Jul 31, 2017

Ohio health insurers will fill in most empty ACA counties

Jay LaPrete / AP

Five health insurance companies have agreed to sell individual Affordable Care Act plans in 19 of the 20 counties that were at risk of having no options next year, the Ohio Department of Insurance said Monday. Ohio is still looking to find a willing company to fill the 20th county, Paulding County in the northwestern part of the state.

What it means: Thousands of Ohioans who buy health coverage on the ACA exchange now will have at least one carrier for next year after Anthem, the large for-profit Blue Cross Blue Shield company, pulled its Ohio ACA plans in June.

The companies entering Ohio's bare counties: Buckeye Health Plan (owned by Centene), CareSource, Medical Mutual of Ohio, Molina Healthcare and Paramount Health Care (owned by not-for-profit hospital system ProMedica).

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Trump's clemency spree

Rod Blagojevich in 2010. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

President Trump announced Tuesday that he commuted former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's 14-year prison sentence for extortion, bribery and corruption — as well as issuing full pardons for former San Francisco 49ers owner Edward DeBartolo Jr., former NYPD Commissioner Bernie Kerik and financier Michael Milken.

The big picture: The president's clemency spree largely benefitted white-collar criminals convicted of crimes like corruption, gambling fraud and racketeering, undercutting his message of "draining the swamp."

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Trump's improbable moonshot

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

NASA is unlikely to meet its deadline of sending astronauts to the surface of the Moon by 2024, even with a large influx of funding.

Why it matters: The Artemis mission to send people back to the Moon is the Trump administration's flagship space policy, and its aggressive, politically-motivated timeline is its hallmark.

Go deeperArrow3 hours ago - Science

Justice Department says U.S. attorneys are reviewing Ukraine information

Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd sent a letter to House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) Tuesday informing him that the U.S. attorneys for the Eastern District of New York and the Western District of Pennsylvania are reviewing "unsolicited" information from the public related to matters involving Ukraine.

Why it matters: Nadler had requested an explanation for the "intake process" that Attorney General Bill Barr stated had been set up in order to receive information that Rudy Giuliani had obtained about the Bidens in Ukraine.