Jul 5, 2017

The ACA insurer risk programs are actually working pretty well

AP file photo

Georgetown's Sabrina Corlette notes that Friday's Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services report on the Affordable Care Act's reinsurance and risk adjustment programs didn't exactly portray a market in collapse. In fact, it suggested, in the dry language of the CMS bureaucracy, that the programs to help insurers cover sick people are actually in good shape:

  • The two programs "functioned smoothly for the 2016 benefit year."
  • The predictability of the risk scores "was noticeably improved."
  • "Risk scores were stable in the individual market and decreased in the small group market."

Why it matters: The report isn't enough to negate the real problems of the ACA market. Insurers have been pulling out and premiums have been increasing, although some of that is influenced by the Trump administration's hostility to the law. But this is one of the first CMS reports in the new administration that hasn't tried to emphasize the law's problems. Instead, it's a rare "business as usual" report — a change in tone that suggests some in the agency are still just trying to implement the law.

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Mark Zuckerberg at the 56th Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany on February 15. Photo: Abdulhamid Hosbas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Facebook did not remove President Trump's threat to send the National Guard to Minneapolis because the company's policy on inciting violence allows discussion on state use of force, CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained in a post on Friday.

The big picture: Zuckerberg's statement comes on the heels of leaked internal criticism from Facebook employees over how the company handled Trump's posts about the Minneapolis protests and his unsubstantiated claims on mail-in ballots — both of which Twitter has now taken action on.

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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Trump says he spoke with George Floyd's family

President Trump in the Rose Garden on May 29. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Trump told reporters on Friday that he had spoken with the family of George Floyd, a black resident of Minneapolis who died after a police officer knelt on his neck on Monday.

Driving the news: Former Vice President Joe Biden said via livestream a few hours earlier that he, too, had spoken with Floyd's family. The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee implored white Americans to consider systemic injustices against African Americans more broadly, Axios' Alexi McCammond reports.