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Christopher Millette / Erie Times-News via AP

The Congressional Budget Office released its annual budget outlook, and there were plenty of health care items to chew on.

  • Obamacare. Roughly 18 million people are expected to have "nongroup" coverage in 2017, which is defined as people who buy health insurance on and off the Obamacare marketplaces. That's lower than the 24 million people the Congressional Budget Office predicted last March.
  • Medicare. The rate of spending on Medicare rose by about 5% in 2016. That was quicker than other recent years. The main culprit? Prescription drugs. Spending growth is expected to ease this year, and total federal Medicare spending is projected to hit $705 billion.
  • Medicaid. Roughly 12 million people will have coverage this year because of Obamacare's provision to expand Medicaid to more low-income people.

Worth noting: The Congressional Budget Office scores its estimates based on current law. These numbers could be doomed for the grave if Republicans repeal Obamacare and cut spending to Medicare and Medicaid.

Go deeper

Justice Department drops insider trading inquiry against Sen. Richard Burr

Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) walking through the Senate Subway in the U.S. Capitol in December 2020. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

The Department of Justice told Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) on Tuesday that it will not move forward with insider trading charges against him.

Why it matters: The decision, first reported by the New York Times, effectively ends the DOJ's investigation into the senator's stock sell-off that occurred after multiple lawmakers were briefed about the coronavirus' potential economic toll. Burr subsequently stepped down as chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Netflix tops 200 million global subscribers

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Netflix said that it added another 8.5 million global subscribers last quarter, bringing its total number of paid subscribers globally to more than 200 million.

The big picture: Positive fourth-quarter results show Netflix's resiliency, despite increased competition and pandemic-related production headwinds.

Janet Yellen plays down debt, tax hike concerns in confirmation hearing

Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen at an event in December. Photo: Alex Wong via Getty Images

Janet Yellen, Biden's pick to lead the Treasury Department, pushed back against two key concerns from Republican senators at her confirmation hearing on Tuesday: the country's debt and the incoming administration's plans to eventually raise taxes.

Driving the news: Yellen — who's expected to win confirmation — said spending big now will prevent the U.S. from having to dig out of a deeper hole later. She also said the Biden administration's priority right now is coronavirus relief, not raising taxes.