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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

1 hour ago - World

Iran agrees to resume Vienna nuclear talks in November

Ali Bagheri (R) with Enrique Mora in Tehran on Oct. 14. Photo: Iranian Foreign Ministry handout via Getty

Iran's new chief nuclear negotiator said following a meeting in Brussels on Wednesday that Iran would resume negotiations in Vienna before the end of November, with the exact date to be set next week.

Why it matters: The Vienna talks have been frozen since Iran's new hardline president, Ebrahim Raisi, was elected in June. This is the most direct commitment from Raisi's government to return to the negotiating table.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Democrats' billionaires tax explained

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

There is now legislative language behind the push to tax American billionaires on unrealized capital gains, as Sen. Ron Wyden last night released his 107-page plan.

Why it matters: This would be a sea change in U.S. tax policy, which has only applied to realized gains (otherwise known as income).

COP26 head warns Glasgow summit will be "harder than Paris"

Alok Sharma, U.K. COP26 president, in Milan on Sept. 30, 2021. Photo: Stefano Guidi/Getty Images

U.K. COP26 President Alok Sharma told reporters Tuesday that the upcoming talks in Glasgow, widely viewed as the last chance to avoid some of the worst consequences of global warming, will be extremely difficult.

Driving the news: Sharma sought to temper expectations and note that the agenda features some of the toughest items that negotiators have punted on at previous summits.