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End of US payments to health insurers would cause premiums to rise: CBO

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Health insurance premiums for many customers on the Obamacare individual insurance markets would be 20 percent higher in 2018 if U.S. President Donald Trump follows through on a threat to stop billions of dollars of payments to health insurers, a nonpartisan congressional office said on Tuesday.

The Congressional Budget Office also found that terminating the payments would mean that 5 percent of Americans would live in areas that do not have an insurer in the individual market in 2018. However, the agency estimated that more insurers would participate by 2020 because they will have observed how the markets work without the payments and most people would be able to purchase insurance.

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(Reporting by Yasmeen Abutaleb; Editing by Leslie Adler)


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GOP lawmakers are ‘shaken’ by State Department aide’s testimony — and dread what he’ll say on Wednesday: CNN

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On Monday's edition of CNN's "OutFront," correspondent Jamie Gangel told anchor Erin Burnett that Republican lawmakers were shocked at what State Department official David Holmes revealed in the impeachment investigation — and fear that his public testimony on Wednesday could be even more damaging.

"This is your reporting, 'shaken' is the word you are using of how some Republicans feel about David Holmes' testimony," said Burnett. "What are you hearing?"

"What we're hearing is, according to one congressional GOP source, several GOP lawmakers were, quote, 'more shaken by David Holmes' testimony than they have publicly let on,' that behind closed doors they expressed a lot of frustration about Sondland's testimony in light of what David Holmes said," said Gangel. "We're also hearing that they're now very worried about Sondland's testimony. We've been told by multiple sources that he was ill-fitted to being a diplomat, that multiple sources in the diplomatic community thought that he was in over his head, and they're really worried about what he's going to say on Wednesday and how far he will go."

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Trump wants to move impeachment witnesses out of the White House: CNN says could be ‘retaliation’

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President Donald Trump may commit further crimes if he follows his instinct to punish officials testifying in the impeachment inquiry.

To date, the evidence presented in public impeachment hearings has been very damning, and it has angered the president.

"President Donald Trump's aides have explored moving some impeachment witnesses on loan to the White House from other agencies, such as Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, back to their home departments ahead of schedule," CNN reported Monday, citing people familiar with the conversations.

Advisors have warned the president not to follow his gut on this issue.

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Sondland has a ‘sword of Damocles’ hanging over him thanks to his ever-changing testimony: CNN legal analyst

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On Monday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," CNN legal analyst Laura Coates walked through the precarious legal situation of President Donald Trump's EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland, who will testify before the House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday amid accusations he has lied to Congress in his previous depositions.

"He omitted some crucial information in his earlier sworn deposition. He revised it once," said anchor Wolf Blitzer. "What do you anticipate?"

"The idea that he had one of these epiphanies is precisely why you have closed-door hearings to begin with," said Coates. "One of the tactics and strategies involved here for members of the House was to make sure you couldn't coordinate your testimony, you actually must present what you tell, have a full and complete accounting of what you've done. And you've seen over time, that when you have other witnesses come in, suddenly, he realized, oh, you meant the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help me Congress. And in this role he has failed time and time again. It'll be interesting to see whether he will have additional epiphanies in his opening statements, or if he waits until there are questions. If he waits until that moment, it might be too late for him to correct his testimony."

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