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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Democrats of all stripes are embracing some form of "Medicare for All." Now they just have to decide what that means.

  • For Sen. Bernie Sanders, it means scrapping the entire U.S. health care system and moving everyone into a pure single-payer system with no role for private insurance.
  • For more moderate Democrats, it means letting people buy into the existing Medicare program (which relies on private insurers pretty heavily) or establishing a new public insurance option alongside private coverage.

But the core idea is the same: The government should cover more people.

The odds: Medicare for All isn't imminent. But universal, government-provided coverage is legitimately on the table for the first time since the '70s, and that makes incremental steps toward universal coverage far more likely.

  • Polls show that people support both "single-payer" and Medicare for All, but that support is soft.
  • Even narrowly factual arguments against it — like, the government would be in charge — cause supporters to change their minds. And the attacks would be a lot stronger than that if and when any real political push actually happens.

The takeaway: Medicare for All is a microcosm of the broader divides within the Democratic Party. The party's top 2020 contenders in the Senate have all signed on to Sanders' plan, while many more moderate Democrats are afraid the party is moving too far left on an issue that hurt them badly in 2010 and 2014.

Go deeper: Medicare for All is a winner in Democratic primaries.

Go deeper

21 mins ago - Health

Biden says it's "not the time to relax" after touring vaccination site

President Biden speaking after visiting a FEMA Covid-19 vaccination facility in Houston on Feb. 26. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday that "it's not the time to relax" coronavirus mitigation efforts and warned that the number of cases and hospitalizations could rise again as new variants of the virus emerge.

Why it matters: Biden, who made the remarks after touring a vaccination site in Houston, echoed CDC director Rochelle Walensky, who said earlier on Friday that while the U.S. has seen a recent drop in cases and hospitalizations, "these declines follow the highest peak we have experienced in the pandemic."

Updated 42 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Most COVID-19 survivors can weather risk of reinfection, study says — "Twindemic" averted as flu reports plummet amid coronavirus crisis
  2. Vaccine: FDA advisory panel endorses J&J COVID vaccine for emergency use — About 20% of U.S. adults have received first vaccine dose, White House says — New data reignites the debate over coronavirus vaccine strategy.
  3. Economy: What's really going on with the labor market.
  4. Local: All adult Minnesotans will likely be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine by summer — Another wealthy Florida community receives special access to COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.

The week markets went wild

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio

The markets just closed out a manic week.

Why it matters: Outsized — and in some cases historic — moves were evident across the board.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

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