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Data: NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll; Note: ±3.8% margin of error; Chart: Axios Visuals

Health care wasn't the top issue heading into the 2020 election — and then Ruth Bader Ginsburg died.

Between the lines: This poll was conducted in the days before her death, which has significantly increased the threat to the Affordable Care Act and thus the threat to the law's pre-existing conditions protections.

  • Flashback: Democrats won the House in 2018 after running campaigns heavily focused on health care, an especially potent issue after the GOP's failed attempt to repeal and replace the ACA in 2017.
  • A pending lawsuit, brought by GOP attorneys general and supported by the Trump administration, is scheduled to be argued before the Supreme Court the week after the election. If successful, it could have a more chaotic effect than almost anything that Republicans proposed in 2017.

What we're watching: Even among Democrats, only 15% of respondents said that health care was their most important issue. But that could easily change now that the ACA is imminently at risk.

Go deeper

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Photo: Tom Brenner/Getty Images

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died of metastatic pancreatic cancer at age 87, the Supreme Court announced Friday evening.

The big picture: Ginsburg had suffered from serious health issues over the past few years. As an attorney and then as a justice Ginsburg cemented a legacy as one of the foremost champions of women's rights, raising gender equality to a constitutional issue. Her death sets up a fight over filling a Supreme Court seat with less than 50 days until the election.

1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Jen Psaki: "With that I’d love to take your questions”

In her inaugural briefing as White House press secretary, Jen Psaki said she has a “deep respect for the role of a free and independent press in our democracy,” and pledged to hold daily briefings.

Why it matters: Conferences with the press secretary in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room became almost non-existent under the Trump administration. By sending Psaki to the podium hours after President Biden took the oath of office, the White House signaled a return to pre-Trump norms.

Avril Haines confirmed as director of national intelligence

Haines. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Image

Avril Haines was quickly confirmed by the Senate on Wednesday as the director of national intelligence (DNI) in a vote of 84-10.

Why it matters: Haines is the first of President Biden's nominees to receive a full Senate confirmation and she will be the first woman to serve as DNI. She's previously served as CIA deputy director from 2013 to 2015 and deputy national security adviser from 2015 to 2017.

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