Protesters hold a demonstration in support of health care in Montana, 2017. Photo: William Campbell-Corbis via Getty Images

Virginia's state legislature appeared to make some progress yesterday toward adopting the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion, which would cover some 400,000 people in the state, per the AP.

Why it matters: There are only 14 states that haven't taken part in the ACA's Medicaid expansion. It gained new life in Virginia after Democrats made big gains in the state legislature, and ballot initiatives are one way — albeit not a sure-fire one — to advance the issue in deep-red states.

Meanwhile, Medicaid expansion will officially be on the ballot this fall in Utah. The state certified the ballot initiative yesterday, after advocates submitted the required number of signatures last month.

  • The referendum is competing with a partial expansion that has the support of Republicans in the state legislature, as well as Gov. Gary Herbert.
  • The full expansion would cover roughly 70,000 Utah residents, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

Advocates in Idaho also say they've collected enough signatures to get the expansion on the ballot. It would cover up to 62,000 people there.

The bottom line: If all three states ultimately sign on, more than 500,000 Americans could gain health coverage, and Medicaid could become even more politically difficult to cut.

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Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Trump's Tucker mind-meld

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Roy Rochlin/Getty Images and BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images

If you want to understand the rhetorical roots of Trump's Independence Day speech at Mount Rushmore, go back and watch Tucker Carlson's monologues for the past six weeks.

Between the lines: Trump — or rather his speechwriter Stephen Miller — framed the president's opposition to the Black Lives Matter protest movement using the same imagery Carlson has been laying out night after night on Fox.

Updated 9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 6 p.m. ET: 11,366,145 — Total deaths: 532,644 — Total recoveries — 6,154,138Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6 p.m. ET: 2,874,396 — Total deaths: 129,870 — Total recoveries: 906,763 — Total tested: 35,512,916Map.
  3. States: Photos of America's pandemic July 4 ICU beds in Arizona hot spot near capacity — Houston mayor warns about hospitals
  4. Public health: U.S. coronavirus infections hit record highs for 3 straight days.
  5. Politics: Former Trump official Tom Bossert says face masks “are not enough”
  6. World: Mexican leaders call for tighter border control as infections rise in U.S.
  7. Sports: Sports return stalked by coronavirus
  8. 1 📽 thing: Drive-in movie theaters are making a comeback.

Bolton's hidden aftershocks

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The news media has largely moved on, but foreign government officials remain fixated on John Bolton's memoir, "The Room Where It Happened."

Why it matters: Bolton's detailed inside-the-Oval revelations have raised the blood pressure of allies who were already stressed about President Trump's unreliability.