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Andrew Harnik / AP

President Trump's Friday night executive order may not do a lot in itself, but it sure looked like it was aimed at the individual mandate.

Sure enough: White House counselor Kellyanne Conway suggested on Sunday that it was one of the main targets. When George Stephanopoulos asked her on ABC's This Week whether Trump would stop enforcing the mandate, Conway said "he may" — and that Trump wants to get rid of it "almost immediately."

So yes, Trump would like to stop enforcing it quickly — but how quickly can that actually happen?

The ever-helpful Timothy Jost notes that Trump still needs a new Health and Human Services secretary, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services chief, Treasury secretary, and IRS commissioner in place first—and possibly a new Labor Secretary. "In the long run a great deal may change, but we have known that since election night," he writes at the Health Affairs blog.

But as other experts told me for this piece, the biggest danger is that the executive order will create so much uncertainty in the individual market that insurers won't participate next year — right when the Trump administration needs them to keep playing so Obamacare customers won't lose their coverage. Robert Laszewski, a consultant who works with insurers, told The Washington Post it was like throwing a "bomb" into an "already shaky" insurance market.

Go deeper

Updated 12 hours ago - Technology

From Malcolm X to "Free Britney," new media shapes the justice system

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

True crime documentaries, podcasts and social media campaigns are bringing new attention to real-world legal proceedings — and are often affecting the outcome.

Why it matters: New media platforms can instantly put a national spotlight on cases that have long been forgotten or buried under red tape.

Updated 14 hours ago - Health

The next big bottleneck in the global vaccination effort

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

The world still needs more coronavirus vaccines, but an additional bottleneck has emerged in many low-income countries: They need help getting shots in arms.

Why it matters: Increasing vaccination rates across the world is both a humanitarian necessity and the best way to prevent dangerous new variants from emerging, but it increasingly requires complex problem-solving.

Updated 15 hours ago - Health

COVID-19 Omicron variant cases identified in Europe, U.K.

People wearing masks walk in London on Nov. 25. Photo: Li Ying/Xinhua via Getty Images

Health officials in the United Kingdom, Italy and Germany announced on Saturday that they've detected the first known cases of the new COVID-19 Omicron variant.

Why it matters: The discoveries come as the world scrambles to respond to concerns over the new variant, discovered in South Africa earlier this week.