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New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy at the Newark Musem. Photo: Kena Betancur/VIEWpress via Getty Images

The New Jersey legislature approved two big bills Thursday designed to counteract some of President Trump's changes to the Affordable Care Act and stabilize the state's individual insurance market.

Why it matters: Some ACA allies have pinned their hope on states to counteract the administration's policy moves, but there will likely only be limited effects in blue states. But if Gov. Phil Murphy approves these bills, it could give other blue states more encouragement to move forward.

The bills: One would begin the process of seeking a federal waiver to establish a reinsurance program. The other would create an individual mandate in the state.

  • If Gov. Phil Murphy signs off, New Jersey would become only the second state in the country to have an individual mandate, and the first state to pass one since the federal coverage requirement was repealed.
  • The mandate bill would require New Jersey residents to buy coverage that meets New Jersey's standards — not the federal government's. And New Jersey already bans the sale of short-term health plans, which the Trump administration is expanding.
  • Together, this means that New Jersey's market would function a lot like the pre-Trump ACA.

Go deeper: Freelance health care journalist/analyst Andrew Sprung has written a lot about how these measures could preempt the administration's priorities.

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
52 mins ago - Economy & Business

America on borrowed time

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Economic recovery will not be linear as the world continues to grapple with the uncertainty of the pandemic.

Why it matters: Despite being propped up by an extraordinary amount of fiscal stimulus and support from central banks, the state of the global economy remains fragile.

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.

Updated 13 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.

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