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Turns out the individual insurance market actually isn’t imploding, even as the Trump administration and Congress keep taking whacks at the Affordable Care Act.

What's new: A Kaiser Family Foundation analysis of individual market performance found that insurers have become profitable again in 2017 and the first half of 2018.

  • Insurers' gross margins are getting better. The margins — which measure how much their income from premiums exceeds their costs — are far higher than at any time in the history of the ACA.
  • Their second-quarter loss ratios for 2018 averaged 69%, lower than at any point since the earliest years of the ACA.

Between the lines: Premiums went up a lot between 2017 and 2018 (an average of 23% per member for the second quarter of each year).

What to watch: There are signs that the ACA population may be getting sicker — they spent more days in the hospitals than in the past 3 years. If so, that could be a sign that healthier customers are dropping out.

Go deeper

Biden plans to ask public to wear masks for first 100 days in office

Joe Biden. Photo: Mark Makela/Gettu Images

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris sat down with CNN on Thursday for their first joint interview since the election.

The big picture: In the hour-long segment, the twosome laid out plans for responding to the pandemic, jump-starting the economy and managing the transition of power, among other priorities.

The quick FCC fix that would get more students online

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

As the pandemic forces students out of school, broadband deployment programs aren't going to move fast enough to help families in immediate need of better internet access. But Democrats at the Federal Communications Commission say the incoming Biden administration could put a dent in that digital divide with one fast policy change.

State of play: An existing FCC program known as E-rate provides up to $4 billion for broadband at schools, but Republican FCC chairman Ajit Pai has resisted modifying the program during the pandemic to provide help connecting students at home.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
12 mins ago - Politics & Policy

America's hidden depression

Biden introduces his pick for Treasury secretary, Janet Yellen, on Dec. 1. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President-elect Biden faces a fragile recovery that could easily fall apart, as the economy remains in worse shape than most people think.

Why it matters: There is a recovery happening. But it's helping some people immensely and others not at all. And it's that second part that poses a massive risk to the Biden-Harris administration's chance of success.