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AP file photo

The number of people who enrolled in Affordable Care Act coverage for 2017 and paid their premiums — rather than just signing up — is 10.3 million, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced today. That's down from the 12.2 million people who had signed up for health care plans during the ACA's last open-enrollment period, meaning 1.9 million people didn't follow through by paying their premiums.

Why it happened: A separate CMS survey found that nearly half of all people who canceled their coverage before paying their premiums said they were worried about the cost.

Why it matters: It's likely to add to the debate about how successful the ACA actually is — and whether the Trump administration hurt enrollment by pulling some of the advertising at the end. There's always a drop off when some ACA customers don't pay their premiums, but this year's total is significantly lower than last year's, when 11.1 million people enrolled and paid their premiums.

Go deeper

46 mins ago - Technology
Column / Tech Agenda

The new digital extortion

Shoshana Gordon/Axios

If you run a hospital, a bank, a utility or a city, chances are you'll be hit with a ransomware attack. Given the choice between losing your precious data or paying up, chances are you'll pay.

Why it matters: Paying the hackers is the clear short-term answer for most organizations hit with these devastating attacks, but it's a long-term societal disaster, encouraging hackers to continue their lucrative extortion schemes.

1 hour ago - Health

CDC mask guidance sparks confusion, questions

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The CDC's surprise guidance last week freeing the fully vaccinated to go maskless sowed plenty of concerns across the country— even earning the "Saturday Night Live" treatment for all the questions it spurred.

Why it matters: With plenty of Americans still unvaccinated — and without any good way to confirm who has been vaccinated — some experts worry this could put many at increased risk.

Updated 3 hours ago - World

In photos: Israel-Hamas aerial bombardments enter second week

A ball of fire and a plume of smoke rise above buildings in Gaza City as Israeli forces shell the Palestinian enclave, early on May 17. Photo: Mahmud Hams/AFP via Getty Images

Israel and Hamas continued aerial bombardments into Monday morning, as fighting entered a second week.

Why it matters: The worst violence in the region since 2014 has resulted in the deaths of 197 people in Gaza, ruled by Hamas, and 10 in Israel. 58 Palestinian children and two Israeli children are among those killed since the aerial exchanges began on May 10, Reuters notes.