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Walker’s opposition could influence Murkowski, whose vote is critical. Photo: AP file

Alaska Gov. Bill Walker formally opposes the Senate's latest repeal-and-replace bill — the fate of which may hinge on Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski. He signed on to a letter today from a bipartisan group of governors, urging Senate leaders not to take up Sen. Lindsey Graham’s bill and instead support "bipartisan efforts to make health care more available and affordable for all Americans."

Why it matters: Winning over Murkowski was already a tough but critically important task for GOP leaders, and Walker's opposition gives her even more cover to oppose the latest bill. If she ultimately opposes it, leadership will need to wrangle two "yes" votes from some combination of Sens. Susan Collins, John McCain and Rand Paul.

More: Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval also signed the letter. When the repeal-and-replace saga started, Sandoval and Sen. Dean Heller teamed up to oppose an early GOP repeal bill because of its Medicaid cuts. We've come a long way: Sandoval is now publicly opposing a bill Heller has cosponsored, which makes far deeper Medicaid cuts than the ones Heller once opposed.

Go deeper

Kate Marino, author of Markets
17 mins ago - Economy & Business

Omicron outbreaks were bad for business in January

Data: New York Federal Reserve Bank; Chart: Axios Visuals

Emerging anecdotal evidence shows just how hard the recent rise in COVID-19 cases hit businesses in early January — but that hasn't hurt some business leaders’ longer-term views on their companies' prospects.

Why it matters: Increasingly, the economic recovery has come in fits and starts that move in tandem with new peaks in cases. Look no further than the thousands of cancelled flights and shuttered Broadway theaters in the wake of the Omicron variant's spread over the last few months.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
47 mins ago - Health

The shifting definition of fully vaccinated

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The definition of what it means to be "fully vaccinated" is evolving even as the CDC has remained careful not to officially change it.

Why it matters: CDC officials have been balancing the job of convincing Americans who've already gotten two doses of the importance of boosters with getting many Americans who still need their first doses to get their shots at all.

Mike Allen, author of AM
57 mins ago - Economy & Business

Small businesses see hiring as No. 1 worry

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Almost every small business owner in a Goldman Sachs survey is having trouble hiring — and two-thirds think the federal government has done too little to ease their hiring, supply-chain and inflation worries.

Why it matters: The Goldman Sachs research gives a vivid window into the continuing headwinds and hardship for entrepreneurs.