Apr 10, 2017

Why states are getting interested in reinsurance

AP file photo

Here's one of the next things to watch now that Trumpcare is stalled: look for more states to set up their own reinsurance programs, and apply for special Obamacare waivers that could help them get federal funds. It's similar to the latest idea Republicans are considering to revive Trumpcare, but if Congress isn't going to get its act together, states have a lot more incentive to move on their own.

The back story:

  • The idea is to give health insurance companies extra funds if they get a lot of expensive patients so they don't have to raise premiums through the roof.
  • Alaska did it on its own to head off a 42 percent rate increase, and now it's applying for one of the waivers to get federal support to expand the program. Minnesota is about to launch its own program.
  • "I'd venture to say that half the states know about it and are considering it," said Joel Ario, managing director of Manatt Health and a member of the Axios board of experts.
  • Another reason the idea could take off: Health and Human Services secretary Tom Price is actively encouraging it. He invited states last month to apply for Obamacare "state innovation waivers," which free them from some of the law's rules if they can cover people in different ways.
  • One idea he singled out: "high-risk pool/state-operated reinsurance programs."

Bottom line: "It's one of the few bipartisan things out there," Ario said.

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Deadly clashes erupt in Delhi ahead of Trump's visit

Rival protesters over the Citizenship Amendment Act in Delhi, India, on Monday. Photo: Yawar Nazir/ Getty Images

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal called for calm Tuesday as deadly clashes erupted in the city's northeast between supporters and opponents of India's controversial new citizenship law.

Why it matters: Per the BBC, a police officer and six civilians "died in the capital's deadliest day" since last year's passing of the Citizenship Amendment Act — which allows religious minorities but excludes Muslims from nearby countries to become citizens if they can show they were persecuted for their religion — hours before President Trump and members of the U.S. first family were due to visit the city as part of their visit to India.

Go deeper: India's citizenship bill continues Modi's Hindu nationalist offensive

South Carolina paper The State backs Buttigieg for Democratic primary

Democratic presidential candidate and former South Bend Pete Buttigieg speaks at an event in Charleston, South Carolina on Monday. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

South Carolina newspaper The State endorsed former Southbend Mayor Pete Buttigieg on Monday night for the state's Democratic primary.

Why it matters: It's a welcome boost for Buttigieg ahead of Tuesday's Democratic debate in South Carolina and the state's primary on Saturday.

White House requests $2.5 billion to fight coronavirus as U.S. cases rise

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The Trump administration sent a letter to Congress Monday requesting a funding commitment of at least $2.5 billion to help combat the spread of the novel coronavirus, as the number of confirmed cases in the U.S. rose to 53.

The big picture: As South Korea and Italy stepped up emergency measures in efforts to thwart the spread of the virus, WHO expressed concern about infections with no clear link to China. COVID-19 has killed at least 2,699 people and infected more than 80,000 others, with all but 27 deaths occurring in mainland China.

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