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J. Scott Applewhite / AP

There's certainly a lot of mystery and suspense about the Senate health care bill. There's just not a lot of excitement in the air. They're on track to release what Majority Leader Mitch McConnell calls a "discussion draft" of the bill on Thursday, but we have yet to hear anyone — including McConnell — say, "We're going to be so pumped when we pass this."

For context: Senate Democrats didn't have the votes in hand when they took the Affordable Care Act to the floor in December 2009, either. And the bill they voted on was different from the one they introduced: They dropped the "public option." Still, they released their bill way more than a week before the vote.

The latest from the Senate:

  • The bill we see on Thursday probably isn't the one the Senate will vote on next week, as Caitlin Owens reported yesterday. That's because they're going to include state waivers from several Affordable Care Act insurance regulations, including minimum benefits — but with the full knowledge that they could get stripped out if the parliamentarian says they violate Senate budget rules.
  • Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, and Ron Johnson all made it clear they're not on board.
  • "We need to do a substantially better job of driving down the cost of premiums," Cruz told reporters. What he wants: more freedom from the ACA's insurance regulations and "far more robust flexibility" in Medicaid.
  • Moderate Republicans didn't sound happy with the plan to limit Medicaid spending and slow the growth rate in 2025. "I don't look favorably on it, that's for sure," Sen. Shelley Moore Capito told Caitlin yesterday. "Not for it," Sen. Rob Portman said.
  • Sen. Bob Corker wasn't thrilled with the secrecy of the process: "I'm one of those folks that thinks the public process is useful, and I've said that from the beginning. That's not the process that's been pursued."
  • Oh, and President Trump is at it again. Our colleague David McCabe reports that he told tech CEOs on Monday that he had urged Senate Republicans to put "more heart" into their bill. (It seemed to be a continuation of his reported comments where he called the House bill "mean.")

The bottom line: This is far as McConnell would go, when asked if he was confident the bill will pass: "We're going to make every effort to pass a bill that dramatically changes the current health care law."

Go deeper

Tech scrambles to derail inauguration threats

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Tech companies are sharing more information with law enforcement in a frantic effort to prevent violence around the inauguration, after the government was caught flat-footed by the Capitol siege.

Between the lines: Tech knows it will be held accountable for any further violence that turns out to have been planned online if it doesn't act to stop it.

Dave Lawler, author of World
53 mins ago - World

Uganda's election: Museveni declared winner, Wine claims fraud

Wine rejected the official results of the election. Photo: Sumy Sadruni/AFP via Getty

Yoweri Museveni was declared the winner of a sixth presidential term on Saturday, with official results giving him 59% to 35% for Bobi Wine, the singer-turned-opposition leader.

Why it matters: This announcement was predictable, as the election was neither free nor fair and Museveni had no intention of surrendering power after 35 years. But Wine — who posed a strong challenged to Museveni, particularly in urban areas, and was beaten and arrested during the campaign — has said he will present evidence of fraud. The big question is whether he will mobilize mass resistance in the streets.

Off the Rails

Episode 1: A premeditated lie lit the fire

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 1: Trump’s refusal to believe the election results was premeditated. He had heard about the “red mirage” — the likelihood that early vote counts would tip more Republican than the final tallies — and he decided to exploit it.

"Jared, you call the Murdochs! Jason, you call Sammon and Hemmer!”