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Sen. Susan Collins' ACA changes may not make much of a difference. Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP

Even if congressional Republicans agree to help stabilize the Affordable Care Act in order to secure the votes for their tax overhaul, those stabilization efforts might not end up taking effect, conservative policy analyst Chris Jacobs argues at The Federalist.

Why it matters: Sen. Susan Collins has insisted that the Senate pass two health care bills, to try to make up for the premium increases caused by repealing the ACA's individual mandate in their tax overhaul. But it's far from clear that either measure could become law — or that they'd actually help, even if they do pass.

The details: In order to soften the blow from repealing the ACA's individual mandate, Senate Republicans are considering two separate bills that would make direct payments to insurance companies: The bipartisan stabilization bill from Sens. Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray, and a Collins bill to directly compensate insurance companies for their most expensive customers.

Yes, but: Because the Senate tax bill would add to the deficit, it would trigger automatic cuts in domestic spending. And both of the new pots of money would likely be subject to those cuts, Jacobs writes.

  • "In other words, the payments to insurers may never get made, even if Congress passes these provisions on a spending bill this year," Jennings writes.

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  4. 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.

Technical glitch in Facebook's ad tools creates political firestorm

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: SOPA Images / Contributor

Facebook said late Thursday that a mix of "technical problems" and confusion among advertisers around its new political ad ban rules caused issues affecting ad campaigns of both parties.

Why it matters: A report out Thursday morning suggested the ad tools were causing campaign ads, even those that adhered to Facebook's new rules, to be paused. Very quickly, political campaigners began asserting the tech giant was enforcing policies in a way that was biased against their campaigns.

7 hours ago - Health

States beg for Warp Speed billions

A COVID-19 drive-thru testing center yesterday at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. Photo: David Santiago/Miami Herald via AP

Operation Warp Speed has an Achilles' heel: States need billions to distribute vaccines — and many say they don't have the cash.

Why it matters: The first emergency use authorization could come as soon as next month, but vaccines require funding for workers, shipping and handling, and for reserving spaces for vaccination sites.