Bob Herman Jan 24, 2017
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How Molina Healthcare views Obamacare now

Photo courtesy of Molina Healthcare

Molina Healthcare CEO J. Mario Molina isn't fazed by President Trump's Obamacare executive order. But he's also not entirely confident about what will happen with the law and its insurance marketplaces — and he won't commit to staying in the marketplaces in 2018.

In an interview, Molina said the executive order is "symbolic" and doesn't change the plans for his company, an insurer that mostly covers Medicaid members but also has more than a half million Obamacare customers. Yet when asked if Molina Healthcare would keep offering Obamacare plans in 2018, he said: "There are just too many unknowns at this point to give a definitive answer."

Why this matters: Insurance companies need to submit their 2018 Obamacare plans and rates in the next few months. Molina is a significant and profitable player in the marketplaces, and its hesitancy indicates insurers will wait as long as they can before they decide to stay in or leave. That's not exactly a recipe for a stable market.

On Obamacare: Trump cannot unilaterally eliminate Obamacare's insurance mandate and coverage penalties. They are embedded within the law and require an act of Congress. Instead, Molina is more concerned what Congress will offer up as a full-scale replacement.

"Congress is the one that will be driving this health care agenda," he said. A replacement bill by Republican Sens. Bill Cassidy and Susan Collins is gaining attention from health policy experts.

On Medicaid: Molina covers more than 3 million people on Medicaid. Republicans love the idea of block granting the program, either through big lump sums or limits on funding for each recipient. Molina said the issue has "gotten reduced to sound bites" and will be "influenced heavily by what the governors want."

Khorri Atkinson 1 hour ago
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China slaps reciprocal tariffs on U.S. imports

China's President Xi Jinping speaks next to President Trump. Photo: Nicolas Asfouri// AFP / Getty Images

China announced plans to impose reciprocal tariffs on $3 billion of imports from the U.S., hours after President Trump ordered levies on a range of Chinese goods.

The details: China's plan includes a 25% tariff on U.S. pork imports as well as 15% tariffs on American steel pipes, fruit and wine, according to Bloomberg.

Haley Britzky 1 hour ago
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Former Playmate alleges Trump tried to pay her after sex

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence walk into the Diplomat Room.
President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence walk into the Diplomat Room. Photo: Mark Wilson / Getty Images

Former Playboy model Karen McDougal detailed her relationship with President Trump — which he has denied — in an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper on Thursday night, including the first time she met Melania and how he tried to pay her after the first time they had sex.

The details: The alleged affair took place while he was married to Melania and shortly after his youngest son was born. McDougal said they met while the Apprentice was filming at the Playboy mansion, and began seeing each other "quite frequently." She told Cooper that Trump told her he loved her "all the time," and that there "was a real relationship there."