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Gerry Broome / AP

Health insurance companies that predominantly cover low-income people face a difficult decision for 2018: drop out of the Obamacare marketplaces and ignore their missions, or stay in and raise premiums a lot to account for the uncertainty created by the Trump administration's repeal efforts.

One safety net plan in New York, Affinity Health Plan, is hanging around for 2018. However, "the rate increases are going to be significant," said Michael Murphy, the new CEO of Affinity, which covers about 33,000 New Yorkers in traditional Obamacare plans as well as Obamacare's "Basic Health Program" plans. "Everybody's looking to at least get their head above water."

Why this matters: The mentality of local safety net plans is a lot different than the national for-profits. Aetna, Humana and UnitedHealth Group had no qualms leaving Obamacare marketplaces because they are tiny slivers of their business. Companies that didn't invest in Obamacare or were late entrants, like Wellmark in Iowa, similarly find it easier to bail. But local not-for-profits may feel more compelled to stay.

Go deeper

Biden explains justification for Syria strike in letter to Congress

Photo: Chris Kleponis/CNP/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden told congressional leadership in a letter Saturday that this week's airstrike against facilities tied to Iranian-backed militia groups in Syria was consistent with the U.S. right to self-defense.

Why it matters: Some Democrats, including Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), have criticized the Biden administration for the strike and demanded a briefing.

2 hours ago - Health

FDA authorizes Johnson & Johnson's one-shot COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use

Photo: Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration on Saturday issued an emergency use authorization for Johnson & Johnson's one-shot coronavirus vaccine.

Why it matters: The authorization of a third coronavirus vaccine in the U.S. will help speed up the vaccine rollout across the country, especially since the J&J shot only requires one dose as opposed to Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech's two-shot vaccines.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios