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Conservatives want to wipe out Obamacare's insurance regulations to make health coverage cheaper — but if they do, it could affect far more than the people who buy health insurance on their own. In a new analysis provided to Axios, the Century Foundation finds that if Republicans turn those regulations over to the states, 91 million Americans in "self-insured" employer plans would be hit too — and they'd probably have no way to get them restored.

Expand chart
Data: The Century Foundation; Map: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios

Here's why:

  • The goal would be to let the states decide whether to impose rules like making insurers cover pre-existing conditions, letting young adults stay on their parents' plans, covering preventive services, and requiring insurers to cover 10 categories of "essential benefits."
  • That could work for the individual market, but not for employers that insure themselves — because those plans can only be regulated by the federal government.
  • The hardest hit state would be Vice President Mike Pence's state of Indiana, where 76 percent of the state's residents who have private employer coverage are in self-insured plans.

The analysis by Jeanne Lambrew, a former health care adviser to President Barack Obama, and Ellen Montz also finds that letting the states define "essential benefits" could leave as many as 13 million individual market customers without maternity coverage, 7 million without substance abuse treatment, and 4 million without mental health services.

Between the lines: It's mainly the Freedom Caucus, along with outside conservative groups, that has been pushing to eliminate the insurance regulations. They argue that the regulations have made health insurance more expensive. But most other House Republicans have been resisting, and they may dig in harder as there's new evidence of the consequences.

Go deeper

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.

John Weaver, Lincoln Project co-founder, acknowledges “inappropriate” messages

John Weaver aboard John McCain's campaign plane in February 2000. Photo: Robert Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

John Weaver, a veteran Republican operative who co-founded the Lincoln Project, declared in a statement to Axios on Friday that he sent “inappropriate,” sexually charged messages to multiple men.

  • “To the men I made uncomfortable through my messages that I viewed as consensual mutual conversations at the time: I am truly sorry. They were inappropriate and it was because of my failings that this discomfort was brought on you,” Weaver said.
  • “The truth is that I'm gay,” he added. “And that I have a wife and two kids who I love. My inability to reconcile those two truths has led to this agonizing place.”

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