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Noam Galai/WireImage via Getty Images

Premiums for certain Affordable Care Act plans are expected to spike by 34% this year, prompting a $10 billion increase in federal subsidies, the Congressional Budget Office said today.

Between the lines: CBO's estimates strongly suggest that this year’s increases are a response to the repeal of the ACA’s individual mandate, on top of new regulations from the Trump administration.

By the numbers:

  • CBO is anticipating a 21% jump in the cost of federal subsidies this year, driven by a 34% jump in premiums for the “benchmark” plans to which those subsidies are pegged.
  • But after that, CBO expects a big slowdown. Federal spending on the ACA’s premium subsidies will likely grow by about 5% per year for the rest of the next decade, the budget office said. Those annual increases are mainly a result of rising health care costs.

How it works: Premiums go up every year, and premiums inside the ACA’s marketplaces had seen some very big spikes before Trump was elected. This isn’t entirely on Trump.

  • But there’s no question the repeal of the mandate, and his decision to end a separate stream of payments to insurance companies, drove premiums even higher this year, and will have a similar effect next year.

Why it matters: The ACA’s insurance markets are increasingly turning into an option that only really works for the lower-income people who receive premium subsidies. Those payments largely insulate them from skyrocketing premiums, while unsubsidized consumers are finding ACA coverage further out of reach.

Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
1 hour ago - Technology

CES was largely irrelevant this year

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Forced online by the pandemic and overshadowed by the attack on the Capitol, the 2021 edition of CES was mostly an afterthought as media's attention focused elsewhere.

Why it matters: The consumer electronics trade show is the cornerstone event for the Consumer Technology Association and Las Vegas has been the traditional early-January gathering place for the tech industry.

The FBI is tracing a digital trail to Capitol rioters

Illustration: Sarah Grillo

Capitol rioters, eager to share proof of their efforts with other extremists online, have so far left a digital footprint of at least 140,000 images that is making it easier for federal law enforcement officials to capture and arrest them.

The big picture: Law enforcement's use of digital tracing isn't new, and has long been at the center of fierce battles over privacy and civil liberties. The Capitol siege is opening a fresh front in that debate.

Off the Rails

Episode 6: Last stand in Georgia

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Drew Angerer, Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 6: Georgia had not backed a Democratic presidential candidate since 1992 and Donald Trump's defeat in this Deep South stronghold, and his reaction to that loss, would help cost Republicans the U.S. Senate as well. Georgia was Trump's last stand.

On Air Force One, President Trump was in a mood. He had been clear he did not want to return to Georgia, and yet somehow he'd been conscripted into another rally on the night of Jan. 4.