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Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

The early consensus on President Trump's executive order is that it could cause problems with insurers — because it's so vague, but could be read as an attack on the individual mandate. Insurers want clear signals about what's next, so it's a good bet that muddying the waters isn't going to help.

The possible weakening of the mandate is the angle that's dominating the national coverage, including the Washington Post's writeup, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement Saturday that the order "appears to target the individual mandate."

There's an important caveat, though: The executive order doesn't do anything more than set goals for the agencies, which won't officially be under new leadership until President Trump's team is in place.

"This order doesn't by itself do anything. It sends marching orders to federal agencies but doesn't grant them any new powers," said Larry Levitt of the Kaiser Family Foundation. However, he said, "my reading is that the order is signaling loosening up on the individual mandate and required benefits, and giving states more flexibility."

Nicholas Bagley, a respected legal expert on Obamacare, has a good post up about how to decode the language on flexibility. He says the broad language on waivers or exemptions for costs, fees, taxes, and other burdens:

[R]eads like bureaucratic code for 'kill the individual mandate by any means possible.'

And here's how Andy Slavitt, the outgoing chief of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, responded to the executive order on Twitter:

Unsupported embed type

Levitt agreed that the uncertainty itself is the biggest problem: "Something we can be certain of is that this order creates much more uncertainty for insurers just as they're formulating their plans for 2018."

Go deeper

Facebook's pivotal week

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

They're battening down the hatches at Facebook headquarters this week as the company faces a trifecta of tumult: a continuing wave of negative press coverage fueled by document leaks, a critical earnings report Monday and a reported name change looming.

The big picture: All this is unfolding as Mark Zuckerberg tries to transform Facebook from a social network into the prime mover behind a new "metaverse" of VR- and AR-driven remote work and play.

3D-printed houses seem poised to go mainstream

A rendering of a planned 3D-printed, net-zero-energy community in Rancho Mirage, Calif. Photo: Mighty Buildings

3D-printed cement houses are about to take off, offering a cheaper, more efficient way to provide homes for those who need them — as long as they can be built in ways that don't worsen climate change.

Why it matters: Developers of 3D-printed homes think they can take on multiple challenges: the affordable housing crisis, the shortage of skilled labor and rising material costs.

Updated 1 hour ago - World

U.S. threatens to cut aid to Sudan after military takeover

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok during a 2020 news conference in Khartoum, Sudan. Photo: Mahmoud Hjaj/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Sudan's civilian Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok was put under house arrest and several other ministers were detained Monday in what appears to be a military coup in the country, per local reports.

The latest: Several hours after he was placed under house arrest, a military force took Prime Hamdok and his wife from their house to an undisclosed location, according to Hamdok's adviser Adam Harika.