Sam Baker Nov 28
SaveSave story

Repealing individual mandate would hit red states hardest

Emergency care center paramedic Michael Gilbert cleans equipment in an exam room at Grady Memorial Hospital, in Atlanta. Photo: David Goldman / AP

Getting rid of the ACA's individual mandate would cause premiums to spike across the country, but would have an outsized impact in a handful of largely rural, largely conservative states, including in Alaska, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada and Wyoming, according to a Los Angeles Times analysis of data from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Reality check: The effects here are no different from the effects of "skinny repeal" — the last-ditch repeal-and-replace effort that GOP senators insisted they would only vote for if they had assurances it would never become law.

Skinny repeal would have repealed the individual mandate; so would the Senate's tax overhaul. The policy is essentially the same and the effects are essentially the same. The only thing that's changed is lawmakers' willingness to let it happen.

  • Those states the Times identifies would take an especially big hit because they're heavily rural and already suffer from limited competition and high premiums. In other words, they're already the markets that insurers are least attracted to, and they would only become less attractive if their healthiest residents start to leave the risk pool.
  • "Markets where there is already little choice and high premiums are especially vulnerable … Rural areas could be especially hard hit," Kaiser's Larry Levitt told the paper.
Steve LeVine 12 hours ago
SaveSave story

Self-driving lab head urges freeze after "nightmare" fatality

Uber self-driving car in Pittsburgh. Photo: Jeff Swensen / Getty

Carmakers and technology companies should freeze their race to field autonomous vehicles because "clearly the technology is not where it needs to be," said Raj Rajkumar, head of Carnegie Mellon University's leading self-driving laboratory.

What he said: Speaking a few hours after a self-driven vehicle ran over and killed a pedestrian in Arizona, Rajkumar said, "This isn't like a bug with your phone. People can get killed. Companies need to take a deep breath. The technology is not there yet. We need to keep people in the loop."

Kia Kokalitcheva 50 mins ago
SaveSave story

Why Europeans are more skeptical of data-driven businesses

A European Union flag seen flying in Trafalgar Square. Photo: Brais G Rouco/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Europeans view privacy as a human rights issue, leading regulators there to be much more skeptical of data-driven businesses like social media. Americans are also beginning to worry about how data is used on some platforms like Facebook, particularly after news of the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke this weekend.

The big picture: Europe's history and culture plays a large role in shaping its views toward privacy. Granted, this history has to do with government access to personal information, but it's since extended to businesses.