Mar 29, 2017

GOP senators introduce Obamacare 'rescue' bill

(Mark Zaleski / AP)

Tennessee Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker introduced a bill Wednesday that would allow Obamacare customers to use their subsidies to buy non-Obamacare health coverage if they live in areas where all of the insurers have pulled out. They'd also be exempt from the individual mandate. The law would be temporary, lasting only through the end of the 2019 plan year.

"There is...a real prospect that all 230,000 Tennesseans who buy insurance on the exchange—approximately 195,000 with a subsidy—won't have any plans to buy next year either, and millions of Americans in other states are facing the same dire circumstances," said Alexander, who is also chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

Why this matters: If insurers pull out of markets due to all of the uncertainty surrounding Obamacare, this could help people from being thrown off their coverage. It's a sign that at least some Republicans want to avoid absolute chaos, as opposed to letting Obamacare "explode."

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What to watch in tonight's Democratic debate

Bernie Sanders at a campaign rally in Colorado. Photo: Helen H. Richardson/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Bernie Sanders is now the clear front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, and his opponents are ready to try to knock him down at tonight's debate in Charleston, South Carolina — especially Michael Bloomberg, who was the punching bag at the Las Vegas debate.

Why it matters: This is the last debate before Super Tuesday, when Sanders is expected to win California and Texas and could secure an insurmountable lead for the Democratic nomination. That's a direct threat to the entire field, but especially to Bloomberg, who skipped the early states to focus on the March 3 contests.

Bob Iger to step down as CEO of Disney

Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

The Walt Disney Company said Tuesday that it had named longtime Disney executive Bob Chapek as CEO Bob Iger's successor, effectively immediately. Iger will remain executive chairman of the company through 2021.

Why it matters: Iger is credited with having successfully turned around Disney’s animation and studio businesses and with the strategic acquisition of Marvel, Pixar, Lucasfilm and 21st Century Fox. Most recently, he was the person behind Disney's successful launch of its Netflix rival Disney+.

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