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Protestors hold signs against Affordable Care Act repeal outside the Capitol last year. Photo: Bill Clark / CQ Roll Call

Now that Washington has decided not to help shore up the Affordable Care Act’s insurance markets, a lot of attention will inevitably turn to the states. But don’t expect to see anything approaching a comprehensive fix at the state level.

The latest: States are mainly looking at two big policy solutions to try to stabilize their individual insurance markets — passing their own version of an individual mandate, or creating their own reinsurance programs to help compensate insurers for their most expensive patients, so that they don’t recoup those costs through higher premiums.

Not all of them are going to be able to come in on their white horse and save the day, although I think several of them will try.
— Sabrina Corlette, a health policy expert at Georgetown University.

Yes, but: It’s mostly the usual blue-state suspects — California, Maryland, Washington — considering these steps.

  • Individual mandates aren’t much more popular at the state level than the ACA’s was.
  • Experts agree reinsurance would work, but they’re reasonably complex programs that needs a lot of logistical support to actually stand up and start operating.
  • And states’ legislative calendars are already making it hard to envision many of them tackling that undertaking before insurers have to set their premiums for next year.
  • “If states want to move on that, they should have been working on it weeks ago,” Corlette said. “That is not something that you can just flip a switch and make it happen.”

Go deeper

Updated 27 mins ago - World

Skripal poisoning suspects linked to Czech blast, as country expels 18 Russians

Combined images released by British police in 2018 of Alexander Petrov (L) and Ruslan Boshirov, who are suspected of carrying out an attack in the in the southern English city of Salisbury using Novichok, a military-grade nerve agent, and also the2014 Czech depot explosion. Photo: Metropolitan Police via Getty Images

Czech police on Saturday connected two Russian men suspected of carrying out a poisoning attack in Salisbury, England, with a deadly ammunition depot explosion southeast of the capital, Prague, per Reuters.

Driving the news: Czech officials announced Saturday they're expelling 18 Russian diplomats they accuse of being involved in the blast in Vrbětice, AP notes. Czech police said later they're searching for two men carrying several passports — including two named Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov.

Indianapolis mass shooting suspect legally bought 2 guns, police say

Marion County Forensic Services vehicles are parked at the site of a mass shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis, Indiana, on Friday. Photo: Jeff Dean/AFP via Getty Images

The suspected gunman in this week's mass shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis legally purchased two assault rifles believed to have been used in the attack, police said late Saturday.

Of note: The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department's statement that Brandon Scott Hole, 19, bought the rifles last July and September comes a day after the FBI said in a statement to news outlets that a "shotgun was seized" from the suspect in March 2020 after his mother raised concerns about his mental health.

U.S. and China agree to take joint climate action

US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry waves as he arrives at the Elysee Presidential Palace on March 10, 2021 in Paris. Photo: Chesnot/Getty Images

Despite an increasingly tense relationship, the U.S. and China agreed Saturday to work together to tackle global climate change, including by "raising ambition" for emissions cuts during the 2020s — a key goal of the Biden administration.

Why it matters: The joint communique released Saturday evening commits the world's two largest emitters of greenhouse gases to work together to keep the most ambitious temperature target contained in the Paris Climate Agreement viable by potentially taking additional emissions cuts prior to 2030.