Mar 15, 2017

Conservatives still haven't gotten to "yes" on Trumpcare after Pence meeting

Timothy D. Easley / AP

The Republican Study Committee discussed the changes they want made to the Medicaid and tax credit provisions of the House health care bill with Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday.

They didn't get any solid commitments from the administration, but Chairman Mark Walker told reporters after the meeting that "we're as hopeful as we've ever been." Rep. Ted Yoho, who's also a member of the hardliner House Freedom Caucus, told reporters that "there's going to be more changes" to the bill.

Here's what the RSC wants to see changed in the Rules Committee next week, before the bill reaches the House floor:

  • Move up the freeze in Medicaid expansion enrollment from January 2020 to January 2018. (Walker said bumping up the freeze just one year could potentially be a compromise.)
  • Add work requirements for able-bodied, childless adults in Medicaid.
  • Reduce Medicaid per-capita funding growth rates so they don't exceed historical rates.
  • Slow the tax credit growth rate, ensure they are "fiscally responsible and promote work."
  • Expand what health savings accounts can be used for, especially for paying premiums.
  • Make sure all Obamacare taxes are repealed "as soon as possible." Right now, most are repealed beginning in 2018.

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O'Brien rejects intelligence report of Russia effort to re-elect Trump

National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien. Photo: Chris Usher/CBS via Getty Images

White House national security adviser Robert O'Brien repeatedly rejected on ABC's "This Week" an assessment from a congressional briefing led by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence that Russia is interfering in the 2020 election to help President Trump get re-elected.

Why it matters: The report put the Trump administration under fresh scrutiny in regard to steps it has been taking to combat the kind of interference that the U.S. encountered in 2016.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 23 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Italy becomes site of largest coronavirus outbreak outside of Asia

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus has spread to more nations as South Korea and Italy step up emergency measures in their countries amid rising case numbers on Sunday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed at least 2,462 people and infected almost 79,000 others, mostly in mainland China. South Korea increased the infectious disease alert to red, the highest possible, as its case numbers jumped to 602 and the death toll to five. Italy's government announced emergency measures as it confirmed a spike from three to 132 cases in matter of days, making it the largest outbreak outside of Asia.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

Iranian state TV: Hardliners win landslide victory in low-turnout election

Photo: Iranian Supreme Leader Press Office/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Iranian state TV announced Sunday that hardliners won a landslide victory in the country's parliamentary elections two days ago, including all 30 seats in Tehran, AP reports.

Why it matters: Voter turnout in the election only reached 42.57%, according to Iran's interior ministry, the first time turnout dipped below 50% since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. The low turnout may signal dissatisfaction with the Iranian government and the election system.

Go deeperArrow2 hours ago - World