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Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-N.J., center, pauses while speaking to members of the media off the House Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, May 4, 2017, after the Republican health care bill passed in the House. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The Kaiser Family Foundation took a crack at solving one big mystery of the House health care bill: how many people with pre-existing conditions might be vulnerable to higher premiums in states that get waivers from Affordable Care Act rules. The answer, in a report out this morning: 6.3 million people.

Why it matters: If that many people could be hit with higher rates, the $8 billion fund to help covet their costs could be stretched pretty thin.

Here's how they figured it out:

  • Under the amendment by Rep. Tom MacArthur, states would be able to get waivers from the rules that prevent insurers from charging higher rates to sick people.
  • But people with pre-existing conditions would only be vulnerable if they had a lapse in coverage of 63 days or longer.
  • So Kaiser looked at all of the people who had a long break in coverage in 2015, using data from the National Health Interview Survey.
  • It found 27.4 million people with a lapse in coverage.
  • Of those. 6.3 million — 23 percent — had a pre-existing condition.

Yes, but: That's probably a ceiling for how many people could be affected. Not every state will apply for a waiver — in fact, there's no sure way to estimate how many will. And as Kaiser noted, some people will have a stronger incentive to avoid a break in coverage, if they can.

Go deeper

48 mins ago - World

Netanyahu and Israel reluctantly adjust to a post-Trump Washington

Netanyahu (R) and Biden in 2010. Photo: Avi Ohayon/GPO via Getty

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his close aides are very nervous about the transition to a new U.S. administration after a four-year honeymoon with Donald Trump. One Israeli official told me it felt like going through detox.

What he's saying: Netanyahu congratulated Biden minutes after he was sworn in, saying in a statement that he looked forward to working together to "continue expanding peace between Israel and the Arab world and to confront common challenges, chief among them the threat posed by Iran."

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. State of play: New coronavirus cases down, but more bad news ahead.
  2. Politics: Biden set to immediately ramp up federal pandemic response with 10 executive actions — Scoop: Joe Biden's COVID-19 bubble.
  3. World: Biden will order U.S. to rejoin World Health OrganizationBiden to bring U.S. into global COVAX initiative for equitable vaccine access.
  4. Vaccine: Amazon offers to help Biden administration with COVID vaccine efforts.
Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

First glimpse of the Biden market

Photo: Jonathan Ernst-Pool/Getty Images

Investors made clear what companies they think will be winners and which will be losers in President Joe Biden's economy on Wednesday, selling out of gun makers, pot purveyors, private prison operators and payday lenders, and buying up gambling, gaming, beer stocks and Big Tech.

What happened: Private prison operator CoreCivic and private prison REIT Geo fell by 7.8% and 4.1%, respectively, while marijuana ETF MJ dropped 2% and payday lenders World Acceptance and EZCorp each fell by more than 1%.