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Charles Gaba has been diligently tracking requests for 2019 Obamacare premium hikes, and he’s got good news and bad news. The good news is that insurance companies are requesting lower rates this year. If things were normal, rates would be going down about 5 percent next year.

The bad news is that things aren’t normal. Republicans have been busily sabotaging Obamacare as best they can, partly by refusing to pay Cost Sharing Reduction payments and partly by eliminating the tax fine for not being covered. Insurance companies have to account for these uncertainties, and as a result the average premium request is about 4 percent higher than last year.

So there you have it. We could have had a 5 percent cut, but thanks to the endless Republican bitterness toward Obamacare, we’re getting a 4 percent increase instead. For those of you who are my age and aren’t receiving subsidies, that’s a difference of about $1,000 or so per year. Be sure to thank the Republican Party when you write the check.

For those of you who do receive subsidies, nothing much should change either way. Your premium will max out at a percentage of your income, and that’s that. Drink a toast to the Democratic Party when you write your check.

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LET’S TALK ABOUT OPTIMISM FOR A CHANGE

Democracy and journalism are in crisis mode—and have been for a while. So how about doing something different?

Mother Jones did. We just merged with the Center for Investigative Reporting, bringing the radio show Reveal, the documentary film team CIR Studios, and Mother Jones together as one bigger, bolder investigative journalism nonprofit.

And this is the first time we’re asking you to support the new organization we’re building. In “Less Dreading, More Doing,” we lay it all out for you: why we merged, how we’re stronger together, why we’re optimistic about the work ahead, and why we need to raise the First $500,000 in online donations by June 22.

It won’t be easy. There are many exciting new things to share with you, but spoiler: Wiggle room in our budget is not among them. We can’t afford missing these goals. We need this to be a big one. Falling flat would be utterly devastating right now.

A First $500,000 donation of $500, $50, or $5 would mean the world to us—a signal that you believe in the power of independent investigative reporting like we do. And whether you can pitch in or not, we have a free Strengthen Journalism sticker for you so you can help us spread the word and make the most of this huge moment.

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