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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

New wave of strikes will test worker power

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Thousands of John Deere workers hit the picket line this week after the union smacked down a new worker contract from the farm and equipment maker.

Why it matters: There’s a wave of worker angst spreading across the country. They wield new power that’s come with a historic worker shortage.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
1 hour ago - Technology

The smart city comes of age

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Better sensors, more intelligent AI, and the coming wave of 5G wireless could finally fulfill the promise of the smart city.

Why it matters: How we organize, run and power our cities will be increasingly important in the years ahead, as urbanization expands and the damaging effects of climate change compound.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
10 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Key clean power provision likely won't survive in Dems' spending bill

A construction worker walks along a dirt road at the Avangrid Renewables La Joya wind farm in Encino, New Mexico, on Aug. 5, 2020. Photo: Cate Dingley/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A pillar of Democrats' plans to speed deployment of zero-carbon electricity is likely to be cut from major spending and tax legislation they are struggling to move on a party-line vote, per multiple reports and a Capitol Hill aide.

Driving the news: The New York Times, citing anonymous congressional aides and lobbyists, reports that West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D) has told the White House he "strongly opposes" the Clean Electricity Performance Program.