Feb 23, 2017

The Obamacare rule comments are rolling in

AP file photo

The Trump administration's Obamacare "marketplace stabilization" rule has been out for less than a week, but it already has received more than 420 public comments. That number is only going to increase, since the comment deadline is March 7.

Nearly all of the input so far has come from citizens, including many health insurance agents. Many people have used the regulatory comment site as a virtual Obamacare town hall, but they also took the chance to air their perspectives on how the proposed rule will affect them.

  • Susan McWright, a health insurance broker in Kentucky, criticized the proposal to cut the Obamacare open enrollment window in half: "It is an unreasonable expectation to think we can service our client base in a period of 6 weeks."
  • Wesley Sanders, a health plan employee in Georgia, supports restricting special enrollments, where he says some sick people have gamed the system: "These outlier cases distort the risk pool and make it difficult for issuers to price accurately." However, he wants the verification process for people to be "seamless."
  • Bruce Telkamp, CEO of the consumer research site HealthPocket, "strongly supports" the proposed rule. But his company has a horse in the race. HealthPocket is owned by Health Insurance Innovations, which sells short-term health plans. It could benefit by signing up healthy people who get locked out of or give up on the special enrollment process.

What to look for: When America's Health Insurance Plans, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and other industry groups weigh in.

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Boris Johnson admitted to hospital as coronavirus symptoms persist

Photo: Ray Tang/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been admitted to the hospital for tests as a "precautionary step" as his coronavirus symptoms have continued to persist ten days after testing positive, according to a Downing Street spokesperson.

Why it matters: Johnson was the first major elected leader to test positive for the coronavirus. He was admitted on the same day that Queen Elizabeth II gave a rare televised address to the nation, urging the British people to confront the pandemic with the same "self-discipline" and "resolve" that has defined the country in times of crisis.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 1,252,265 — Total deaths: 68,413 — Total recoveries: 258,495Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 325,185 — Total deaths: 9.267 — Total recoveries: 16,820Map.
  3. Public health latest: CDC launches national trackers and recommends face coverings in public. Federal government will cover costs of COVID-19 treatment for uninsured. Surgeon general says this week will be "our Pearl Harbor, our 9/11 moment."
  4. 2020 latest: "We have no contingency plan," Trump said on the 2020 Republican National Convention. Biden says DNC may have to hold virtual convention.
  5. States updates: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state is "literally going day-to-day" with supplies.
  6. Work update: Queen Elizabeth II urges the British people to confront pandemic with "self-discipline" and "resolve" in rare televised address.
  7. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Queen Elizabeth addresses U.K. amid coronavirus crisis: "We will meet again"

In a rare televised address on Sunday, Queen Elizabeth II urged the United Kingdom to respond to the coronavirus pandemic with the "self-discipline" and "resolve" that have defined the British people in moments of crisis.

Why it matters: It's just the fifth time that the queen, who traditionally speaks to the nation once a year on Christmas Day, has addressed the British people in this way during her 68-year reign.

Go deeperArrow35 mins ago - World