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AP file photo

As conservatives pressure moderates to accept Trumpcare changes that would swing the bill to the right, some moderates are moving on to a new plan: Bipartisanship. As in, trying to create a coalition with moderate Republicans and conservative Democrats that could actually get something done.

Rep. Charlie Dent, a co-chair of the moderate Tuesday Group, told Axios he thinks the best approach is to work from the center out: "If we attempt to muscle this thing through on a partisan basis, I feel we'll have a similar result" to Obamacare, which is that "the reform won't be durable." He's already talking to some Democrats, who "understand there need to be, at the very least, some very significant repairs made."

Outside of Congress, Ohio Gov. John Kasich is trying to do the same thing. A Kasich aide told us he has spoken both with Dent and Colorado Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper, whose office confirmed the two governors spoke on the phone about looking for common ground on health care.

  • About those conservatives and their ads: Dent is dismissive of the pressure to support a repeal bill that would get rid of Obamacare's insurance rules. "You got all these groups out there and they're engaged in face-saving efforts. They all came out against the bill and now they're trying to change the narrative," he said.
  • Time to move on: Dent said that getting Democrats to the table is unlikely if the current House Obamacare replacement bill is the vehicle Republicans continue to work with. Instead, he said, they'll need to start over.
  • Areas of agreement: There are members of both parties that dislike Obamacare's Cadillac tax on expensive employer benefits and its medical device tax, Dent said. There's also agreement something needs to be done to fix the individual insurance market. (Of course, figuring out what that something is will be the tough part.)

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
21 mins ago - Technology

How the automation economy can turn human workers into robots

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

More than outright destroying jobs, automation is changing employment in ways that will weigh on workers.

The big picture: Right now, we should be less worried about robots taking human jobs than people in low-skilled positions being forced to work like robots.

House passes $1.9 trillion COVID relief package

Photo: Screenshot via C-SPAN

The House approved President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID relief package on a 219-212 vote early Saturday morning, sending it to the Senate for a possible rewrite before it gets to Biden's desk.

The big picture: The vote was a critical first step for the package, which includes $1,400 cash payments for many Americans, a national vaccination program, ramped-up COVID testing and contact tracing, state and local funding and money to help schools reopen.

12 hours 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."

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