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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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Updated 14 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 21,295,429 — Total deaths: 767,714— Total recoveries: 13,295,750Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 5,345,610 — Total deaths: 169,146 — Total recoveries: 1,796,326 — Total tests: 65,676,624Map.
  3. Health: The coronavirus-connected heart ailment that could lead to sudden death in athletes — Patients grow more open with their health data during pandemic — FDA issues emergency use authorization for Yale's saliva coronavirus test.
  4. Education: "Historic" laptop demand leads to shortages ahead of remote school — Why learning pods aren't a panacea for remote learning — The COVID-19 learning cliff.
  5. States: New York to reopen gyms, bowling alleys, museums.
  6. Podcasts: The rise of learning podsSpecial ed under pressure — Not enough laptops — The loss of learning.

The COVID-19 learning cliff

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Perhaps the most jarring reality of the COVID-19 pandemic for families has been the sudden and dramatic disruption to all levels of education, which is expected to have deep social and economic repercussions for years — if not decades — to come.

Why it matters: As millions of students are about to start the school year virtually, at least in part, experts fear students may fall off an educational cliff — missing key academic milestones, falling behind grade level and in some cases dropping out of the educational system altogether.

Postal slowdown threatens election breakdown

In 24 hours, signs of a pre-election postal slowdown have moved from the shadows to the spotlight, with evidence emerging all over the country that this isn't a just a potential threat, but is happening before our eyes.

Why it matters: If you're the Trump administration, and you're in charge of the federal government, remember that a Pew poll published in April found the Postal Service was viewed favorably by 91% of Americans.