Feb 14, 2017

Humana to exit Obamacare exchanges in 2018

Ed Reinke / AP

Humana is ready to jump ship completely on Obamacare. Executives said Tuesday that Humana "cannot continue to offer" Obamacare coverage for 2018, saying that the recent enrollment period showed the exchanges still have too many sick people and not enough healthy enrollees.

Humana spokesman Tom Noland confirmed that Humana, which had already scaled back its Obamacare participation, would stop selling coverage both on and off the individual exchanges in 2018. It has 152,000 customers in those plans. Federal law bars insurers from re-entering the marketplaces for five years, assuming they discontinue all types of individual policies.

Why this matters: Humana is now the first health insurance company to publicly come out and say it will completely end all Obamacare plans after this year. Other insurers are debating their participation internally and are waiting for President Trump and Republicans in Congress to put out an Obamacare replacement plan before they commit to the individual market. But the inability of Republicans to coalesce around a new plan is starting to have a real effect.

What to watch for: This could be the beginning of a domino effect in the individual market. If the Trump administration doesn't adequately stabilize the exchanges, more insurers could follow Humana, leaving many consumers out of health insurance options for 2018.

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Pelosi warns U.S. allies against working with China's Huawei

Nancy Pelosi on Feb. 16. Photo: Sven Hoppe/picture alliance via Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday cautioned U.S. allies against allowing Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei to develop their 5G networks, arguing at the Munich Security Conference that doing so is akin to “choosing autocracy over democracy," CNBC reports.

Why it matters: Pelosi's hawkish stance marks a rare area of agreement with the Trump administration, which believes Huawei is a national security threat because the Chinese government may be capable of accessing its equipment for espionage.

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Judge sets "scheduling" conference call ahead of Roger Stone sentencing

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U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson has requested a Feb. 18 "scheduling" conference call in the Roger Stone case, two days before the former Trump associate is set to be sentenced.

Why it matters: Stone's defense team on Friday filed a sealed motion for a new trial — the second time they've done so — amid allegations of juror bias and a growing controversy over Attorney General Bill Barr's intervention in the case.

Biden says Bloomberg's money can't "erase" his record

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Former Vice President Joe Biden said on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday that Michael Bloomberg's vast fortune cannot "erase" his record, and that scrutiny of Bloomberg's positions on things like race and policing will ramp up now that he's in the national spotlight.

Why it matters: Biden's polling free fall in the wake of poor performances in Iowa and New Hampshire has coincided with a surge for Bloomberg, who appeals to a similar moderate bloc of the Democratic Party. The billionaire's limitless spending capacity poses an especially stark threat to Biden, who has struggled with fundraising.