Mar 21, 2017

Exclusive: Tom Price rallies small business support for Obamacare repeal

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

HHS Secretary Tom Price briefed 6,500 small business owners on the GOP Obamacare repeal plan across the country during a teleforum Tuesday organized by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). The NFIB has been staunchly opposed to Obamacare and in favor of the House GOP changes to the program, and officials implored members to contact their representatives in support of the plan.

During a question and answer session with Price, NFIB members voiced approval of the Trump agenda, but were concerned about the three-staged approach to the legislation. A farmer from California, for instance, worried that changes made in the first stage would not bring "immediate relief" from rising deductibles and premiums for her three employees. Price argued that a system of tax credits and savings accounts, and the repeal of Obamacare taxes would bring down costs quickly.

Not so fast: The Congressional Budget Office says that premiums would come down eventually, but that they'd actually increase in 2018 and 2019 under the GOP plan. NFIB members worried that changes to Obamacare's insurance regulations will fall by the wayside have reason for concern, given that there appears to be no path to the 60 Senate votes such reform would require.

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Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3:00 a.m. ET: 5,594,175 — Total deaths: 350,531 — Total recoveries — 2,288,579Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3:00 a.m. ET: 1,681,418 — Total deaths: 98,929 — Total recoveries: 384,902 — Total tested: 14,907,041Map.
  3. Federal response: DOJ investigates meatpacking industry over soaring beef pricesMike Pence's press secretary returns to work.
  4. Congress: House Republicans to sue Nancy Pelosi in effort to block proxy voting.
  5. Business: How the new workplace could leave parents behind.
  6. Tech: Twitter fact-checks Trump's tweets about mail-in voting for first timeGoogle to open offices July 6 for 10% of workers.
  7. Public health: Coronavirus antibodies could give "short-term immunity," CDC says, but more data is neededCDC releases guidance on when you can be around others after contracting the virus.
  8. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
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Updated 6 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Hong Kong police fire pepper pellets at demonstrators

Hong Kong riot policeissue a warning as they aim to clear away people gathered downtownon Wednesday. Photo: Anthony Wallace/AFP via Getty Images

Hong Kong riot police have fired pepper pellets at activists and surrounded the Legislative Council during demonstrations against a bill proposing to criminalize "disrespect of the Chinese anthem" on Wednesday, per Reuters.

Why it matters: The bill is the latest concern pro-democracy protesters have that Chinese authorities are encroaching on the high degree of autonomy the former British colony has retained since it was returned to China in 1997.

Minneapolis unrest as hundreds protest death of George Floyd

Tear gas is fired as police clash with protesters demonstrating against the death of George Floyd outside the 3rd Precinct Police Precinct in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on Tuesday. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Minneapolis police used tear gas during clashes with protesters demanding justice Tuesday night for George Floyd, an African American who died in police custody, according to multiple news reports.

Driving the news: The FBI is investigating Floyd's death after video emerged of a Minneapolis police officer kneeling on his neck for several minutes, ignoring protests that he couldn't breathe. Hundreds of protesters attended the demonstration at the intersection where Floyd died, per the Guardian.