Jan 22, 2017

Conway: Trump wants to get rid of individual mandate "almost immediately"

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway confirmed health care analysts' suspicions Sunday that Obamacare's individual mandate was one of the main targets President Trump's executive order Friday — but she fudged on how quickly the administration would act on it.

Here's what she said on ABC's "This Week with George Stepanopoulous" this morning when Stephanopoulos asked about the executive order:

He wants to get rid of that Obamacare penalty almost immediately. Because that is something that is really strangling a lot of Americans, to have to pay a penalty for not buying health care.

But when Stephanopoulos asked whether that meant Trump would stop enforcing the individual mandate right away, Conway hedged: "He may."

Why it matters: Conway's comments suggest that Trump administration officials may not recognize the market turmoil they could cause next year if insurers still have to cover everyone with pre-existing conditions — a rule that hasn't changed — without the individual mandate to draw healthy people. Conway, however, is still trying to reassure Americans that everything will be OK: "We want to make very clear to everyone that those who are relying upon coverage will not lose it."

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Bernie's juggernaut

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks in San Antonio last night with his wife, Jane. Photo: Eric Gay/AP

Sen. Bernie Sanders won so big in the Nevada caucuses that Democrats are hard-pressed to sketch a way he's not their nominee.

Driving the news: With 60% of precincts counted (slow, but better than Iowa!), Sanders is running away with 46% of delegates — crushing Joe Biden's 20%, Pete Buttigieg's 15%, Sen. Elizabeth Warren's 10% and Sen. Amy Klobuchar's 5%.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Buttigieg campaign claims Nevada caucuses were "plagued with errors"

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Pete Buttigieg's campaign wrote a letter on Sunday asking the Nevada State Democratic Party to release early vote and in-person vote totals by precinct and address certain caucus errors identified by campaigns, The Nevada Independent reports.

The big picture: The campaign alleges that the process of integrating early votes on caucus day was “plagued with errors and inconsistencies,” and says it received more than 200 incident reports from precincts around the state.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus threat grows, threatening some drug supplies

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.

As the novel coronavirus continues spreading globally and China grapples with a limited production capability, there's a growing risk to about 150 prescription drugs in the U.S., sources tell Axios.

The big picture: The coronavirus has spread to more countries, with both South Korea and Italy stepping up emergency measures amid rising case numbers on Sunday. COVID-19 has killed at least 2,467 people and infected almost 79,000 others, mostly in mainland China.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Health