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Darron Cummings / AP

Health insurer Anthem could be "leaning toward exiting a high percentage" of the individual Obamacare marketplaces for 2018, according to a Thursday research note from analysts at the investment firm Jefferies, who said they met with Anthem officials.

Our thought bubble: An Anthem retreat is still a big "if," so take the note with a grain of salt. A Bloomberg report about it is getting a lot of attention, but this is the gut feeling of one Wall Street firm. Anthem also is still pursuing administrative fixes, such as changes to special enrollments and risk adjustment, with the Trump administration. Read the entire snippet from Jefferies here for more context.

However, if Anthem decided to leave the Obamacare exchanges, many state marketplaces would be thrown into chaos. Roughly 255,000 Anthem customers in four states would have no Obamacare insurers for 2018 if Anthem exited, we reported with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation this month.

Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
1 hour ago - Technology

Scoop: Google is investigating the actions of another top AI ethicist

Google CEO Sundar Pichai. Photo by Mateusz Wlodarczyk/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Google is investigating recent actions by Margaret Mitchell, who helps lead the company's ethical AI team, Axios has confirmed.

Why it matters: The probe follows the forced exit of Timnit Gebru, a prominent researcher also on the AI ethics team at Google whose ouster ignited a firestorm among Google employees.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Joe Biden's COVID-19 bubble

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The incoming administration is planning extraordinary steps to protect its most prized commodity, Joe Biden, including requiring daily employee COVID tests and N95 masks at all times, according to new guidance sent to some incoming employees Tuesday.

Why it matters: The president-elect is 78 years old and therefore a high risk for the virus and its worst effects, despite having received the vaccine. While President Trump's team was nonchalant about COVID protocols — leading to several super-spreader episodes — the new rules will apply to all White House aides in "high proximity to principals."

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.