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Insurers won't give up on Obamacare payments

Andrew Harnik / AP

Health insurance officials gave Seema Verma, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services chief, an earful today about the biggest issue in their world: the need to know whether they're going to get paid for their Obamacare cost-sharing subsidies to low-income consumers.

The message was delivered by top insurance officials including Marilyn Tavenner, the head of the trade group America's Health Insurance Plans (who used to have Verma's job in the Obama administration).

What they said: "We are committed to working with Administrator Verma, the Administration and Congress to ensure [cost sharing reduction] funding is addressed quickly to provide clarity for consumers in 2017 and 2018," AHIP said in a statement.

Between the lines: Health insurers want to get the issue resolved as soon as possible, and Democrats are pushing to include the money in the upcoming bill to fund the government for the rest of the year. But Republicans haven't tipped their hand on what they're going to do.

The consequence: If they don't figure it out soon, insurers could either impose massive rate hikes for Obamacare next year or pull out altogether.

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Trump: Transgender people "disqualified" from the military

SecDef Jim Mattis and Gen. Joseph Dunford.
Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and Gen. Joseph Dunford. Photo: Andrew Harrer-Pool / Getty Images

President Trump late Friday issued an order disqualifying most transgender people from serving in the military.

"[T]ransgender persons with a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria -- individuals who the policies state may require substantial medical treatment, including medications and surgery -- are disqualified from military service except under certain limited circumstances."

Why it matters: Anything short of an inclusive policy for transgender troops will be viewed as a continuation of the ban Trump announced on Twitter in August.

Haley Britzky 8 hours ago
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Both Bush and Obama also requested line item veto power

Donald Trump.
Photo: Mark Wilson / Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Friday evening that to avoid having "this omnibus situation from ever happening again," he wants Congress to re-instate "a line-item veto."

Why it matters: This would allow him to veto specific parts of a bill without getting rid of the entire thing. Trump was deeply unhappy with the $1.3 trillion spending bill approved by Congress early Friday morning, but signed it anyway on Friday afternoon.