AP file photo

Seema Verma, President Trump's nominee to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, has triggered a big lobbying backlash with her suggestion in her Senate testimony yesterday that maternity health coverage should be optional. The March of Dimes is circulating an online petition denouncing the comments, saying: "ALL families should be able to have a healthy baby without planning a year or more in advance."

Why it's an issue: Maternity coverage is one of the required categories of health benefits under Obamacare, and Republicans are looking for ways to relax those rules to bring down the cost of health insurance. Verma told the Senate Finance Committee that while some women want maternity coverage, "some women might not choose that."

Why it matters: It's a sign of how much lobbying will take place to keep Obamacare's required benefits in place, pushing back against customers who have complained that they don't want all of the coverage the law requires.

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Updated 32 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 6:30 p.m. ET: 18,387,725 — Total deaths: 696,586 — Total recoveries — 10,976,180Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6:30 p.m. ET: 4,758,028 — Total deaths: 156,426 — Total recoveries: 1,513,446 — Total tests: 57,543,852Map.
  3. States: New York City health commissioner resigns in protest of De Blasio's coronavirus response — Local governments go to war over schools.
  4. Public health: 59% of Americans support nationwide 2-week stay-at-home order in NPR poll.
  5. Politics: Trump's national security adviser returns to work after coronavirus recovery Republicans push to expand small business loan program.
  6. Sports: Indy 500 to be held without fansRafael Nadal opts out of U.S. Open.
Updated 54 mins ago - World

At least 50 killed, 3,000 injured after massive explosion rocks Beirut

Photo: Anwar Amro/AFP via Getty Images

A major explosion has slammed central Beirut, Lebanon, damaging buildings as far as several miles away and injuring scores of people.

Driving the news: Lebanon's health minister said in televised remarks that more than 50 people have been killed and over 3,000 injured. Prime Minister Hassan Diab said the explosions occurred at a warehouse that had been storing 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate for the past six years, per NBC.

"Mulan" will head to Disney+, home to more than 60 million subscribers

An outdoor ad for Disney's "Mulan" in Hollywood, California. Photo: Rich Fury/Getty Images

Disney announced Tuesday that its most highly-anticipated blockbuster of the year, the live-action remake of "Mulan," is heading to Disney+ on Sept. 4 for consumers to purchase for a premium access fee of $29.99. The movie's theatrical debut had previously been delayed four times.

Why it matters: It's a huge blow to movie exhibitors across the country that were relying on the Disney hit to come exclusively to theaters for at least a few months before being made available to consumers at home via streaming.