Aug 29, 2017

Maryland ACA insurance rates to rise 33 percent

AP file photo

Maryland insurance regulators knocked down the rate increases insurers wanted to charge for Affordable Care Act coverage next year — but not by much. They wanted an average premium increase of 43%. What did they get? 33%.

Why it’s happening: The Maryland Insurance Administration said the rates for the two individual market insurers — CareFirst and Kaiser — aren’t rising because of the uncertainty over whether they’ll keep getting their cost-sharing reduction payments. Instead, the main reasons were the return of the ACA tax on health insurers, healthy customers leaving the market, the rising cost of medical claims, and more claims than expected.

Why it matters: Maryland is a state that has generally supported the ACA and tried to make it work. It’s also significant that they’re not blaming the Trump administration and Congress for their actions against the law.

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Trump and Zuckerberg share phone call amid social media furor

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

In the week that President Trump took on social media, Axios has learned that he had a call Friday with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg that was described by both sides as productive.

Why it matters: With the White House and Twitter at war, Facebook has managed to keep diplomatic relations with the world's most powerful social-media devotee.

Twitter, Google lead chorus of brands backing George Floyd protests

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Twitter and Google are among the dozens of brands over the past 24 hours that have taken public stances in favor of Americans protesting racial equality. Some companies have changed their logos in solidarity with the movement, while others have pledged money in support of efforts to address social injustice.

Why it matters: The pressure that companies feel to speak out on issues has increased during the Trump era, as businesses have sought to fill a trust void left by the government. Now, some of the biggest companies are quickly taking a public stand on the protests, pressuring all other brands to do the same.

NYPD commissioner: "I'm extremely proud" of officers' response to protests

New York City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea in February. Photo: Yana Paskova/Getty Images

New York City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said in a public statement Sunday that he is "extremely proud" of the New York City Police Department's response to protests over the death of George Floyd Saturday night, writing: "What we saw in New York City last night and the night before was not about peaceful protest of any kind."

Why it matters: New York City residents captured several instances of police officers using excessive force against demonstrators. In one video, two NYPD SUVs are seen ramming into protesters who were blocking a road and throwing traffic cones at the vehicles.