Jun 22, 2017

Cruz can't support health bill, but wants to make a deal

AP file photo

Sen. Ted Cruz says he hasn't given up on the Senate health care bill. He already released a statement with three other Republicans saying they're "not ready to vote for" the draft bill. But in a separate statement, Cruz says he wants to help make "real improvements" so it "provides the relief from Obamacare that Republicans have repeatedly promised the last seven years" — especially in reducing health insurance premiums.

What he wants: He'd give consumers "the freedom to choose among more affordable plans that are tailored for their individual healthcare needs." He also wants more flexibility for Medicaid, the ability to buy health insurance across state lines, expanded health savings accounts, and medical liability reform.

Between the lines: Cruz is hinting that he wants to be a dealmaker: "I want to get to yes, but this first draft doesn't get the job done." And Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's allies consider him an easier negotiating partner than the other conservatives, including Sens. Mike Lee and Rand Paul. The catch is that even though most of his ideas have broad support among Republicans, not all of it can be done under Senate budget rules.

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Scoop: New White House personnel chief tells Cabinet liaisons to target Never Trumpers

McEntee, shown with White House counselor Kellyanne Conway and White House senior adviser Stephen Miller, walks on the South Lawn of the White House Jan. 9. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Johnny McEntee called in White House liaisons from cabinet agencies for an introductory meeting Thursday, in which he asked them to identify political appointees across the U.S. government who are believed to be anti-Trump, three sources familiar with the meeting tell Axios.

Behind the scenes: McEntee, a 29-year-old former body man to Trump who was fired in 2018 by then-Chief of Staff John Kelly but recently rehired — and promoted to head the presidential personnel office — foreshadowed sweeping personnel changes across government.

How art can help us understand AI

Photo: Ina Fried/Axios

Activists and journalists have been telling us for years that we are handing too much of our human autonomy over to machines and algorithms. Now artists have a showcase in the heart of Silicon Valley to highlight concerns around facial recognition, algorithmic bias and automation.

Why it matters: Art and technology have been partners for millennia, as Steve Jobs liked to remind us. But the opening of "Uncanny Valley: Being Human in the Age of AI" tomorrow at the de Young Museum in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park puts art in the role of technology's questioner, challenger — and sometimes prosecutor.

The Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury fight is the rematch of the century

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The weekend's biggest sporting event is Wilder-Fury II, which despite its name is not an action movie sequel starring Jean-Claude Van Damme but, rather, a boxing match starring arguably the two best heavyweights in the world.

The backdrop: In their first meeting in December 2018, Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury put on a memorable show at Staples Center, with Fury surviving a brutal right hand in the 12th round to earn a split-decision draw.

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