J. Scott Applewhite / AP

NEW ORLEANS — Despite the failure of the GOP health care effort in Congress, there's good news in the health care debate right now, a former Senate Republican budget aide said at a working lunch at the U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting this afternoon. The highlights from Bill Hoagland, a former staff director for the Senate Budget Committee:

  • On opioids: If Trump declares the opioid crisis a national emergency, — depending on which law Trump turns to to do so — mayors and states might have to be less creative about funding for remedying the opioid crisis, meaning they wouldn't have to worry about offsetting as much. That might help stabilize the market in the short term.
  • "Medicaid is off the table from the time being from my perspective" on Capitol Hill. (The U.S. Conference of Mayors sent a letter to Congress last month noting any proposal that cuts Medicaid is a nonstarter.)
  • ACA is the law of the land and CHIP reauthorization will take place, per Hoagland. (CHIP reauthorization is on the calendar for the first week of September, although it's hard to know right now what the conversation will entail.)
  • Bipartisanship: Senators Lamar Alexander and Murry are planning to start work on a bipartisan plan this fall. Read the details from Axios' Caitlin Owens.

The bad news: Cost sharing reduction payments to insurers are due Aug. 21, but Hoagland said it is unclear if Trump will continue these payments, which reimburse insurers for cost sharing help for low income people. Without the payments, the insurance markets could further destabilize.

The next steps: John Giles, the Mayor of Mesa, Arizona, told other mayors that the next time lawmakers return to health care drafting, it could be a good idea to say, "let's start with a clean sheet of paper."

Why it matters: "When people don't have access to an affordable health insurance product, they die," as Karen DeSalvo, former Acting Assistant Secretary for Health and National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, put it.

Call to action: Giles said mayors have got to organize to lobby their senators and representatives to get the results they want. DeSalvo stressed that "the short game, is the markets need to be stabilized if you want to see people getting coverage."

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Trump tightens screws on ByteDance to sell Tiktok

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President Trump added more pressure Friday night on China-based TikTok parent ByteDance to exit the U.S., ordering it to divest all assets related to the U.S. operation of TikTok within 90 days.

Between the lines: The order means ByteDance must be wholly disentangled from TikTok in the U.S. by November. Trump had previously ordered TikTok banned if ByteDance hadn't struck a deal within 45 days. The new order likely means ByteDance has just another 45 days after that to fully close the deal, one White House source told Axios.

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  5. Cities: Coronavirus pandemic dims NYC's annual 9/11 Tribute in Light.
  6. Business: How small businesses got stiffed — Unemployment starts moving in the right direction.
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Harris: "Women are going to be a priority" in Biden administration

Sen. Kamala Harris at an event in Wilmington, Del. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

In her first sit-down interview since being named Joe Biden's running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris talked about what she'll do to fight for women if elected VP, and how the Democrats are thinking about voter turnout strategies ahead of November.

What they're saying: "In a Biden-Harris administration women are going to be a priority, understanding that women have many priorities and all of them must be acknowledged," Harris told The 19th*'s Errin Haines-Whack.