Mar 31, 2017

Freedom Caucus narrows Trumpcare demands

AP file photo

Vox's Sarah Kliff picks up on a new development in the Zombie Trumpcare talks: The Freedom Caucus has narrowed the demands for its support, but they'd still have a huge impact on health care. In a meeting with the Washington Examiner editorial board yesterday, Freedom Caucus chairman Mark Meadows said the group is now asking for just two Obamacare requirements to be repealed: the "essential health benefits" requirements, and the "community rating" rule — which prevents insurers from charging sick people more than healthy people.

Why it matters: As Kliff correctly points out, getting rid of those two requirements "would decimate Obamacare and its insurance reforms." The Trump administration had already offered to get rid of the essential benefit requirements, but throwing in the rating rule means sick people could be priced out of the health insurance market, as they were before Obamacare.

Yes, but: It's not really a new demand from the Freedom Caucus. It's actually less than what they were asking before — they originally wanted all of Obamacare's insurance regulations wiped out. From their point of view, they're compromising by allowing the rest of what they consider an expensive Obamacare regulatory framework to stay in place. That shows you just how far the gap is between the conservatives and everyone else — which is why Zombie Trumpcare isn't going anywhere for a while.

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Making sense of the UN's climate conference coronavirus delay

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The scuttling of November's pivotal UN climate conference is the starkest sign yet of how coronavirus is throwing a wrench into efforts to combat global warming. But like the wider relationship between the coronavirus and climate initiatives, the ramifications are ... complicated.

Driving the news: UN officials announced Wednesday that the annual summit to be held in Glasgow, Scotland, is postponed until some unknown time next year.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m. ET: 952,171 — Total deaths: 48,320 — Total recoveries: 202,541Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m. ET: 216,722 — Total deaths: 5,137 — Total recoveries: 8,672Map.
  3. Stimulus updates: Social Security recipients won't need to file a tax return to receive their checks.
  4. Jobs update: 6.6 million people filed for unemployment last week, a staggering number that eclipses the record set on March 26.
  5. Health updates: The Trump administration won't reopen enrollment for ACA marketplaces this year.
  6. National updates: The Grand Canyon closed after a resident tested positive for coronavirus.
  7. World update: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu re-entered self-quarantine after his health minister tested positive for coronavirus.
  8. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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The weirdest NBA draft ever

Table: Axios Visuals

The 2020 NBA draft was already shaping up to be the weirdest draft in years, and now that the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the sports world, it could be the weirdest draft ever.

Why it matters: While most drafts have a clear hierarchy by the time April rolls around, this draft does not. There's no reliable No. 1 pick, almost every top-10 prospect has a glaring weakness and the global sports hiatus has shrouded the whole class in mystery.

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