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A few notes on what else is in the executive order:

  • Key phrase: "provide greater flexibility to States and cooperate with them in implementing healthcare programs."
  • Experts are interpreting that as a nod to giving states more Medicaid waivers, and possibly encouraging the "Section 1332" waivers in Obamacare, which are supposed to allow the states to come up with different ways to achieve the law's goals.
  • From Stanford's Lanhee Chen, Mitt Romney's former policy director and a member of the Axios board of outside experts: "It is quite broad and sweeping in its potential scope. It has the potential to be game-changing with respect to enforcement of the mandates, as well as state innovation in Medicaid.
  • What's next, according to Chen: "The big question is how far the administration will take it, and whether they are willing to use some of the same broad interpretations of executive authority that the Obama administration did, albeit for very different ends."
  • A former Senate Democratic aide who helped write Obamacare — Harvard's John McDonough, another member of the Axios board of experts — isn't convinced the order means much: "It seems in this instance as though Trump is shooting with rubber bullets."

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Fauci says he accepted Biden's offer to be chief medical adviser "on the spot" — The recovery needs rocket fuel.
  2. Economy: U.S. economy adds 245,000 jobs in November as recovery slows — America's hidden depression: K-shaped recovery threatens Biden administration.
  3. Education: Devos extends federal student loan relief to Jan. 31
  4. States: New Mexico to allow hospitals to ration coronavirus medical care
  5. Vaccine: What vaccine trials still need to do.
  6. World: UN warns "2021 is literally going to be catastrophic"
  7. 🎧 Podcast: Former FDA chief Rob Califf on the vaccine approval process.
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A safe, sane survival guide

Photo: Luka Dakskobler/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

We all know, it’s getting worse.

Reality check: Here are a few things every one of us can do to stay safe and sane in coming months:

Biden's debut nightmare

President-elect Biden speaks in Wilmington on Nov. 24. Photo: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

A dim, gloomy scene seems increasingly set for Joe Biden's debut as president.

The state of play: He'll address — virtually — a virus-weary nation, with record-high daily coronavirus deaths, a flu season near its peak, restaurants and small businesses shuttered by wintertime sickness and spread.

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