Feb 27, 2017

Why Anthem has so much clout in health care talks

Darron Cummings / AP

Since the November election, Anthem, the national insurer with the most at stake in the Obamacare marketplaces, and affiliated Blue Cross insurers have been meeting with top Republicans leading the charge to repeal Obamacare, per Reuters. That gives them a lot of influence with the Trump administration as it cracks down on Obamacare regulations that have hurt the company's profits — and as it meets with health insurance executives this morning.

Here's what Anthem's CEO, Joseph Swedish, has been pushing for:

  • Tighter enrollment rules after losing money on people who waited to signup for Obamacare until they were sick. (This was the subject of the administration's first Obamacare rule.)
  • Changes in the way payments for the sickest patients are calculated.
  • An extension to the discontinuation of plans after 2017 that were issued before Obamacare and don't meet the law's coverage requirements.

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Q&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

As the coronavirus continues to spread throughout the U.S., Axios is answering readers' questions about the pandemic — how it spreads, who's at risk, and what you can do to stay safe.

What's new: This week, we answer five questions on smokers' vulnerability, food safety, visiting older parents, hair cut needs, and rural vs. urban impact.

The other coronavirus test we need

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Researchers are racing to develop tests that detect whether someone may have developed immunity to the coronavirus, which could help society return to normal faster.

Why it matters: These tests could help people know if they are able to go back to work, as well as aid researchers in tracking the scale and death rate of the disease — key data for current and future pandemic policies.

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What the U.S. can learn from other countries in the coronavirus fight

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Note: Cases are shown on a logarithmic scale; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

The countries that have most successfully fended off the novel coronavirus have mainly done it with a combination of new technology and old-school principles.

Why it matters: There's a lot the U.S. can learn from the way other countries have handled this global pandemic — although we may not be able to apply those lessons as quickly as we'd like.

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