Apr 25, 2017

Zoom gets closer to full health insurance exit

Zoom CEO Dr. Dave Sanders / Zoom

Venture-backed startup Zoom said earlier in April it is exiting the entire health insurance market, and now it's officially entering voluntary receivership with the state of Oregon, spokesman Len Bergstein confirmed to Axios. The Oregon-based company began several years ago as a chain of neighborhood clinics, and it expanded into health insurance in 2015 with the hopes of becoming the next iteration of the successful Kaiser Permanente organization.

What went wrong: Zoom didn't suffer from any high-cost medical claims often found in the Affordable Care Act's exchanges. Instead, Zoom thought the uncertainty of the market since President Trump's election made things too risky, Bergstein said. He also blamed "chaotic accounting" associated with the ACA programs that mitigate risk.

What's next: Zoom's clinics and providers won't change as the insurance company winds down by the end of the year, according to an April 21 memo from Zoom CEO Dr. Dave Sanders obtained by Axios. And Zoom has $9 million in reserves to pay any remaining claims.

Between the lines: It's a pretty quick flame-out. Zoom bailed on the ACA marketplaces after just one year, and now it is giving up on health insurance altogether after roughly two years. Not exactly the type of experiment you'd expect from a system that said its goal was to "enhance human performance."

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Biden: George Floyd's last words are "a wake-up call for our nation"

Former Vice President Joe Biden meets with clergy members and community activists during a visit to Bethel AME Church in Wilmington, Del. on June 1, 2020. Photo: JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

Vice President Joe Biden is calling George Floyd’s dying words “a wake-up call for our nation,” and criticized President Trump’s decision to unleash tear gas on peaceful protesters outside the White House, in a civil rights speech from Philadelphia on Tuesday.

Why it matters: Biden in the address drew a sharp contrast between himself and Trump, whose first remarks addressing nationwide unrest Monday highlighted law and order, extreme demonstrations of militarized “strength” and other blustery threats.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 6,302,318 — Total deaths: 376,322 — Total recoveries — 2,716,924Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 1,812,125 — Total deaths: 105,192 — Total recoveries: 458,231 — Total tested: 17,340,682Map.
  3. Public health: Protests against police brutality threaten coronavirus response.
  4. Business: Coronavirus could lower GDP by $15.7 trillion — More than 1 in 6 black workers lost jobs between February and April.
  5. Climate: The alarm over climate financial risk gets louder because of coronavirus.
  6. Media: Interest in the George Floyd protests has soared past the coronavirus.

The business of tear gas

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

U.S. forces yesterday used tear gas on peaceful protesters outside the White House gates, prior to a declared curfew, clearing a path for President Trump to visit a riot-damaged church for a photo opportunity.

The state of play: Two of the largest U.S. producers of tear gas are owned by private equity firms, but those firms have no interest in discussing their ownership.