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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.”

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Screenshot: Fox News

President Trump has delivered a farewell speech and departed Washington for the last time on Air Force One, kicking off the day that will culminate with President-elect Joe Biden taking office.

What's next: The inaugural celebration for young Americans is being livestreamed, starting at 10am.

Updated 43 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump departs on final Air Force One flight

President Trump and his family took off on Air Force One at 9 a.m. on Wednesday morning for the final time en route to Florida.

The big picture: Trump's final hours as president were punctuated by his decisions to snub his successor's inauguration and grant pardons to many of his allies who have been swept up in corruption scandals.

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Janet Yellen said all the right things to reassure the markets

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Treasury Secretary nominee and former Fed chair Janet Yellen's confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday showed markets just what they can expect from the administration of President-elect Joe Biden: more of what they got under President Trump — at least for now.

What it means: Investors and big companies reaped the benefits of ultralow U.S. interest rates and low taxes for most of Trump's term as well as significant increases in government spending, even before the coronavirus pandemic.