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Beto O'Rourke in Iowa. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

This tells you a lot about what matters to Democratic primary voters: "1st question for Beto O'Rourke as a 2020 candidate is on health care," NBC's Alex Seitz-Wald reported yesterday from Iowa.

What he's saying: O'Rourke didn't sign on to single-payer legislation when he was in the House, but he made some Medicare-for-All-adjacent comments early in early his Senate run, but he's not talking about Medicare for All now.

"I think we have to begin with a goal that has to be separate from any labels," O'Rourke said yesterday, per a transcription by the Washington Post's Jeff Stein.

The way to achieve that goal, he said, is for more states to adopt the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion and to "allow people to buy into Medicare who aren't already covered by employer insurance."

Flashback: The Wall Street Journal dug back into O'Rourke's first campaign for the House, in 2012, and you can expect to hear this a couple million times over the next year.

From WSJ:

  • "Asked if he supported the Affordable Care Act that Democrats passed and Mr. Obama had signed into law two years earlier, Mr. O’Rourke said he did not."
  • "'In its current form, no,' he told El Paso Inc., a local business publication. 'It doesn’t do anything for El Paso in terms of the Medicaid reimbursement rate.' Mr. O’Rourke added that he was 'supportive of all the aims' of the law."

He voted consistently against the myriad repeal bills once he was in the House.

Go deeper: Everything else you need to know about Beto O'Rourke

Go deeper

New Zealand prime minister announces vaccine mandate for businesses

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern during an October COVID-19 briefing in Wellington, New Zealand. Photo: Robert Kitchin - Pool/Getty Images

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Tuesday a new COVID-19 vaccine mandate for businesses as the government pushes to reach a 90% vaccination target for the country.

Why it matters: Under the new COVID-19 Protection Framework, businesses in close contact with customers must require a vaccine certificate from them. Ardern said at a briefing Tuesday that in order for these venues, which include hair salons, bars, restaurants and gyms, along with events, to operate staff must also be vaccinated.

State Department to set up new cyber bureau to combat hack attacks

Secretary of State Tony Blinken speaks on the challenges during an October conference in Quito, Ecuador. Photo:y Felipe Stanley/Agencia Press South/Getty Images

Secretary of State Tony Blinken announced Monday plans for the State Department to create a new bureau of cyberspace and digital policy.

Why it matters: The establishment of the bureau and plans for a new envoy to oversee critical and emerging technology come after a series significant hack attacks and other online crimes, notably ransomware assaults on U.S. infrastructure.

Biden rejects Trump's latest executive privilege claims

Photo: Jim Watson and Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The White House on Monday rejected two more of former President Trump's claims of executive privilege over documents that the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot requested, CNN first reported.

Why it matters: Trump's legal team is seeking to block some of the panel's requests for records by invoking executive privilege, which can allow presidents and their aides to sidestep congressional scrutiny. The Biden administration has maintained that it will evaluate on a case-by-case basis.