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Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

Former Montana Sen. Max Baucus — a central architect of the Affordable Care Act who steered that bill toward the center and rejected multiple proposals for government-run insurance plans — now supports single-payer.

"My personal view is we've got to start looking at single-payer," Baucus, the Senate Finance chair during the ACA debate, said last night, according to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. ""I think we should have hearings ... We're getting there. It's going to happen."

Why it matters: Baucus isn't in a position to make policy anymore, but he can still take the temperature of his party. Just eight years ago, he refused to even hold a hearing on single-payer. To say now that he not only supports it, but that he thinks it's inevitable, is a sign of just how dramatically Democrats are pulling to the left on health care.

Go deeper

3 mins ago - World

Scoop: Iran preparing to enrich weapons-grade uranium, Israel warns U.S.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi holds a press conference. Photo: Presidency of Iran handout via Getty

Israel has shared intelligence over the past two weeks with the U.S. and several European allies suggesting that Iran is taking technical steps to prepare to enrich uranium to 90% purity — the level needed to produce a nuclear weapon, two U.S. sources briefed on the issue tell me.

Why it matters: Enriching to 90% would bring Iran closer than ever to the nuclear threshold. The Israeli warnings come as nuclear talks resume in Vienna, with Iran returning to the negotiating table on Monday after a five-month hiatus.

Biden: Fight against Omicron won't include "shutdowns or lockdowns"

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden on Monday said that the new coronavirus variant, Omicron, is "a cause for concern, not a cause for panic."

Driving the news: Biden said later this week the administration will be releasing a strategy on how "we're going to fight COVID this winter. Not with shutdowns or lockdowns, but with more widespread vaccinations, boosters, testing and more."

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: WHO says Omicron poses "very high" risk — Fauci says Omicron variant will "inevitably" be found in U.S. — U.S. to restrict air travel from 8 countries over new COVID variant concerns.
  2. Politics: Biden says fight against Omicron won't include "shutdowns or lockdowns."
  3. States: New York declares state of emergency amid concerns over Omicron.
  4. World: Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating worldWHO warns against travel bans on southern African countries — First North American Omicron cases identified in Canada.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.