Mar 3, 2017

Price hits 25% Obamacare rate hike — but that wasn't for everyone

Health and Human Services secretary Tom Price put out a video last night making the Trump administration's case for replacing Obamacare — but if you watch it and say, "I didn't know my premiums went up that much," that's because they didn't.

Price says the average health insurance premium — "the price that you have to pay to buy a health insurance policy" — went up by an average of 25 percent last year. That's true of the Obamacare marketplaces, which had all the scary rate hikes in the last enrollment season. But it's not true for the health insurance premiums most of us pay. Most of us are in employer health plans, where premiums rose by 3 percent last year — a "significant slowdown over the past 15 years," according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Why it matters: It's all about what Price's audience hears in that video. If the public believes their own health insurance premiums are rising as fast as Obamacare's, they'll get a distorted picture of what's actually happening in the broader health care marketplace, rather than the "honest and open discussion" Price promised. We've reached out to give Price's office a chance to comment, and we'll let you know if they do.

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What the coronavirus means for Trump's presidency

Photo Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

A poor response to the coronavirus could be politically devastating for President Trump, and so far his administration has given the strong impression that it’s still scrambling as the risk of a pandemic mounts.

Why it matters: There’s only so much any president can do to stop a virus from spreading, and for now the coronavirus is still very much under control within the U.S. But if the disease get worse in the months ahead, and if the administration seems to be caught off guard, that spells trouble for public confidence in Trump.

Coronavirus updates: New global case numbers surpass China's

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus is now affecting every continent but Antarctica and the WHO said Wednesday the number of new cases reported outside China has exceeded those inside the country for the first time.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,800 people and infected over 82,000 others in some 50 countries and territories. As Denmark and Estonia reported their first cases Thursday, Scott Morrison, prime minister of Australia — which has 23 confirmed infections — told a news conference, "The risk of a global pandemic is very much upon us."

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Health

Mass shooting in Milwaukee: What we know

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in 2012. Photo: John Gress/Corbis via Getty Images

Six people died in a shooting at the Molson Coors Brewing Company in Milwaukee Molson Coors on Wednesday, including the 51-year-old gunman, Mayor Tom Barrett told reporters at an evening press conference with local police.

Details: All of the victims worked at the brewery complex, as did the shooter who died of "an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, police confirmed in a statement late Wednesday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy