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HHS Secretary Alex Azar. Photo: Jessica McGowan/Getty Images

Employers will soon be allowed to use pre-tax dollars to subsidize their employees' individual market coverage, the Trump administration announced Thursday.

What it means: This policy is probably good for employers and bad for taxpayers, according to a Brookings analysis of an earlier draft of the proposal.

  • The policy doesn't ban employers from offloading their sickest workers, though it tries to limit that practice.
  • If businesses do shift the workers with the highest medical bills away from the company-sponsored health plan, that plan's premiums would go down. But the influx of sicker patients into the individual market would drive those premiums up.

The other side: The administration, on the other hand, argues that the rule will enhance competition in the individual market.

The bottom line: The rule also allows employers to contribute to their employees' purchase of short-term plans. These plans appeal to younger, healthier people, which means that older, sicker workers could end up paying higher premiums, according to Brookings.

Go deeper: Not everyone likes their employer health coverage

Go deeper

U.S. economy adds 245,000 jobs in November as recovery slows

Data: BLS; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. economy added 245,000 jobs in November, while the unemployment rate fell to 6.7% from 6.9%, the government said on Friday.

Why it matters: The labor market continues to recover even as coronavirus cases surge— though it's still millions of jobs short of the pre-pandemic level. The problem is that the rate of recovery is slowing significantly.

1 hour ago - Health

Fauci says he accepted Biden's offer to be chief medical adviser "on the spot"

The government's top infectious-disease expert Anthony Fauci said Friday that he "absolutely" will accept the offer from President-elect Joe Biden to serve as his chief medical adviser, telling NBC's "Today" that he said yes "right on the spot."

Why it matters: President Trump had a contentious relationship with Fauci, who has been forced during the pandemic to correct many of the president's false claims about the coronavirus. Biden, meanwhile, has emphasized the importance of "listening to the scientists" throughout his campaign and transition.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Highlights from Biden and Harris' first joint interview since the election

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.

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