Jan 23, 2017

Trump v Obamacare's individual mandate

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.

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U.S. coronavirus updates: Death toll passes 9,600

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Recorded deaths from the novel coronavirus surpassed 9,600 in the U.S. Sunday night, per Johns Hopkins data. The death toll in the U.S. has risen over 1,000 every day since April 1.

Why it matters: U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said on Sunday this upcoming week will be "the hardest and saddest week of most Americans' lives" — calling it our "our Pearl Harbor, our 9/11 moment."

Go deeperArrowUpdated 8 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 p.m. ET: 1,273,990 — Total deaths: 69,444 — Total recoveries: 260,247Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 p.m. ET: 337,310 — Total deaths: 9,634 — Total recoveries: 17,461Map.
  3. Federal government latest: Surgeon general says this week will be "our Pearl Harbor, our 9/11 moment." The USDA confirms that a Bronx zoo tiger tested positive for coronavirus.
  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. World 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.

Intelligence community watchdog suggests Trump fired him for doing his job

Michael Atkinson, Inspector General of the Intelligence Community,at the Capitol in October. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson suggested in a statement Sunday President Trump fired him for acting impartially in carrying out his duties following a whistleblower complaint.

Why it matters: Atkinson alerted Congress last September to the complaint on Trump's correspondence with Ukraine's president, triggering an inquiry that resulted in the Trump's impeachment.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy