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Matthew Hurst / Flickr Creative Commons

Anthem CEO Joe Swedish said Wednesday that the individual market under Obamacare "has not been working well," and his insurance company is aggressively lobbying Congress to make specific changes, which could determine the extent of Anthem's Obamacare participation in 2018.

Anthem's biggest demands: Repeal the health insurance tax (which is temporarily suspended for this year), extend so-called "grandmother" plans (pre-Obamacare policies) indefinitely, decrease the number of exemptions for special enrollments, and prohibit third parties (such as dialysis groups) from steering patients into Obamacare plans when they are eligible for Medicare or Medicaid.

Why this matters: Anthem is one of the biggest publicly traded health insurers in the Obamacare marketplaces, covering about 839,000 exchange enrollees as of Dec. 31. If Anthem doesn't get what it wants and retreats, that would be a huge blow to the marketplaces — perhaps destabilizing. It's worth noting, though, that Anthem expects to break even or be even slightly profitable on its Obamacare plans for 2017.

Go deeper

1 hour ago - World

Biden freezes U.S. arms deals with Saudi Arabia and UAE

Trump struck several large arms deals with Mohammed bin Salman (L) and Saudi Arabia. Photo: Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images

The Biden administration has put on hold two big arms deals with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates which were approved in the final weeks of the Trump administration, a State Department official tells Axios.

Why it matters: The sales of F-35 jets and attack drones to the UAE and a large supply of munitions to Saudi Arabia will be paused pending a review. That signals a major policy shift from the Trump era, and may herald sharp tensions with both Gulf countries.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
2 hours ago - Podcasts

Robert Downey Jr. launches VC funds to help save the planet

Robert Downey Jr. on Wednesday announced the launch of two venture capital funds focused on startups in the sustainability sector, the latest evolution of a project he launched two years ago called Footprint Coalition.

Between the lines: This is a bit of life imitating art, as Downey Jr. spent 11 films portraying a character who sought to save the planet (or, in some cases, the universe).

DHS warns of "heightened threat" because of domestic extremism

Supporters of former President Trump protest inside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Photo: Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images

The Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday issued an advisory warning of a "heightened threat environment" in the U.S. because of "ideologically-motivated violent extremists."

Why it matters: DHS believes the threat of violence will persist for "weeks" following President Biden's inauguration. The extremists include those who opposed the presidential transition, people spurred by "grievances fueled by false narratives" and "anger over COVID-19 restrictions ... and police use of force[.]"