Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP

The Trump administration today approved Alaska's proposal to expand a reinsurance program to cover high-cost patients — the first of what it says will be many state waivers from Affordable Care Act rules. Under the "Section 1332" waiver, Alaska will get extra federal funds to cover the costs of people with 33 expensive illnesses. The state told the Department of Health and Human Services it expects the program to reduce ACA premiums for everyone else by 20 percent.

Why it matters: HHS Secretary Tom Price has been encouraging other states to apply for the 1332 waivers, since it's one way the Trump administration can promote more state flexibility under the ACA even if Congress doesn't rewrite the law. Alaska is also using an approach the administration likes: directly subsidizing patients with expensive conditions so their costs don't raise premiums for healthy customers.

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What to expect from the final debate of the 2020 election

Trump and Biden at the first debate. Morry Gash-Pool/Getty Image

Watch for President Trump to address Joe Biden as “the big guy” or “the chairman” at tonight's debate as a way of dramatizing the Hunter Biden emails. Hunter's former business partner Tony Bobulinski is expected to be a Trump debate guest.

The big picture: Trump's advisers universally view the first debate as a catastrophe — evidenced by a sharp plunge in Trump’s public and (more convincingly for them) private polling immediately following the debate.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Chris Christie: Wear a mask "or you may regret it — as I did" — Senate Democrats block vote on McConnell's targeted relief bill.
  2. Business: New state unemployment filings fall.
  3. Economy: Why the stimulus delay isn't a crisis (yet).
  4. Health: FDA approves Gilead's remdesivir as a coronavirus treatment How the pandemic might endMany U.S. deaths were avoidable.
  5. Education: Boston and Chicago send students back home for online learning.
  6. World: Spain and France exceed 1 million cases.

FBI: Russian hacking group stole data after targeting local governments

FBI Headquarters. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Energetic Bear, a Russian state-sponsored hacking group, has stolen data from two servers after targeting state and federal government networks in the U.S. since at least September, the FBI and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency said on Thursday.

Driving the news: Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe announced Wednesday that Iran and Russia had obtained voter registration information that could be used to undermine confidence in the U.S. election system.

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