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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

Nathan Bomey, author of Closer
49 mins ago - Economy & Business

Tipping has soared during the pandemic

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

From restaurants to ride-sharing, Americans are tipping a lot more than they did before the pandemic.

Why it matters: The past two years have upended the way we express appreciation to the people who provide us food and services.

Updated 10 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Bomb cyclone prompts blizzard warnings from Virginia to Maine

Computer model projection showing the intense storm off of Cape Cod on Jan 29, 2022, with heavy snow and strong winds lashing the coastline. (Weatherbell.com)

Blizzard warnings are in effect for 11 million people from coastal Virginia to eastern Maine as a historic winter storm is set to slam the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast beginning Friday.

Why it matters: The storm will bring hazards ranging from zero visibility amid hurricane force wind gusts and heavy snow, to coastal flooding that will erode vulnerable beaches and threaten property from the Jersey shore to coastal Massachusetts.

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Contact tracing fizzles across America — New clues emerge on long COVID — Omicron is finally burning out — It's very difficult to get access to antiviral COVID treatments — Axios-Ipsos poll: Omicron's big numbersAnother wave of death — FDA limits use of Regeneron and Lilly antibody treatments.
  2. Vaccines: Pfizer begins clinical trial for Omicron-specific vaccine — The shifting definition of fully vaccinated.
  3. Politics: Virginia AG says public colleges can't mandate COVID vaccines —Alaska governor joins Texas lawsuit over National Guard vaccine mandate — Navy discharges 45 sailors for refusing vaccine — Spotify to remove Neil Young's music after his Joe Rogan ultimatum — White House: 60M households have ordered free COVID-19 rapid tests.
  4. World: U.K. to lift travel testing requirement for fully vaccinated — Beijing Olympic Committee lowers testing threshold ahead of Games.
  5. Variant tracker

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