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Sen. Orrin Hatch released an ACA proposal. AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File

Two prominent Republicans have come up with a more conservative alternative to the Senate's bipartisan Affordable Care Act bill. The new proposal, from Sen. Orrin Hatch and Rep. Kevin Brady, would waive the ACA's individual and employer mandates in exchange for temporarily funding its cost-sharing subsidies.

Why it matters: This proposal would be harder to pass than the one that's already on the table. But it's a sign that conservatives aren't willing to sit on the sidelines on a process that, so far, has not given them much of what they want.

The details: Hatch and Brady's proposal, which hasn't yet been translated into legislative text, is largely in line with what the White House has said it wants. Their proposal would:

  • Fund the ACA's cost-sharing subsidies for two years
  • Attach new abortion-related conditions on those funds
  • Waive the individual mandate for five years
  • Retroactively waive the employer mandate for two years
  • Expand health savings accounts

The alternative: The bill sponsored by Sens. Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray, by contrast, would fund the cost-sharing subsidies for two years; allow more people to buy cheaper, less comprehensive coverage; and make it easier for states to seek waivers from some of the ACA's regulatory requirements.

The bottom line: Few, if any, Democrats could support Hatch-Brady — and that gives it much longer odds than Alexander-Murray, which already has the 60 votes it would need to pass the Senate. The question is whether GOP leaders will try to find a middle ground — and whether the presence of an alternative will stop Alexander-Murray from gaining more GOP support, especially in the House.

Go deeper

5 mins ago - Sports

Where it stands: Weed policies by U.S. sports league

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

With public support for marijuana legalization nearing unanimity, and more athletes using cannabis to treat pain, the four major U.S. sports leagues continue to reduce restrictions and punishments.

Driving the news: NBA players won't be subject to random marijuana testing this season, an extension of an agreement between the league and its players' union that began ahead of the 2020 Orlando restart.

3 hours ago - World

Scoop: Jake Sullivan discussed Saudi-Israel normalization with MBS

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA/Bloomberg and Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan raised normalization with Israel during his recent meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, three U.S. and Arab sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: Saudi Arabia would be the biggest regional player to sign onto the "Abraham Accords" peace agreement with Israel, and such a major breakthrough would likely convince other Arab and Muslim countries to follow suit.

Tech's leaky world

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Tech companies are learning what everyone in Washington already knows: Leaks of confidential info are inevitable, and "plumbing" operations to close them rarely work.

Why it matters: Most tech firms talk up the power of transparency but prefer to keep details of their operations secret from competitors and the public. Researchers, regulators and the media are increasingly relying on information provided by dissident employees and whistleblowers to see inside companies' workings.