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Primary care doctor and his patient. Photo: Gabe Souza/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

Roughly 44 million people — 13% of Americans — live in a county with a shortage of primary care doctors, according to a new report this morning from UnitedHealth Group, the country's biggest insurer.

By the numbers: Primary care isn't a very lucrative specialty, and that's part of the reason more doctors don't go into it.

  • The shortage of these physicians could more than double by 2030, United says, as an aging population creates more demand but the supply of doctors stays relatively steady.

What they're saying: United wants more states to let nurse practitioners fill the void and take on more primary care duties.

  • The law in 22 states allows nurse practitioners to do everything their medical training allows, but 28 states put at least some restrictions on the services nurse practitioners can provide.
  • "Allowing NPs to practice to the full extent of their education and training represents a meaningful, timely opportunity to increase primary care capacity in the U.S," United says.

Between the lines: Nurse practitioners and other non-doctor clinicians are also generally less expensive than doctors — a big plus, from an insurance company's perspective.

Go deeper

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
1 hour ago - World

Remote work shakes up geopolitics

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The global adoption of remote work may leave the rising powers in the East behind.

The big picture: Despite India's and China's economic might, these countries have far fewer remote jobs than the U.S. or Europe. That's affecting the emerging economies' resilience amid the pandemic.

Trump gives Biden access to presidential intelligence briefings

Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

The Trump White House on Tuesday gave President-elect Biden access to daily presidential intelligence briefings, a source familiar with the matter tells Axios.

Why it matters: Trump has refused to share the briefs until now, as he continues to challenge the result of the election and declines to concede. The president's acquiescence comes as another sign that the transition to a Biden administration is taking place.

AOC and Ilhan Omar want to block Biden’s former chief of staff

Reps. Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images

Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar are boosting a petition against Joe Biden nominating his former chief of staff to a new role in his administration, calling Bruce Reed a "deficit hawk” and criticizing his past support for Social Security and Medicare cuts.

Why it matters: Progressives are mounting their pressure campaign after the president-elect did not include any of their favored candidates in his first slate of Cabinet nominees, and they are serious about installing some of their allies, blocking anyone who doesn't pass their smell test — and making noise if they are not heard.