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Darron Cummings / AP

Anthem's Blue Cross and Blue Shield subsidiary in Georgia will continue to sell Affordable Care Act health plans in 85 counties that otherwise would have no health insurance option, but the company will leave Georgia's other 74 counties in which there is another insurer, Georgia Health News reports. Anthem also is completely exiting Nevada's exchange after initially saying it would stay in the state's largest counties.

Why it matters: Other than Georgia and Nevada, the for-profit Anthem also has yanked ACA plans in California, Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin. The big questions: Why stay as a monopoly ACA insurer in Georgia but not other states? And why leave counties where there is competition?

An Anthem spokeswoman did not address those questions and said in a statement to Axios that Anthem will "continue to advocate solutions that will stabilize the market to allow us to return to a more robust presence in the future."

Go deeper

Dave Lawler, author of World
35 mins ago - World

China's Xi Jinping congratulates Biden on election win

Photo: Paul J. Richards/AFP via Getty Images

Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a message to President-elect Biden on Wednesday to congratulate him on his election victory, according to the Xinhua state news agency.

Why it matters: China's foreign ministry offered Biden a belated, and tentative, congratulations on Nov. 13, but Xi had not personally acknowledged Biden's win. The leaders of Brazil, Mexico and Russia are among the very few leaders still declining to congratulate Biden.

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
1 hour ago - Sports

College basketball is back

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A new season of college basketball begins Wednesday, and the goal is clear: March Madness must be played.

Why it matters: On March 12, 2020, the lights went out on college basketball, depriving teams like Baylor (who won our tournament simulation), Dayton, San Diego State and Florida State of perhaps their best chance to win a national championship.

2 hours ago - World

Scoop: Israeli military prepares for possibility Trump will strike Iran

Defense Minister Benny Gantz attends a cabinet meeting. Photo: Abir Sultan/POOL/AFP via Getty

The Israel Defense Forces have in recent weeks been instructed to prepare for the possibility that the U.S. will conduct a military strike against Iran before President Trump leaves office, senior Israeli officials tell me.

Why it matters: The Israeli government instructed the IDF to undertake the preparations not because of any intelligence or assessment that Trump will order such a strike, but because senior Israeli officials anticipate “a very sensitive period” ahead of Biden's inauguration on Jan. 20.

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