian and Russian offensive has displaced 1 million civilians and infuriated Turkey, which borders the region.

Go deeperArrow6 hours ago - World