Kevin Counihan is the former chief of Photo: Brooks Kraft/Getty Images

Kevin Counihan, a former Obama administration official who oversaw the marketplace and now is an executive at health insurer Centene, told Wall Street investors during Centene's first-quarter earnings call that the Affordable Care Act's requirement to purchase health insurance wasn't really effective.

"When I was at [the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services], I never really thought the individual mandate was all that powerful, and I'll tell you why. Because number one, the dollar value for the penalty was not that significant, particularly compared to premium. And number two is, there were so many opportunities for people to appeal."
— Kevin Counihan, senior vice president at Centene and former CEO of

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Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Coronavirus surge is sinking consumer confidence

Data: Hamilton Place Strategies, CivicScience; Chart: Axios Visuals

The rise in coronavirus cases in certain parts of the U.S. is stunting confidence across the country, a crop of new reports show.

Driving the news: After stalling during the previous two-week period, overall economic sentiment declined for the first time in two months, according to the Economic Sentiment Index, a biweekly survey from data firm CivicScience and Hamilton Place Strategies (HPS).

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Obama: Trump is "jealous of COVID's media coverage."
  2. Health: Mask mandates help control the rise in coronavirus hospitalizations. Hospitals face a crush.
  3. Business: Coronavirus testing is a windfall. Winter threat spurs new surge of startup activity.
  4. Media: Pandemic causes TV providers to lose the most subscribers ever.
  5. World: Putin mandates face masks.

The GOP's monstrous math problem

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Republicans, win or lose next week, face a big — and growing — math problem.

The state of play: They're relying almost exclusively on a shrinking demographic (white men), living in shrinking areas (small, rural towns), creating a reliance on people with shrinking incomes (white workers without college degrees) to survive.