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Sen. Bernie Sanders, former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The back-to-back ads taking opposing sides of the surprise billing debate that ran before the 2020 Democratic candidates' closing debate statements in the D.C. market provided the perfect juxtaposition between the very real fight happening in Washington and the 30-second elevator pitches being given on the debate stage.

Yes, but: There wasn't any health care news made last night, despite its prominence as a 2020 campaign issue.

  • We've already covered that some candidates want to abolish private insurance while others think that approach is too radical. We know the general contours of each candidate's plan, or at least how they distill it into an elevator pitch.
  • This was a missed opportunity for the moderators to draw out more detail about each candidate's plan, the trade-offs involved, and how each would be implemented.

Go deeper: 5 takeaways from the third Democratic debate

Go deeper

10 hours ago - World

Maximum pressure campaign escalates with Fakhrizadeh killing

Photo: Fars News Agency via AP

The assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the architect of Iran’s military nuclear program, is a new height in the maximum pressure campaign led by the Trump administration and the Netanyahu government against Iran.

Why it matters: It exceeds the capture of the Iranian nuclear archives by the Mossad, and the sabotage in the advanced centrifuge facility in Natanz.

Scoop: Biden weighs retired General Lloyd Austin for Pentagon chief

Lloyd Austin testifying before Congress in 2015. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Joe Biden is considering retired four-star General Lloyd Austin as his nominee for defense secretary, adding him to a shortlist that includes Jeh Johnson, Tammy Duckworth and Michele Flournoy, two sources with direct knowledge of the decision-making tell Axios.

Why it matters: A nominee for Pentagon chief was noticeably absent when the president-elect rolled out his national security team Tuesday. Flournoy had been widely seen as the likely pick, but Axios is told other factors — race, experience, Biden's comfort level — have come into play.

Updated 12 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York COVID restrictions.
  3. World: Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.
  4. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in December Black Friday shopping across the U.S., in photosAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.