Feb 3, 2017

What to watch for in Trump's first big Obamacare rule

AP file photo

One immediate thing the insurers can look forward to: the Trump administration has sent a "market stabilization" rule to the Office of Management and Budget for review. It won't be released until OMB clears it, but Edmund Haislmaier, a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation who worked on Trump's Health and Human Services transition team, has pretty good idea of what's likely to be in it.

Most likely, it will be the quickest fixes the Trump administration can make to tighten the Obamacare enrollment rules. The leading options: narrowing the reasons to let people sign up outside of the regular enrollment season, making people prove they're eligible for those special enrollment categories, and cracking down on people who haven't paid their premiums. Those are all issues that are "fairly easy to fix" and could convince insurers to be "less defensive" in their pricing, Haislmaier said.

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Sanders takes aim at Bloomberg: "Trump will chew him up and spit him out"

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Bernie Sanders told CBS "60 Minutes" that he was surprised by Mike Bloomberg's lackluster performance at Wednesday's Democratic debate.

What he's saying: "If that's what happened in a Democratic debate, you know, I think it's quite likely that Trump will chew him up and spit him out."

Scoop: Lyft acquires cartop advertising startup Halo Cars

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Lyft has acquired Halo Cars, a small startup that lets ride-hailing drivers earn money via ad displays mounted atop their cars. Lyft confirmed the deal but declined to share any details.

Why it matters: Ride-hailing companies are increasingly eyeing additional ways to generate revenue, and Lyft rival Uber has been quietly testing a partnership with New York-based Cargo that gives it a cut of the advertising revenue, as I previously reported.

Scoop: New White House personnel chief tells Cabinet liaisons to target Never Trumpers

McEntee, shown with White House counselor Kellyanne Conway and White House senior adviser Stephen Miller, walks on the South Lawn of the White House Jan. 9. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Johnny McEntee called in White House liaisons from cabinet agencies for an introductory meeting Thursday, in which he asked them to identify political appointees across the U.S. government who are believed to be anti-Trump, three sources familiar with the meeting tell Axios.

Behind the scenes: McEntee, a 29-year-old former body man to Trump who was fired in 2018 by then-Chief of Staff John Kelly but recently rehired — and promoted to head the presidential personnel office — foreshadowed sweeping personnel changes across government.