Gerry Broome / AP

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina will lower its average proposed rate hike on individual Affordable Care Act plans from 23% to 14%, the insurer said Wednesday. The medical costs of people in the ACA market are not expected to be as high, although uncertainty still remains around the law's cost-sharing reduction subsidies.

Key quote: "The individual market in North Carolina has become less volatile."

Go deeper: Many Blue Cross Blue Shield plans have started making money on ACA plans this year, as health insurance companies have finally gotten a grip on how to predict costs for this market. However, middle-income people who don't qualify for subsidies and buy outside the exchange are struggling with higher premiums.

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Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 19,486,171 — Total deaths: 723,599 — Total recoveries — 11,822,887Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 4,989,976 — Total deaths: 162,304 — Total recoveries: 1,643,118 — Total tests: 61,080,587Map.
  3. Politics: Trump signs 4 executive actions on coronavirus aid.
  4. Public health: Fauci says chances are "not great" that COVID-19 vaccine will be 98% effective — 1 in 3 Americans would decline COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Science: Indoor air is the next coronavirus frontline.
  6. Schools: How back-to-school is playing out in the South as coronavirus rages on — Princeton, Johns Hopkins, Howard to hold fall classes online.

Trump signs 4 executive actions on coronavirus aid

President Trump speaking during a press conference on Aug. 8. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump on Saturday signed four executive actions to provide relief from economic damage sustained during the coronavirus pandemic after talks between the White House and Democratic leadership collapsed Friday afternoon.

Why it matters: Because the Constitution gives Congress the power to appropriate federal spending, Trump has limited authority to act unilaterally — and risks a legal challenge if congressional Democrats believe he has overstepped.

7 hours ago - World

What's next for Lebanon after the Beirut explosion

Photo: Houssam Shbaro/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Beirut residents are still clearing rubble from streets that appear war-torn, days after a blast that shocked the country and horrified the world.

Why it matters: The explosion is likely to accelerate a painful cycle Lebanon was already living through — discontent, economic distress, and emigration.