Jul 11, 2017

Alaska gets ACA waiver to expand reinsurance program

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.

Go deeper

Trump says he will campaign against Lisa Murkowski after her support for Mattis

Trump with Barr and Meadows outside St. John's Episcopal church in Washington, D.C. on June 1. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Thursday that he would endorse "any candidate" with a pulse who runs against Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

Driving the news: Murkowski said on Thursday that she supported former defense secretary James Mattis' condemnation of Trump over his response to protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing. She described Mattis' statement as "true, honest, necessary and overdue," Politico's Andrew Desiderio reports.

8 hours ago - World

The president vs. the Pentagon

Trump visits Mattis and the Pentagon in 2018. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty

Over the course of just a few hours, President Trump was rebuffed by the Secretary of Defense over his call for troops in the streets and accused by James Mattis, his former Pentagon chief, of trampling the Constitution for political gain.

Why it matters: Current and former leaders of the U.S. military are drawing a line over Trump's demand for a militarized response to the protests and unrest that have swept the country over the killing of George Floyd by police.

New York Times says Tom Cotton op-ed did not meet standards

Photo: Avalon/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

A New York Times spokesperson said in a statement Thursday that the paper will be changing its editorial board processes after a Wednesday op-ed by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), which called for President Trump to "send in the troops" in order to quell violent protests, failed to meet its standards.

Why it matters: The shift comes after Times employees began a coordinated movement on social media on Wednesday and Thursday that argued that publishing the op-ed put black staff in danger. Cotton wrote that Trump should invoke the Insurrection Act in order to deploy the U.S. military against rioters that have overwhelmed police forces in cities across the country.