Jul 15, 2017

Insurers say Cruz proposal is "unworkable in any form"

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

Two major health insurance trade groups launched an unusually direct attack on Sen. Ted Cruz's insurance deregulation proposal tonight, warning Senate Republicans that it would damage the protections for people with pre-existing conditions — the one thing they promised not to do in repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act.

In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, America's Health Insurance Plans and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association said Cruz's proposal — which would let health insurers sell plans that don't comply with the ACA's regulations as long as they also sell plans that do — would let the narrower plans "cherry pick" healthy people, leaving less healthy people to face skyrocketing premiums in the old plans.

Key quote: "It is simply unworkable in any form and would undermine protections for those with pre-existing medical conditions, increase premiums and lead to widespread terminations of coverage for people currently enrolled in the individual market."

Why it matters: This is remarkably blunt language for the usually cautious trade groups — and it suggests that they see disaster ahead if the proposal becomes law.

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Biden formally secures Democratic presidential nomination

Joe Biden speaks at Delaware State University's student cente on June 5. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden became the formal Democratic presidential nominee on Friday evening, per AP.

The big picture: Biden has been the presumptive frontrunner to take on President Trump since Sen. Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign in early April.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 6,724.516 — Total deaths: 394,018 — Total recoveries — 2,996,832Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 1,894,753 — Total deaths: 109,042 — Total recoveries: 491,706 — Total tested: 19,231,444Map.
  3. Public health: WHCA president says White House violated social-distancing guidelines to make reporters "a prop" — Jailing practices contribute to spread.
  4. Sports: How coronavirus could reshuffle the sports calendar.
  5. Jobs: Better-than-expected jobs report boosts stock market.
  6. Media: The Athletic lays off 8% of staff, implements company-wide pay cut.

Scoop: German foreign minister to travel to Israel with warning on annexation

Heiko Maas. Photo: Michael Kappeler/picture alliance via Getty Images

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is expected to travel to Israel next week to warn that there will be consequences if Israeli leaders move forward with plans to annex parts of the West Bank, Israeli officials and European diplomats tell me.

Why it matters: Israeli and European officials agree that if Israel goes ahead with unilateral annexation, the EU will respond with sanctions.