Charlie Neibergall / AP

Iowa residents buying health insurance in the individual market may face zero options on and off the Affordable Care Act exchange next year, the Des Moines Register reports. Health insurers Aetna and Wellmark already confirmed they are withdrawing for 2018. Now Medica, which sells plans in almost every county, said it will likely leave "without swift action by the state or Congress to provide stability." The smaller Gundersen Health Plan hasn't made a decision yet.

Why this matters: Roughly 70,000 Iowans would be left out in the cold, putting immense pressure on Congress and the federal government to act. The easiest way to keep insurers around is to commit funding of the ACA's cost-sharing subsidies for low-income people. This "empty shelf" scenario happened last year in Arizona, but was averted after the feds coaxed a Blues plan to stay in.

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Updated 35 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Fauci: Trump hasn't been to a COVID task force meeting in months — Trump claims COVID "will go away" during debate.
  2. Sports: The youth sports exodus continues — Big Ten football is back.
  3. Health: How to help save 130,000 livesFDA approves Gilead's remdesivir as treatment How the pandemic might endMany U.S. deaths were avoidable.
  4. Retail: Santa won't greet kids at Macy's this year.
  5. World: Spain and France exceed 1 million cases.
51 mins ago - Health

Fauci: Trump hasn't been to a COVID task force meeting in months

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Trump has not attended a White House coronavirus task force meeting in “several months,” NIAID director Anthony Fauci told MSNBC on Friday.

Why it matters: At the beginning of the pandemic, the task force, led by Vice President Mike Pence, met every day, but in the "last several weeks," members have held virtual meetings once a week, Fauci said, even as the number of new cases continues to surge in the country.

2 hours ago - Health

How to help save 130,000 lives

People wear face masks outside Grand Central Terminal in New York City. Photo: Noam Galai/Getty Images

Nearly 130,000 fewer people will die of COVID-19 this winter if 95% of Americans wear face masks in public, according to research published Friday.

Why it matters: “Increasing mask use is one of the best strategies that we have right now to delay the imposition of social distancing mandates," Dr. Christopher Murray of the University of Washington told the N.Y. Times.

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