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Tom Lynn / AP

Former Vice President Joe Biden spoke out against the GOP's efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act in a letter published in the Washington Post Monday, where he claims the Trump administration is trying to strip Americans of their basic health rights.

Biden's bottom line: "They want to drag us back to a time — not all that long ago — when Americans could be denied basic health care because they were unable to afford it. That's the reality of where we are today and it's enough to make your blood boil."

Key excerpts:

  • "Last week, Vice President Pence told the National Governors Association that the GOP health-care bill currently being debated in the Senate 'strengthens and secures Medicaid for the neediest in our society.' Respectfully, that's simply not the case."
  • "The ACA isn't perfect, but the choices we made when designing the law flowed from a commitment to provide the best possible care to the most people. Compare that to Republican proposals... and millions more will no longer have the same protections."
  • "Senator McConnell says there's still time to make changes to the bill before it gets to the Senate floor. But it shouldn't even get there, because his bill can't be fixed. By denying that all Americans have a right to health care, it's fundamentally flawed".
  • "Republicans are underestimating the American people if they think a few changes to the bill here or there will convince us that this bill is anything but a big step backward."
  • "Let's again make the commitment that in America, health care is a right for all, not a privilege for the wealthy."

Go deeper

Tech digs in for long domestic terror fight

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

With domestic extremist networks scrambling to regroup online, experts fear the next attack could come from a radicalized individual — much harder than coordinated mass events for law enforcement and platforms to detect or deter.

The big picture: Companies like Facebook and Twitter stepped up enforcement and their conversations with law enforcement ahead of Inauguration Day. But they'll be tested as the threat rises that impatient lone-wolf attackers will lash out.

The pandemic could be worsening childhood obesity

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The 10-month long school closures and the coronavirus pandemic are expected to have a big impact on childhood obesity rates.

Why it matters: About one in five children are obese in the U.S. — an all-time high — with worsening obesity rates across income and racial and ethnic groups, data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey show.

Dave Lawler, author of World
56 mins ago - World

Biden's Russia challenge

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The Biden administration has already proposed a five-year extension of the last treaty constraining the U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals, announced an urgent investigation into a massive Russia-linked cyberattack, and demanded the release of Russia’s leading opposition figure, Alexey Navalny.

Why it matters: Those three steps in Biden's first week underscore the challenge he faces from Vladimir Putin — an authoritarian intent on weakening the U.S. and its alliances, with whom he’ll nonetheless have to engage on critical issues.