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AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

The Trump administration paid out the latest round of cost-sharing subsidies under the Affordable Care Act, despite its public ambivalence about whether to make those payments, industry officials told the Wall Street Journal.

The ACA's cost-sharing subsidies have become a major flashpoint in the political battle over the health care law. The administration hasn't publicly committed to keeping the money flowing — but it went ahead and made the payments for June, according to the Journal.

But insurers don't just want the money. They want some predictability — to know they'll keep receiving these subsidy payments in July, and throughout the upcoming plan year, etc. If they're afraid this line of income might vanish (which they are), the natural response is to seek bigger premium increases just to be safe. And so far, President Trump has shown no interest in any longer-term commitments.

Go deeper

1 hour ago - World

China and Russia vaccinate the world — for now

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

While the U.S. and Europe focus on vaccinating their own populations, China and Russia are sending millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses to countries around the world.

Why it matters: China's double success in controlling its domestic outbreak and producing several viable vaccines has allowed it to focus on providing doses abroad — an effort that could help to save lives across several continents.

Ina Fried, author of Login
1 hour ago - Technology

Report: China will dominate AI unless U.S. invests more

Photo illustration: Axios Visuals. Photo: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The U.S., which once had a dominant head start in artificial intelligence, now has just a few year's lead on China and risks being overtaken unless government steps in, according to a new report to Congress and the White House.

Why it matters: Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who chaired the committee that issued the report, tells Axios that the U.S. risks dire consequences if it fails to both invest in key technologies and fully integrate AI into the military.

Americans agree about more issues than they realize

Data: Populace Inc.; Chart: Michelle McGhee/Axios

Many Americans assume the rest of the country doesn't share their political and policy priorities — but they're often wrong, according to new polling by Populace, first seen by Axios.

Why it matters: The polling reveals that despite growing political polarization, Americans share similar long-term goals and priorities for the country.