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A technician works in a cardiac cath lab. Photo: Jeff Gritchen/Digital First Media/Orange County Register via Getty Images

A new draft health care bill, released today in the Senate, would aim to build a better database of real-world records about health care costs.

Details: The federal government would pay a nonprofit $95 million over 6 years to build a database of medical claims, showing how much employers and insurers actually paid for care. Employers' claims data has long been considered a black box.

The nonprofit would have to produce reports, abide by strict protocols to keep the data secure and private, and make the data available to any company, researcher or entity who requests access, according to the draft bill text.

Driving the news: Employers have told legislators they want more access to this kind of data to make better purchasing decisions and see where they are overspending, and these kinds of claims databases have support across the political spectrum.

  • UnitedHealthcare's decision to stop providing data to the Health Care Cost Institute earlier this year served as an extra impetus to include this provision, according to a Senate staffer.

What we're watching: Hospitals and other providers likely won't be fans of this idea. They've benefited from keeping true prices hidden.

Go deeper

Jan. 6 panel subpoenas "alternate" Trump electors

Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) addresses the media after a House Jan. 6 select committee hearing in July 2021. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on Friday announced subpoenas for more than a dozen people who led groups of "alternate electors" for former President Trump.

Why it matters: Slates of fake electors organized by pro-Trump forces in the wake of the 2020 election have come under intense scrutiny in recent weeks around the one-year anniversary of the attack.

Swastikas found outside Union Station in Washington, D.C.

People walk through Union Station on Jan. 16 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Drawings of swastikas appeared etched around the entrance to Union Station in Washington, D.C., on Friday morning.

Driving the news: "An investigation is underway with Amtrak Police and the Metropolitan Police Department after swastikas were reported on the exterior of Washington Union Station on Friday," Amtrak spokesperson Kimberly Woods said in a statement to Axios.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Contact tracing fizzles across America — New clues emerge on long COVID — Omicron is finally burning out — It's very difficult to get access to antiviral COVID treatments — Axios-Ipsos poll: Omicron's big numbersAnother wave of death — FDA limits use of Regeneron and Lilly antibody treatments.
  2. Vaccines: Pfizer begins clinical trial for Omicron-specific vaccine — The shifting definition of fully vaccinated.
  3. Politics: Virginia AG says public colleges can't mandate COVID vaccines —Alaska governor joins Texas lawsuit over National Guard vaccine mandate — Navy discharges 45 sailors for refusing vaccine — Spotify to remove Neil Young's music after his Joe Rogan ultimatum.
  4. World: U.K. to lift travel testing requirement for fully vaccinated — Beijing Olympic Committee lowers testing threshold ahead of Games.
  5. Variant tracker